Sylvan F. Seely
Madison County businessman Sylvan Seely has been named to the Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2020 for his irrigation industry leadership.
Seely grew up on a farm in the Twin Groves area near St. Anthony. He farmed and ranched until 1967 when he launched a full time irrigation equipment business that is now one of the largest in the state. His efforts have helped the Upper Snake River Valley adopt technology resulting in an increased number of acres farmed, reduction in hand labor, water savings, and an increase in productivity and yields.
In 1971, Sylvan was a founding member of the Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association and supports their scholarship program every year.
In 1976, after the collapse of the Teton Dam, Seely helped bring in hundreds of irrigation pumps from California to install in area canals to feed water back out to local farmers. He was also instrumental in working on projects installed along the Teton River, many of which continue to operate today.
The Yellowstone Fires of 1988 presented a unique challenge to Seely. As the fires were headed toward the community of West Yellowstone, Montana, Seely worked with local farmers to take semi loads of irrigation equipment to help stop the flames. Irrigation lines were installed, pumps turned on and the community was protected.
Sylvan and his wife Gail are the parents of eight children, several of which work in irrigation and other ag related businesses.