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Russ Tempel: Slow Politics, Busy Time For Ag, Amazing Engineering Feats That Wouldn’t Get Done Today

August has been a slow month as far as politics goes. Some jockeying for who is going to run for what office, interesting to watch.  

But August is a busy time for the agricultural folks.  The crops have been better than expected. The cooler spring and summer may have been the reason.  Many areas received hail and a number of fires have been reported in the harvest fields.  Some farmers are finished, but many are still cutting, so be on the lookout for equipment.  I have not been involved in a great deal of harvest, only moving a truck here and there, help moving an agar or two and running a load to town.  It seems farm help is just like all business: very hard to come by. 

In mid-August, I was invited to a tour of the irrigation system that runs south from Polson to Mission Creek just east of St. Ignatius.  There are three local irrigation districts involved, all dating back to 1910.  It is beyond my imagination how the vision those folks had back then is working today much the same as it was 100-plus years ago. 

This is also true with the Milk River diversion, started in 1903 and running from St. Mary into Canada, then back to the U.S. just west of Fresno Dam.  Then, as needed, water is released from Fresno to irrigators.  Go to Taber, Alberta, and see the system that brings water all the way from the Carson area.  That was also started pre-1910. 

The engineering and amount of labor involved in these projects are just amazing accomplishments.  Not one of these projects would get done today; just imagine the politics and lawsuits that would ensue.    

Take care!

Sen. Russ Tempel, Senate District 14 (406) 262-7778
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