BOISE, Idaho — When the Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association approved the membership of the Nyssa-Nampa Sugarbeet Growers Association in November, it didn't just increase its membership. It pulled the group into states beyond its namesake.

The Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association has changed its name to Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association. The association is named for the Snake River, which provides irrigation water for more than 3 million acres in the region, including every acre of sugarbeets.

The Nyssa-Nampa Sugarbeet Growers Association was the sixth local member association added to the former Idaho association, expanding the association's region from southern and eastern Idaho to western Idaho and across state lines into eastern Oregon and southern Washington. The now-Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association includes 700 farmers who grow sugarbeets on a combined 180,000 acres in the three states, accounting for nearly 7 million tons of annual production.

“The membership expansion will allow us to represent our sugarbeet growers at the state and national levels more effectively,” said Randy Grant, president of the Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association. “We plan to broaden our advocacy and education efforts, and the board is excited for the future of our association.”

The Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association’s mission is to advocate for sugarbeet growers and educate the public about the agriculture industry, which includes partnering with the American Sugarbeet Growers Association to educate Congressional leaders about the importance of U.S. sugar policy. Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association plans to work with members of Congress from Idaho, Oregon and Washington on the issue of protecting sugar policy in the farm bill.

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“Joining the state association gives our growers a voice at the statehouse and will increase our relationships with legislators,” said Galen Lee, president of the Nyssa-Nampa Sugarbeet Growers Association. “Nearly 40% of Idaho’s legislative districts are in western Idaho, and we can now speak with one voice from our region through the Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association.”