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Marv Patten Bio

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Marv Patten was born January 29, 1950 in Boise, Idaho, being the seventh child out of eleven. Patten was raised on Patten Dairy Farm, a family dairy, located between Boise and Eagle. His family lived in a small, two-bedroom house, with no air conditioning in the summer, and a free-standing woodstove to heat up the house during the winter. The conditions Patten lived under served him well for many disciplines, like bedtime was for sleeping and not playing around with his brothers and sisters. 

The Patten Dairy Farm at its maximum was 325 head, which were primarily Jersey cows. The farm was a producer/handler operation - dairy farm milk was processed in site. Some of the products included raw milk and cream, pasteurized homogenized whole milk, 2% milk, cream, and half & half. Patten Dairy Farms was distributed by Treasure Valley retailers and did home delivery in glass containers. They also custom processed milk for three dairy farms, Gold Seal Dairy, Buchanan Dairy, and Rose & Sons. 

Marv Patten graduated from Capital High School in 1969, and graduated from Boise State with a B.A. in secondary education in 1972. Marv was an avid B.S.U. fan! He planned on teaching history and coaching baseball when his dairy life ended. Patten played and coached ISDA football & softball for 32 years and played organized ball for over 55 years. He liked to go on an Elk Hunt every fall with Ken, his brother. Sometimes it’d be one or another or even both, that would bring a bull home each year! He loved to fish, even though he has never caught a trophy fish, unless you count a 47lb. carp as one! 

In 1977 Patten began employment with Idaho State Department of Agriculture. By 1979 he had son Richard, who later became an MD in Salt Lake City, and later married Karly, who is from Twin Falls Idaho and is also a MD. In 1983 Patten obtained his USDA credentials for grading cheese & butter, powder sampling and plant survey inspections. In 1984 Patten became the Dairy Bureau Chief and still holds his position to this day. In 1989 manufactured grade milk somatic cell counts reduced from 1 million to 750,000. In 1990, he testified congressional sub-committee on FDA’s regulation of animal drug residues in milk. From 1991 to 1992 he became president of the Dairy Division of National Association of state department of Agriculture and married Twila at the ISDA. In 1992, with the support of Idaho Milk Processors Association and testimony of the President, Dale Gifford, and the Idaho Dairymen’s Association and their lobbyist, Vicki Patterson, Consolidation of Grade A and Manufacture Grade Milk Programs from Health and Welfare into ISDA. In 1993 Grade A somatic cell count lowered to 750,000 from 1 million and he became a Lifetime member to Dairy Shrine. In 1995 the Pollution Prevention Initiative (Memorandum of Understanding), EPA, DEQ, ISDA, and Idaho Dairymen’s Association were signatory parties to the initiative. By 1997 his daughter Makenzie was born and he was awarded Environmental Excellence for development and implementation of Dairy Pollution Initiative from EPA. In 2000 he was awarded the Winner Hammer award and National Performance Review (Building a government that works better and costs less). In 2001 the Idaho Agriculture Odor Management Act passed legislation, the Nutrient Management Plans were required on all dairy farms, and Patten was a finalist for John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University Council for Excellence in Government. By the year of 2010 ISDA amended raw milk rules, lowered coliform counts, and allowed herd share and small farm exemption. In 2011 Patten was inducted into Southern Idaho Livestock Hall of Fame. And in 2012 Idaho’s somatic cell count was lowered to 400,000 and Milk and Cream component testing rules became effective. 

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