Wallace “Wally” Reid of Firth is being inducted into the 2013 Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame for his water and land stewardship and as a man who is a catalyst for finding solutions to the agriculture, grazing and conservation communities.
Reid’s grandparents homestead in the Blackfoot River Valley in 1870. The Reid farm has been in agriculture production for 143 years. Reid takes pride in the fact that he lives on and operates part of his grandparent’s original homestead. The farm was honored as a Centennial Ranch/Farm by the State of Idaho.
Reid began farming in 1950 along side of his older brothers. The Reid brothers raised wheat, alfalfa, beets, Idaho Burbank potatoes and livestock. The Reids were progressive and looked for ways to improve their farming operation. When irrigation hand lines became available, the brothers “broke out” virgin land on the Presto Bench and began irrigating the new acres by pumping out of the Blackfoot River.
After starting his own farming enterprise, Reid again followed in his father’s footsteps and began raising Shorthorn/Hereford cattle. The genetics of Black Angus cattle attracted Reid’s interest. He was one of the first in the Blackfoot River Valley to begin raising Black Angus cattle and became a member of the Eastern Idaho Grazing Association – a membership he has maintained for over 60 years with 15 years spent as the organization’s director.
While an EIGA director, Reid worked to facilitate and improve range health and forage. Along with the other directors, he advanced the idea of rotational grazing by dividing the private, State and Federal grazing lands with fences. Other practices incorporated were brush control and improving springs and watering areas for livestock and wildlife.
Reid and his wife Marlene, farm near the Shoshone Bannock Reservation. The Reids have developed a unique relationship with their Native American neighbors. Through their long standing friendships they have crossed cultural boundaries and helped tribal members protect and preserve petroglyphs in the Blackfoot River Valley. The couple has also made hundreds of presentations in Eastern Idaho classrooms and libraries about the Shoshone Bannock culture, history and way of life.