Tag: Department of Agriculture

Women in Ag: Idaho Agriculture Director, Celia Gould

Celia Gould was appointed Director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture in January 2007, the first female to hold the position. She is also the owner/operator of a third generation ranching and farming operation, G+ Ranches of Buhl, Idaho. G+ Ranches raises Black Angus and Angus-Wagyu cattle. Celia is a graduate of Buhl High School and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Boise State University. Celia spent 16 years in the Idaho House of Representatives, where she served on the Agricultural Affairs, Education, and Revenue and Taxation committees, in addition to serving as the Chairman of the Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee.

 How are you involved in agriculture and/or the beef industry today?

  • Owner/operator of third-generation cattle ranch
  • Director of the Idaho State Dept. of Agriculture for nearly nine years
  • Proud inductee into the Southern Idaho Livestock Hall of Fame
  • Member of Idaho Cattle Association
  • Chairman of National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Natural Resources & Environment Committee

How has your life been shaped by agriculture? Agriculture has been my life-long passion, and it has shaped nearly every facet of my life. Throughout my career, the lessons I learned on the ranch have enabled and defined me. In agriculture, we know that the work day doesn’t start at 8 and end at 5. We also know that agriculture is woven into every fiber of our daily lives, not just when we sit down to the dinner table. Those experiences taught me about hard work, community, kindness, leadership and sometimes shear doggedness.

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? When I was young, I interned for former Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Thomas Stivers. During his chairmanship of the House Judiciary and Rules committee, he allowed me incredible opportunities that weren’t normally afforded to interns. I am very grateful for that experience; it piqued my interest in public service and put me on my career path. For the last 25 years, my husband Bruce has always been my sounding board and mentor. That doesn’t mean I always take his advice, but I greatly respect his opinion, knowledge and integrity.

How do you provide encouragement to others? I believe strongly in the power of mentorship and being generous with your time, expertise and praise. It’s no secret that the average age of a person involved in agriculture is going up. It’s incumbent on industry veterans to do whatever we can to engender an environment of mentorship and teaching that encourages young people to stay in agriculture. In that vein, keeping my door open to young people has been a priority. My work with the Idaho FFA Foundation has been particularly important and rewarding.

Cattle graze at Celia's G+ Ranch.

Cattle graze at Celia’s G+ Ranch.

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? My main message is simple: The future of the beef industry—and all of agriculture—is incredibly bright. During the recession, agriculture was Idaho’s strongest industry. We are the lifeblood of every community in this state, and somehow we always survive the ups and downs of markets and changing public opinion. More than that, ranchers aren’t relics of the past. I look forward to seeing the incredible advancements that beef industry will continue to make while holding on to our best traditions and time-honored way of life.

 What are you most thankful for? Very soon, I will get to welcome our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren back to the ranch. They are both Captains in the Marine Corp and while I am extremely proud of their service to our country nothing brings me more joy than knowing that the fourth generation of our family will be building a life on the ranch.

What is your favorite meal to cook yourself or for others? Anything with beef, but tri-tip seems to be my go-to meal. It’s incredibly versatile and delicious. Whether it is for the branding crew or a week night after work, tri-tip is always a hit and incredibly easy to prepare.

What is the first thing you do when you walk into a grocery store? Check out the meat counter. When I was a kid my family owned a butcher shop in Buhl. To this day I love to see a beautiful, well-stocked meat counter.

Director Gould, listening intently during a Governor's Trade Mission.

Director Gould, listening intently during a Governor’s Trade Mission.

What is your favorite childhood memory? My favorite childhood memory was going to the Saturday livestock sale with my Grandfather.  Sometimes I would take my best friend and sometimes after the sale my Grandpa would take us to the local pool hall for a cherry coke. That was living large!

What are your guilty pleasures in life? My guilty pleasures in life always involve food. I simply love to eat. I believe I developed this love of food from all the delicious variety of
home-grown and home-cooked meals prepared for our family as I grew up.

Day 1: Women in Ag, Idaho CattleWomen Chair, Robin Lufkin

Categories: Beef, Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen