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Sen. James Risch talks industry with dairy farmer in Wendell

The senator is on his August recess
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 9:36 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Like most industries during the pandemic, dairy has faced some struggles and uncertainty.

Arie Roeloffs, a partner at Riverbend Dairy, says the dairy industry is a major part of the Magic Valley.

“Over here it’s all centralized around the dairy, so when the dairies are struggling, it seems like it pulls down a lot of the economy in general,” Roeloffs said.

Roeloffs and Sen. James Risch, (R) Idaho, both mention the uncertainty of dairy prices normally, but this year it’s exaggerated.

When restaurants closed earlier this year, the industry struggled mightily.

“You never know what’s going to happen or how it’s going to happen,” Roeloffs said. “If they go in there and shut all these restaurants again, like they have in parts of California and other areas of the country, it’s really going to affect the dairy industry again. The uncertainty is huge.”

Sen. Risch says one of the overall problems with most industries is getting people back to work.

“Congress made a mistake in the first bill because of the unemployment compensation was too high,” Risch said. “There certainly needed to be some enhancement, I don’t disagree with that.”

During his August recess in Idaho, the senator says he is looking to face issues head on.

“It’s good to sit down and talk to people that are actually right there on the ground and are having the challenges,” Risch said. “You can get feedback from them and listen to what they think that the solutions are for dealing with the problem.”

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