Welcome to the Camas
County Extension home page.
Camas County, a rural
county in south-central Idaho, was established in February of
1917 and named for the camas lily found in the area.
Camas County is approximately 100 miles east of Boise, 40
miles southwest of the resort communities of Sun Valley, and 70
miles from Twin Falls. It
covers 1,075 square miles or 688,000 acres. Camas County is
bordered by Blaine County on the north and east, Lincoln and
Gooding Counties on the south, and Elmore County on the west.
Most of the population lives in the Camas Prairie, a high
plain at an elevation of 5100 feet situated between the Soldier
Mountains, at the southern end of the Sawtooth Range, and the
Bennett Hills which separate the Camas Prairie from the Snake
River Plain to the south. The prairie is 28 miles long and 3 to 11 miles wide and
slopes from west to east and from north to south.
Land ownership in the county is as follows: 65% Federal
lands managed by The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the
Forest Service, 30% privately owned, and 5% State lands.
Camas County is the
least populated county in the state of Idaho.
The county seat is the city of Fairfield, at an elevation
of 5,065 feet and with a population of 395 residents (2000
census); other unincorporated communities are Hill City, Corral
and Soldier. The
total population for Camas County is under 1,000 residents.
US Hwy 20, a major
east to west highway arterial that transverses Camas County,
carries approximately 1500 vehicles per day.
Much of this traffic travels between the Boise and Sun
Valley areas, but the highway is also used as an alternative
northern route to and from eastern Idaho and Yellowstone
The largest primary
employment sector in Camas County is agriculture (27.3%).
The major commodities produced are alfalfa hay (43,100
harvested acres) and cereal grains (14,800 harvested acres).
Ninety percent of the land is either owned and/or rented
by a few producers. Many
of these producers grow certified organic hay and grain.
Production is either irrigated or non-irrigated with the
majority (87%) being non-irrigated.
Most producers use supplemental irrigation.
That means growers only irrigate when rainfall and soil
moisture do not meet crop needs.
The average annual precipitation is 14 to 20 inches, and
the average growing season is 60 to 80 days.
The majority of pastures in Camas County are used as
summer pastures by livestock producers from other counties.
the other major employers within the county are the government
and the school district. Camas County has many active volunteer groups and
of these is the Civic Organization whose goal is to promote
economic vitality and civic pride in the community.
One method of bringing commerce to the local businesses
and promoting travel to the Camas Prairie is by providing
seasonal recreational events, such as golf tournaments, mud bog
races, and snow machine races.
County Extension Educator has the responsibility of providing
the people of the county educational programs in plant systems,
community development, and animal systems.
The programs include variety trials with small grain
cereal crops, alfalfa, and blueberries, the county alfalfa
quality and yield watch program, workshops and schools.
In addition, the extension educator has administrative
and educational responsibilities for the 4-H/youth programs.
The 2001 4-H youth enrollment for Camas County included
17 adult leaders and 68 youth participating in 111 projects.
Many of the trials and programs are coordinated with help
from University of Idaho Extension Specialists and other county
To help people
improve the social, economic, and environmental qualities of
life through research based education and leadership development
focused on issues and needs of the county.