Utah Department of Agriculture and Food



September 24, 2018--The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) is issuing a "danger" advisory for Panguitch Lake due to hazardous levels of toxic algae. People and animals should keep out of the water until further notice. Warning signs are being posted at the lake and health officials will continue to sample and monitor the water there.

August 17, 2018--Due to elevated toxin levels in the water in Mill Meadow Reservoir in Wayne County, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is recommending farmers and ranchers exclude livestock from drinking from those water sources for the time being.

“The best guidelines I have suggest that beef cattle consuming a primary water source with microcystin levels over 200 ug/L could start to experience serious health effects in as little as 24hrs,” said Dr. Chelsea Crawford, Assistant State Veterinarian, UDAF.

“I would immediately advise producers to prevent any animals from accessing the potentially toxic water source and provide an alternative,” added Crawford.

UDAF is working with Wayne County Emergency Management to locate alternative water sources for livestock. If livestock owners need assistance with locating an alternative water source, they should contact Wayne County Emergency Management.

UDAF also encourages irrigators using those water sources to use water resistant gloves when changing water and to otherwise avoid direct skin contact with the water.

These suggested measures are not mandatory.



July 12, 2017--Based on test results reported on July 12th, the level of cyanotoxins in Utah Lake is NOT considered a health threat to livestock at this time.  According to Assistant State Veterinarian, Dr. Chelsea Crawford, cyanotoxin levels in the lake may change rapidly, and livestock and pet owners should monitor local news media for information. Read the entire statement.

July 12, 2017 -- Latest news and updates from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Division of Water Quality (DWQ) concerning Utah Lake algal blooms. Go to the DWQ update page.



UDAF lifts advisory against using Utah Lake water for food & livestock irrigation.



Hab home


What are Utah’s top 10 Ag. producing crops (pg. 30)? How much agriculture land is in farming (pg.22), and what county produces the most cattle (pg. 67)?
All those questions and more are answered in the latest edition of the UDAF Annual Report and USDA Ag. Statistics Report.

Also read Commissioner LuAnn Adams and Governor Gary R. Herbert's comments about Utah agriculture.





Lab tests confirm possible health risks


SALT LAKE CITY – Based upon the recent advisory from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality (DWQ) regarding high levels of cyanobacteria in Utah Lake, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) strongly advises farmers and ranchers against using water from Utah Lake or the Jordan River for food production, especially fruits and vegetables, and livestock watering until lab results are available. 

If farmers and ranchers have access to other water sources we advise them to use those alternative sources to water crops, livestock and other animals. Pet owners are also advised to not let their animals drink lake or river water.

According to UDAF veterinarian, Dr. Dustin Durfee, “These types of toxins can be harmful to humans and livestock; farmers and ranchers should not use water taken from Utah Lake until further notice.” We want to make it clear that this is not a normal situation and strongly urge farmers and ranchers to heed this advisory.

Anyone with non-agriculture related questions should contact DWQ at (801)-536- 4484.

For concerns about possible human exposure, call Utah Poison Control at 800-222- 1222, or your physician. For concerns about possible animal exposure, contact a local veterinarian.

For updates on lake conditions, Utah County has an alert system in place. Go to alerts.utahcounty.gov sign up for an account, select the method of contact, create a profile and select a location. Then choose the alert subscription for “Utah Lake” under “Utah County Alerts.”

Access the Utah Department of Environmental Quality news release on the algae bloom.

BLOG topic: Harmful Algal Blooms: When It Isn't Good to be Green  Also, what triggers an algae bloom




