Douglas Jones is a third generation Idaho farmer.
Jones farmed in Southern Idaho in a family operation with his father and brother until 2005 when he was recruited to join Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar, HC&S, in Maui Hawaii as Vice President of Agricultural Services. HC&S is a 37,000 acre drip irrigated sugar cane plantation. Jones’ responsibilities included all tillage, planting, and weed control operations for the plantation. Jones’ Idaho farming operations included 1,000 acres of irrigated row corps, growing six to eight different crops each year. Jones also operated a custom farming operation doing custom tillage, fertilizer application, and pesticide application in the spring season and custom harvesting in the fall season. This operation preformed covered approximately 15,000 acres annually across all of Southern Idaho and Northern Utah and Nevada.
This brought Jones into direct contact with dozens of farmers annually in a customer service capacity. Serving this large area created an extensive knowledge of all types of agriculture in this region. Jones also served as a member of the Idaho House of Representatives for over twenty years, serving on both the Natural Resources committee and the Agricultural Affairs committee. Jones chaired the Agriculture committee for ten years until resigning his position to move to Hawaii.
Jones’ legislative career gave him broad contacts with public officials at all level of government, from the local soil conservation districts to the United States Secretary of Agriculture. Jones also created an international forum for elected agricultural policy makers across North America and served as the first president. The thirteenth annual meeting of State Agricultural and Rural Leaders recently brought together elected official from 48 states, 2 Territories , and 8 Provinces in Oklahoma City. This unique combination of experience gives Jones a wide understanding of both agricultural production and public policy and the interface between the two.
Returning to Idaho Jones now serves as executive director of Growers for Biotechnology, a farmers’ organization supporting the use to high technology agriculture. Residing in Meridian Idaho, Jones has become interested in the interaction between agriculture and urban issues and how to utilize his experience to creatively solve problem for both. For example, the reuse of municipal waste water on crop land to resolve the phosphate and thermal issues the municipalities face and provide additional water to agricultural lands that need additional phosphate.