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Idaho Cross Awarded to Sergeant Sean F. Bryson


I was honored to present the Idaho Cross to Staff Sergeant Sean F. Bryson in the company of his wife, family and friends earlier this month. SSgt. Bryson distinguished himself by saving the life of a civilian in distress on the 27th of November, 2013. Ssgt. Bryson, without regard to his own safety or comfort, provided self-aid, buddy care and cardiopulmonary resuscitation to an unidentified unconscious man while on temporary duty in Biloxi, Mississippi. Due to his immediate action, attention to detail and life-saving skills he maintained the respiratory airway for the victim until paramedics arrived. His selfless efforts show great credit to his work as an IANG serviceman and bring much pride to the Idaho Air National Guard, his family, and our state. SSgt Bryson is currently a full time RF transmissions technician for the 124th Communications Flight for the Idaho Air National Guard (IANG). He enlisted with the IANG in June 2005. Thank you SSgt Bryson for your great service and for representing our state in such a distinguished manner.

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Idaho Business for Education and Dr. William Bennett


Dr. William Bennett 

On January 14th I was invited to speak at the Idaho Business for Education(IBE) presentation in the Capitol alongside Dr. William Bennett - a former Secretary of Education for President Ronald Regan. I took the opportunity to stress the importance of education for Idaho's future and the implementation of the Education Task Force's recommendations. Dr. Bennett shared his perspective from his years of experience and praised the work of the IBE. I appreciated the opportunity to speak before IBE and hope that everyone in Idaho can become familiar with the organization and their mission to be a driving force in the development and implementation of Idaho education policy that results in graduates with post-secondary credentials and who are workforce ready.


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Governor's Award for Excellence in Industrial Energy Efficiency


This month I was proud to present the Governor's Award for Excellence in Industrial Energy Efficiency to the Jerome Cheese company, a division of Davisco Foods International, Inc. Davisco employs over 250 workers in our state who are responsible for receiving, processing, packaging, maintaining, and analyzing over 90 truckloads of raw milk a day to produce cheese, whey powder and cream in their Jerome facility. In 2013 they took great measures to improve their energy efficiency such as replacing inefficient high-intensity discharge lamps with energy efficient fluorescent lamps, retrofitting industrial fans and pump motors with variable frequency drives, and coordinating monthly energy meetings to review ongoing energy efficiency projects as well as brainstorm new ideas to reduce energy. All in all their efforts saved 4,010,285 kWh in 2013! Thank you Davisco for your energy saving efforts!

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Idaho-Lewis Counties Capital for a Day

For January's Capital for a Day we were able to travel to Kamiah, Idaho for the Idaho-Lewis Counties Capital for a Day. It was a great visit with Lt. Governor Little, Superintendent Ybarra, General Richy, and other agency directors joining me to bring our state government to the people. We had a great opportunity to speak to local residents about local property clean-up, education on illegal drugs, and the forest service. We had a great day visiting Kamiah and I would like to thank everyone who took time out of their days to come speak to us at our first Capital for a Day of 2015!


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New Video for the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge Series

I was pleased to take part in a video that will help educate people about the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge Series, a partnership between Idaho's colleges and universities, Zions Bank and the Center for Entrepreneurship at Boise State University. This series encourages business model planning through a unique competition using a $40,000 grand prize as an incentive. This collaborative outreach program brings together students and budding business professionals to hone their entrepreneurial skills around a business plan or unique idea.  I am enthusiastic about what this program can do not only to turn out the next generation of Idaho entrepreneurs but also to generate the next big breakthrough or invention. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, "The patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things." Similarly, I believe this program can help do the same. I want to wish good luck and God speed to all of the competitors.


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Spotlight Agency:
Idaho Fish and Game

We are blessed in Idaho with an incredible exposure to nature. We live side by side with many animals, fish, and birds. Thanks to Idaho Fish and Game we are able to hunt, fish, and live side by side with our fellow residents of the Idaho wilderness in a manner that is both safe and fun for the whole family. This month I wanted to take some time to spotlight some of the great work of Idaho Fish and Game.


During the 2014 hunting season, 6,327 new hunters took advantage of the Hunting Passport program. Passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Otter in 2013, the Hunting Passport allows any first-time hunter, resident or nonresident, age 8 and older to try hunting for one year with an adult mentor without first having to complete an Idaho hunter education course.

  • 2014 Hunting Passport holders by the numbers:
    • Resident Juniors -     2,381
    • Resident Adults -       3,318
    • Nonresident Juniors - 366
    • Nonresident Adults -  262

                     Total:   6,327


In 2014, the legislature and me approved a measure lowering the age in which young hunters can hunt big game. 10 and 11 year olds can now hunt big game if they are accompanied by an adult mentor. During the 2014 hunting season, more than 3,900 10 and 11 year olds hunted big game for the first time; 602 purchased both deer and elk tags. Additionally Idaho's Hunter Education program is certifying record numbers of new hunters and trappers. In 2014 more than 13,500 people attended and graduated from the program, a 32 percent increase from a decade ago.



Fish and Game has also launched a "Wildavore" program for young adults interested in learning to hunt. The program teaches the basics and culminates in a mentored hunt. Fish and Game is also partnering with Idaho State, The College of Southern Idaho, Boise State, The University of Idaho and Lewis and Clark State College to teach hunter education.

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Recent Appointments:


Admin., Office of Energy Resources         

John Chatburn - Boise


Alfalfa & Clover Seed Comm.

Jared Gebauer - Homedale


Code Commission

Daniel Bowen - Boise


Commission for the Blind

Michael Gibson - Nampa

Travis Beck - Idaho Falls


Commission on Hispanic Affairs

Raquel Romero Arenz - Twin Falls


Council for Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Shannon Gower - Kuna


Director, Dept. of Agriculture

Celia Gould - Buhl


Director, Dept. of Water Resources

Gary Spackman - Eagle


Electrical Board

Rick Stark - Meridian


Health Insurance Exchange

Jim Murray - Layton, UT



Sen. John Tippets - Montpelier


Industrial Commission

Tom Baskin - Boise



Michelle Stennett - Ketchum


POST Council

Kevin Kempf - Nampa


Public Works Contractors License Bd.



Evan Goodwin - Idaho Falls


Speech & Hearing Services

Ken Nuhn - Moscow


Travel Council

Matt Hunter - Pocatello

Courtney Ferguson - Rexburg


Water Resource Board

Jeff Raybould - St. Anthony

Charles Cuddy - Orofino

Peter Van Der Meulen - Hailey