Growing more than crops – getting involved and giving back with Zach and Amy Patterson

Zach Patterson’s story begins in the small town of Paul, Idaho where he was raised on the family farm. For as long as he can remember, he has wanted to be a farmer. The rural lifestyle and the opportunity to be your own boss has always appealed to Zach.

Traveling on a church mission to Brazil and earning a degree in Finance from Idaho State University in Pocatello confirmed his desire to get back to his small town and continue the legacy of the family farm.

While studying at Idaho State University, Zach met his wife Amy who was there earning her degree in Social Work. Thankfully for Zach, Amy liked the idea of a farming lifestyle and supported his dream to start farming.

Today, Zach is back at the family farm in Paul, Idaho with his dad. They farm 1,500 acres and grow sugarbeets, wheat, hay, and corn. Amy is also very involved on the farm and does the books. Farming might be their career, but it is also their lifestyle. Living in the country and raising their kids in rural Idaho has been such a positive experience for them.

Zach and Amy with their four children – Bryan, Isaac, Gracie and Sam

Both Zach and Amy are passionate about getting involved and giving back to their community. Zach serves as a Director on the Minidoka County Sugarbeet Growers Association and serves on the Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association Board.

Since 2014, Zach has been traveling to Washington DC to lobby on behalf of sugarbeet growers during the American Sugar Alliance (ASA) Grower Fly in week. Zach is one of the ten growers that the Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association sends to DC. During that week, growers meet with over 35 offices and attend fundraisers for members of congress. The goal of the week is for our growers to educate members and their staff about agriculture and the importance of sugar policy. Zach has really enjoyed being a member of the fly in team and can’t emphasize enough how important it is for ag producers to tell your story.

Zach pictured on the right meeting with Congressman Fulcher in Washington DC

Another area that Zach and Amy have gotten very involved in is the Youth Sugarbeet Grower Program. The program is designed for youth ages 8-18 and allows them to grow 2 acres of sugarbeets, complete a research project, participate in their local fair, and complete a record book. This is a great program that helps educate the next generation of sugarbeet growers or industry professionals. Both serve as dedicated volunteers for the program in Minidoka County. They got involved with the program about 8 years ago when their kids participated in it. Zach and Amy were very impressed with how the program teaches kids real life skills that are tangible such as public speaking, researching a topic, budgeting, and interviewing. It is a great way for kids to work hard and earn money. Another benefit is it teaches kids the importance of agriculture and gets them interested in the sugarbeet industry.     

Amy and Zach with their son at the 2023 Youth Sugarbeet Grower Competition

Zach and Amy are an impressive couple that are truly dedicated to the agricultural industry. Their commitment extends far beyond just the field and it’s about ensuring people are educated about agriculture, telling their story, and giving back in ways that are meaningful to their community. Thank you, Zach and Amy!

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