Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, November 17, 2017, Page 9, Image 9

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November 17, 2017
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Hilt Dairy wins Idaho Milk Quality Award
Capital Press
BOISE — Hilt Dairy in
Gooding has won the Idaho
dairy industry’s Milk Quality
Award for 2017.
The 500-cow dairy has sev-
eral times been among the 12
finalists for the award, which
is presented annually by Dairy
West, formerly known as Unit-
ed Dairymen of Idaho.
Dairy owners Chuck and
Monica Hilt credit the oper-
ation’s success to hard work,
good employees and cows
Sean Ellis/Capital Press that are well cared for.
“Cow comfort and good
Hilt Dairy owner Chuck Hilt, second from left, is pictured with some
employees; good milkers,”
of the other 11 finalists for the Idaho dairy industry’s 2017 Milk
Quality Award, Nov. 8 in Boise during Dairy West’s annual meeting. Chuck Hilt said when asked
the secret to producing qual-
Hilt Dairy won the award.
ity milk. “We work hard as a
family and the good Lord has
blessed our family dairy.”
The award, which has
been presented annually since
1989, is based on a dairy’s
routine monthly tests for so-
matic cell counts, which are
an indicator of quality, and
bacteria counts, which reflect
the cleanliness of cows and
the facility.
Producers are nominated
by processors and University
of Idaho and Idaho State De-
partment of Agriculture offi-
cials then compare the oper-
ations’ monthly quality tests.
The finalists are chosen
among Idaho’s 500 dairy
farms to compete for the
“The milk plants nomi-
nate some of their very best
producers and we are pick-
ing the best of the best. It’s
very, very competitive,” said
Rick Norell, who manages
the award, along with ISDA,
for Dairy West along with the
Monica Hilt said the
dairy’s cows are taken good
care of by the three families
that run the operation.
“They all work super hard
and they adore the animals,”
she said. “They just love their
animals and I think that shows
in the production.”
Dairy West CEO Karianne
Fallow said all Idaho dairies
produce quality milk “but
these are the standouts. It’s a
prestigious award. This award
ceremony is really an oppor-
tunity to celebrate the quality
of all Idaho dairy farmers by
showcasing the ones that rise
to the top.”
Hilt Dairy was nominated
by Magic Valley Quality Milk
Producers, a producer coop-
erative that processes about
3 million pounds of milk per
CEO Alan Stutzman said
he has known the Hilt Dairy
owners for 21 years and the
operation has always consis-
tently produced high quality
“They’re a great group
that works hard and produces
a very high-quality product,”
he said.
Chobani expands Twin Falls facility
Construction of a
innovation and
community center
has started
Capital Press
— Chobani is deepening its
commitment in Idaho with a
70,000-square-foot innova-
tion and community center.
The $20 million invest-
ment is the latest in a series of
expansions the company has
undertaken since building a
nearly 1 million-square-foot
yogurt plant in 2012.
The building is scheduled
for completion next summer.
The new construction
will house a 15,000-square-
foot, state-of-the-art global
research and development
center, as well as a food in-
cubator to help start-up com-
The innovation coming out
of the new center is “going
to be amazing,” said Hamdi
Ulukaya, Chobani CEO and
founder, during groundbreak-
ing ceremonies last week.
He’s hoping it will be a
“good education center for
our kids,” inspiring innova-
tion and entrepreneurship in
elementary and high-school
students, he said.
The center was designed
with people in mind, includ-
ing Chobani’s employees
and their families and the
community. In addition to a
fitness center and wellness
rooms for new mothers, the
center also has a large gather-
ing place for employees and
the public with a designated
entrance for visitors.
The energy-efficient cen-
ter will have an expansive
skylight and wrap-around
windows to let the outdoors
in and provide a welcoming
ambiance for visitors.
“There’s nothing to hide
and a lot to see,” Ulukaya
The new center brings
Chobani’s investment in Ida-
ho to $750 million.
Ulukaya’s decision to
build in Idaho when he want-
ed to expand his New York-
based operation came from
finding a community his
company could align with to
build something amazing, he
“I found a gold mine in this
community. The gold mine is
the human spirit,” he said.
He thanked “Governor
Butch” Otter and Twin Falls
“Mayor Shawn” Barigar for
their support from the start
and said Chobani has felt the
support of the community all
these years.
Ulukaya also thanked
“our farmers” and the com-
mitment they made to supply
milk to Chobani and the Col-
lege of Southern Idaho for
its partnership in workforce
Otter said Chobani’s new
center is “epic for Idaho” and
represents permanence, with
its research and development
team and others moving from
temporary trailers to a perma-
nent structure.
“There is no more question
— if there ever was a ques-
tion,” he said.
He said Ulukaya and Cho-
bani represent the three things
everybody wants in a business
partner — trust, commitment
and caring about people.
Barigar thanked Ulukaya
for the opportunity for the
community to grow with Cho-
“Chobani has made an in-
credible financial investment
in our community; it’s the gift
that keeps giving,” he said.
In 2016, Chobani an-
nounced a $100 million ex-
pansion in Twin Falls to in-
vest in new production lines
and products and to support
distribution to international
The Twin Falls operation
employs 1,000 people.
