A third-generation cattle rancher, David McFarland, has been named to the 2017 Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame for his dedication to ranching, conservation and extensive service to his community.
Among his many contributions to agriculture, McFarland has been involved as a member of the Bureau of Land Management Advisory Board, Lemhi County Planning and Zoning Board, Water Master of Carmen Creek Drainage and as ditch manager on Freeman Creek. He has also helped with sage grouse management, assisted neighbors with water filing during water adjudication and pioneered changes in grazing for fall utilization.
A member of the Lemhi County and Idaho Cattle Association, McFarland has worked alongside his two brothers, Bruce and Tom, and their ranching operations, in the Salmon area for many years. Taking care of the land has been paramount for the McFarland Ranches.
Sustainable ranching practices have become a high priority for the property on Carmen Creek. McFarland, and his brothers, have replaced culverts to enhance fish passage, restored riparian areas, and developed a conservation easement on Lower Carmen Creek.
Over the past 45 years, changes in grazing practices, haying techniques, equipment improvements, cattle breeding and pasture and range management have helped in the success and growth of the McFarland Ranches. Dictated by prevailing changes in demand, the cow herd has evolved from mostly Shorthorn to Hereford to Angus and now is primarily an Angus base. McFarland focus on sustainability, conservation and multiple use management practices which have been the catalyst for his success and sustainability in the industry.
McFarland and his wife Janet are the parents of two children and grandparents to three.