Clen and Emma Atchley
For their numerous contributions to agriculture, community and education, Clen and Emma Atchley, owners and operators of Flying A Ranch, are among this year’s inductees into the East Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame – and will be the Hall of Fame’s first married couple.
Clen and Emma met at the University of Idaho. They married after Clen served with the US Army in Vietnam and Emma completed graduate study. They settled in Fremont County, on property first farmed by Clen’s grandfather J.A. Atchley.
The Atchley’s Flying A Ranch is recognized across the nation as a leader in quality seed potatoes. They also raise cattle and grain crops. The Atchleys were among the first to start putting up pivots in the Ashton area and to consistently raise wheat in their high elevation and short growing season area. They also constructed a state-of-the-art greenhouse to ensure they were raising the highest quality of seed potatoes.
Striving to ‘leave things better’, the couple utilize many strategies including crop rotations to improve soil structure and organic matter. They are conscious of preserving wildlife habitat, and have also put a portion of their ground in conservation easements to protect it for future generations.
Clen was a driving force in the development of multiple pipeline projects impacting large acreages of production land under various ownership, resulting in both water and power savings. He also worked to put in a hydro project on the Marysville Canal, which provides renewable power to Fremont County. They have both served as leaders with national, state and local Agricultural and education boards and organizations.
They are the parents of two daughters, Evelyn Atchley and Laura Pickard.