REMEMBERING PAT TAKASUGI
(Senate - November 17, 2011)

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[Page S7697]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                        REMEMBERING PAT TAKASUGI

  Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, I rise to recognize a great loss suffered 
by the people of Idaho and the Takasugi family in particular. Last 
week, Idaho State Representative Pat Takasugi passed away after a 3-
year battle with cancer. During that fight he was fortunate to have the 
loving support of his wife Suzanne, his three children, and his 
parents.
  When I was Governor, I had the great fortune to appoint Pat to my 
cabinet to serve as my director of the department of agriculture. Pat 
was an unwearying advocate for agriculture. He understood what farmers 
faced, since he was one of them. He started farming in 1977 and 
successfully grew his business from 32 acres to a 1,500-acre operation.
  Pat served as the director of the department of agriculture for 10 
years, and during that time he worked tirelessly in promoting the 
products grown in Idaho. In 2003, before the local food movement became 
popular, he instituted the Idaho Preferred brand to help consumers 
identify locally grown products.
  He had numerous accomplishments as director that moved Idaho's 
agricultural industry forward. He created the Idaho Food Quality 
Assurance Lab, established the Seed Indemnity Fund, pushed cooperative 
weed management, and streamlined regulations, among others.
  Pat encouraged the next generation of farmers to be involved in 
various agricultural boards and commissions and to become leaders in 
their community. Pat walked his talk, as he was a member of numerous 
local and national organizations, including a term as president of the 
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
  His service continued when he decided to step down as the agriculture 
director and run for the Idaho House of Representatives. He was handily 
elected in 2008 and again in 2010, and he was a strong advocate for 
lower taxes and less government regulations.
  For those of us who knew Pat, it was not hard to see why he was so 
popular. He had an infectious sense of humor, great optimism about 
life, and truly cared about the well-being of others. It can be said 
that his smalltown roots had something to do with that.
  Pat grew up in the Wilder, ID, area and attended schools there before 
graduating from Vallivue High School. He attended the local college, 
the College of Idaho in Caldwell, which is an outstanding educational 
institution.
  He volunteered for the U.S. Army after graduating and served a total 
of 10 years in Active and Reserve Duty. Pat was promoted to the rank of 
captain and qualified for Airborne wings, the Ranger tab, and Special 
Forces Green Beret. Pat loved his country and was grateful for the 
opportunities he had to succeed through his own efforts and hard work.
  Mr. President, while it is difficult to sum up all that Pat Takasugi 
did for agriculture in Idaho and the many lives he touched through his 
service, let me conclude by saying that he was a great American. Vicki 
and I extend our condolences on behalf of all Idahoans to Suzanne and 
all of the family for their loss.

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