American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and other national agricultural leaders will visit Idaho next week to discuss the importance of the Columbia-Snake River dam system.
Duvall will be joined June 15-16 by representatives of the National Association of Wheat Growers, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, CHS Primeland, the Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana state Farm Bureau organizations, and other state trade and commodity associations, according to the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation.
The guests will tour Lower Granite Dam, one of four dams on the lower Snake River targeted by environmentalists for removal to help populations of endangered salmon, the IFBF reports.
The tour will include presentations on how the river system facilitates the barging of large amounts of commodities to West Coast ports for export, as well as presentations on the significant harm that removing the dams would cause to farmers and others in the Pacific Northwest, according to the Farm Bureau.
About 14 million metric tons of wheat destined for export move through the Columbia-Snake system each year, as well as about 8 million metric tons of soybeans, 3 million tons of wood products and 9 million tons of corn, the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association estimates.
The system also provides for the efficient transportation of fuel, fertilizer and machinery back up the river, which reduces freight costs to businesses and residents in the region, the Idaho Farm Bureau contends.
The leaders are slated to meet with media June 16 at the Port of Lewiston.