K. Merle Jeppesen
Merle Jeppesen of Rexburg, will be inducted into the 2013 Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame for his efforts to improve agriculture and community service.
To get his start in farming, Jeppesen rented 80 acres of production land from his father. The next few years were spent acquiring acres of his own, installing sprinkler systems, building potato cellars and building over 100 mini dams to slow down snow melt and other running water on his hilly ground. He worked his land with his minimum tillage farming methods and returned all possible organic matter back into the soil.
Jeppesen’s farm became a “test farm” for new farming methods being taught at Ricks College. In 1970, at the age of 34, Jeppesen received the Outstanding Young Farmer award in recognition of exceptional progress in agriculture and contributions to the community of Rexburg. In 1982 he received the Outstanding Agriculturist Award presented by the Rexburg Chamber of Commerce in recognition for achievement in marketing, production and innovation.
Jeppesen also served two terms on the Farmers Home Administration Board making loans to local farmers. He served 18 years on the Madison Co-op Board, ten of those as Chairman. During that time sales went from under one million to over 16 million dollars per year. He served on the Eastern Oregon-Idaho Potato Committee for eight years, serving as chairman for four years. He has also been a member of the Ricks College Booster Club, Alumni Board and has been very involved with the Scouting programs within Madison County.