Idaho sheepman sheepishly seeks switch from solons

A slightly late and fully contrite Stan Boyd told the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday morning that last year's revamping of the Idaho Sheep Commission into the Idaho Sheep and Goat Health Board overlooked a key aspect of the reform: Goatmen.

The new law, 2012's House Bill 512, revised assessments on producers, including goatmen, and made other changes. But a key driver of the measure was overlooked when no provision was made for having a goat producer on the board.

Boyd said Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, noted the oversight. "He thought it would be wise a allow a goat producer to sit on the board," Boyd said. "That was a complete oversight on our part."

The committee introduced Boyd's bill correcting the error, as well as adding a provision sought by Gov. Butch Otter that would allow the state to audit the board at any time. The board is part of the Division of Animal Industries at the Idaho Department of Agriculture.

Boyd, the lobbyist for the Idaho Woolgrowers Association for decades, began the meeting with a flushed face and breathless tone. He showed up at 8:05 a.m., five minutes after the meeting was to start with his bill.

Chairman Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, noted Boyd's absence. "Boy am I going to give him heck," said Bair. Moments later, Boyd rushed in, saying, "A long drive in from State Street this morning. A little icy."

After the committee voted to print the bill, Bair said with a laugh, "I don't know that I've ever heard testimony from somebody completely out of breath."

The Senate Ag Committee offers a nice summary of the impact of record turnover in the 2013 Legislature and what choices in committees are left to freshman.

Of the nine-member panel, just three are returning senators. The newcomers includes two Democrats from the state's most urban ridings, Sens. Branden Durst from District 18, representing east and south Boise and Cherie Buckner-Webb, from District 19, representing Boise's North and East ends.

The other newcomers: GOP Sens. Jim Guthrie of McCammon, Bob Nonini of Coeur d'Alene, Jim Patrick of Twin Falls and Jim Rice of Caldwell.

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Gasping, giving goatmen goals...groovy!

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