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It was only appropriate that Governor Phil Batt passed away on March 4 which was his 96th birthday — and the day we celebrate as Idaho Day. Perhaps more than any other political leader of the past half century, Governor Batt personified what it means to be an Idahoan.

Born on a farm in Canyon County near where he spent his life growing hops, onions and other crops, Idaho’s 29th governor was a man who lived close to the soil of Idaho and equally close to the people who he served his entire adult life.

Rod Gramer was a longtime Idaho journalist who covered Phil Batt when he was in the Legislature and as governor. He is the author and editor of “Lucky: The Wit and Wisdom of Governor Phil Batt.”

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