Agriculture has played a very prominent role in Wendell’s economy and way of life. The economic benefits of farming are shared by the City of Wendell and Gooding County. The County’s private farmland provides attractive open space that is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. The 2007 Census of Agriculture lists 665 farms in Gooding County with an average size of 335 acres. These farms contain 466,518 acres. Dairy agriculture in Gooding County is a growing industry and the impact on Wendell’s community is vast and can be felt in many important areas including economic development, job creation, food system infrastructure, and land use. All are important components of a healthy community. Gooding County is the state’s dairy leader but the explosive growth over the last 15 years was blunted by moratoria on dairies and feedlots. Despite the predominance of dairy, the county’s agriculture is diverse from specialty onions to trout to beef cattle. While the City of Wendell’s agriculture sector is relatively small within city limits, its impact should not be ignored. Consideration should be taken to protect the valuable resources that allow it to function. In order to maximize potential contribution for the agricultural sector any development must be planned for in a comprehensive manner.
* The average Idaho factory-farm dairy has more than 2,100 cows
* There is one factory farmed dairy cow for every three people in Idaho
* There is one beef cow on an industrial feedlot for every 6 people in Idaho
* There are nearly 480,000 dairy cows, 237,800 beef cattle, 614,000 egg-laying hens, and 5,100 hogs on factory farms in Idaho.