The company receives up
to 5.5 million pounds of milk
daily from local farmers in
New York and Idaho and em-
ploys a total of 2,000 people.
It has dedicated more than
$1 billion in capital invest-
ment over the past three years
across its plants in Twin
Falls, upstate New York and
South Victoria, Australia.
Carol Ryan Dumas/Capital Press
Hamdi Ulukaya, right, founder, owner, CEO and chairman of
Chobani, is joined by Gov. Butch Otter to break ground on the
Greek yogurt company’s new 70,000-square-foot community and
innovation center in Twin Falls, Idaho, on Nov. 9.
Water policy change concerns
Upper Snake storage holders
Capital Press
BOISE — Irrigators with
storage in Upper Snake Riv-
er reservoirs worry a recent
change in state water policy
will decrease the odds that
their water rights will fill in
future years.
The Water District 1 water-
master has long allowed for a
“reset” of storage water right
priorities some time between
August and early October, de-
pending on water conditions.
According to the state’s
historic practice, even in years
when reservoirs filled com-
pletely and storage irrigators
were allocated their full water
rights, junior irrigators’ natu-
ral-flow rights could be cur-
tailed in late summer or early
fall to prioritize replenishing
storage for the next season.
Irrigators and represen-
tatives from the Shosho-
ne-Bannock Tribes have been
negotiating during the past
couple of years to identify a
reset date to best balance the
rights of junior surface-water
irrigators with the need to fill
reservoirs, but have failed to
reach an agreement. On Aug.
18, Milner Irrigation District
formally challenged the cur-
rent reset policy.
In response, Idaho Depart-
ment of Water Resources Di-
rector Gary Spackman sent the
district’s watermaster a letter
Oct. 27 ordering that the reset
date for this season be moved
to Jan. 1, 2018, reasoning the
reservoir storage rights iden-
tify a “season of use of Jan. 1
through Dec. 31.”
Spackman’s ruling has
been contested and is sched-
uled for a Nov. 13 preliminary
hearing. In his letter, Spack-
man wrote that the contested
case will establish “how the
season of use defined by the
decrees interacts with a reset
date earlier than Jan. 1.”
Even with a Jan. 1 refill
date, Water District 1 Program
Manager Tony Olenichak ex-
plained the state will have the
opportunity to capture water
that isn’t used for other irri-
gation rights in the reservoirs,
under a Bureau of Reclama-
tion refill right, which was es-
tablished during the recently
completed Snake River Basin
Adjudication and is subordi-
nate to all other water rights.
Olenichak said water is
abundant this season and will
have to be released from res-
ervoirs for flood-control any-
way, but addressing the reset
issue will be critical for future
Aberdeen-Springfield Ca-
nal Co. General Manager
Steve Howser and Twin Falls
Canal Co. General Manager
Brian Olmstead would sup-
port an Oct. 15 reset date.
Limagrain triples fall wheat market share
Capital Press
About 30 percent of the winter
wheat planted in the Pacific
Northwest is now marketed
by Limagrain Cereal Seeds,
representing a tripling of the
company’s regional market
share compared to last fall, a
Limagrain official said Nov. 9.
Frank Curtis, chief op-
erating officer of the Col-
orado-based unit of the in-
cooperative, said Limagrain
set a longterm objective of
capturing 30 percent of the
regional winter wheat market
share by 2020 and has met its
goal about two years ahead of
Curtis explained that
Limagrain, which has 21 vari-
eties currently on the market,
including 15 winter wheat
varieties, has a partnership to
breed and market wheat in the
Northwest in collaboration
with the University of Idaho
and Oregon State Universi-
ty. Five Limagrain varieties,
including three fall varieties,
have been released in part-
nership with UI, and two fall
varieties have been released
in conjunction with OSU.
Curtis said Limagrain,
Limagrain Europe, OSU and
UI will share the roughly $2
million in royalties collected
this year from its wheat vari-
eties sold in the region.
“Most of that money is
going to be reinvested in the
interest of Pacific Northwest
growers, specifically in the
breeding program,” Curtis
said. “It’s the largest royal-
ty year we’ve had since we
opened our doors in 2010.”
Curtis said Limagrain’s
head breeder for the region,
Jay Kalous, works closely
with breeders from UI and
OSU. The universities con-
tribute their collections of
locally adapted germplasm.
Curtis explained Limagrain
helps expedite breeding with
its expertise in rapid breeding
technologies such as mark-
er-assisted selection, and its
ability to accelerate seed in-
“As a private-sector com-
pany, we’re prepared to take
risks,” Curtis added. “The
universities are not allowed to
do that.”
Curtis said the top two
Limagrain varieties in the re-
gion are now UI Magic CL+,
which is a Clearfield soft
white winter wheat variety,
and LCS Jet, a hard red winter
wheat that accounts for nearly
60 percent of the Northwest
acreage planted in the class.
Curtis said Limagrain’s
strong growth should contin-
ue next season, when three
new soft white winter wheat
varieties with high yields
and strong disease resistance
packages will be released.
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