Contact Larry Lewis (801) 514-2152



posted: July 15, 2016
updated: July 18, 2016




Veterinary Feed Directive - A Quick Primer


•    The Food and Drug Administration Guidance #213 takes full implementation on January 1, 2017.
•    Once implemented, producers are to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use antibiotics for production purposes.
•    Any (medically important) antibiotic that is put in a feed (or water) substance for cattle is going to need a VFD from a veterinarian.
•    The Veterinary Feed Directive's goal is to encourage judicious use of antibiotics in the animal agriculture industry.
•    There will be no production uses for those feed grade antibiotics that fall under the VFD rule.
•    Sponsors are in the process of removing all production uses for these VFD feed grade antibiotics.
•    All VFD feed antibiotics will only have indications for treatment and control of disease. There is no extra label use allowed for feed grade antimicrobials.
Medically important antimicrobials are those antibiotics that are used in both human and animal medicine, and those that are used in feed are deemed by the FDA as medically important and fall under the direction of VFD:
•    Penicillins
•    Cephalosporins
•    Quinolones
•    Fluoroquinolones
•    Tetracyclines
•    Macrolides
•    Sulfas
•    Glycopeptides
Nonmedically important antirnicrobials are antibiotics used exclusively in animals:
•    Ionophores
•    Polypeptides
•    Carbadox
•    Bambermycin
•    Pleuromutilin
Veterinary – Client – Patient – Relationship (VCPR)
In order for a veterinarian to write a VFD, he or she must have a working veterinary- client-patient-relationship (VCPR) with the producer and must be licensed in the state the animals reside.
Step l. The veterinarian must establish a working VCPR with clients.
•    The veterinarian will need to be on-site at clients’ facilities / production areas.
•    The frequency will need to be determined (there must be evidence of visits).
Step 2. The veterinarian must have a business relationship with the nearby feed stores. (Get up-to-date on the feed products available)
•    There are many feed stores and chances are the veterinarians do NOT have that relationship established.
•    This step may require the steepest learning curve.
Step 3. The veterinarian should know and work in collaboration with the area's nutritionists.
•    Nutritionists know antibiotics and have traditionally used them.
•    If the antibiotics they are used to using fall under the directive, they will need to establish a relationship with the veterinarian.
Step 4. The veterinarian will write the VFD.
•    The client will call their veterinarian and request a VFD antibiotic.
•    The veterinarian, assuming there's a valid VCPR, then writes the VFD identifying the specific antibiotic, the dosage for the prevention, control or treatment of the disease identified as the problem, and the expiration date.
•    The federal government won't provide the actual paperwork, but they will provide the template that all can use.
•    The veterinarian retains the original VFD form and sends one copy to the client's feed distributer and another copy to the client.
•    The FDA states that feed store and client copies may be hand delivered, emailed, faxed or mailed.
•    Feed purchased under a VFD can only be fed while the VFD is active.
•    If one VFD antibiotic proves ineffective, the veterinarian may cancel it and write a new VFD for a different antibiotic.
Information provided by BeefVet, Business Strategies for Modern Practices, Spring & Summer 2016

 Contact State Veterinarian, Dr. Barry Pittman for more information: (801) 538-7164 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Guidance for Industry

Small Entity Compliance Guide
Veterinary Feed Directive Regulation
Questions and Answers 

Access document here


 Guidance for Industry

Ensuring Safety of Animal Feed
Maintained and Fed On-Farm

 Access Document here



A recent Utah State University article
describing the upcoming Veterinary Feed Directive


New regulations for drugs used in animal feed go into effect January 1, 2017, and will bring changes for veterinarians, animal producers, feed mills and feed distributors. According to information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, the objective is to protect public health, both human and animal, and keep unnecessary drugs out of meat and animal products.

Exactly what the FDA’s new Veterinary Feed Directive will mean in practice is still being clarified, but Utah State University Extension veterinarians are tracking the process and preparing to provide training for animal producers and veterinarians throughout the state in late summer and early fall.

In short, a number of animal drugs and medicated feeds that are currently sold over the counter will not be available without a veterinary feed order/prescription. The new rules will apply to drugs used in or on feed, not those administered by injection or other methods.

“My worry is that come January a producer will go to a feed store and not be able to obtain medicated feed that they have always used,” said Kerry Rood, associate professor of animal science and Extension veterinarian. “We are waiting for the FDA to clarify several points and for feed drug manufactures to get their revised labels through that approval process so we can provide accurate information.”

In addition to meetings for producers and veterinarians, Rood and colleagues David Wilson, associate professor and Extension veterinary dairy specialist, Allen Young, associate professor and Extension dairy specialist, and David Frame, associate professor and Extension avian veterinary/poultry specialist, will train USU Extension faculty throughout the state so they will be prepared to assist people in their counties.
Companies that produce animal drugs must work through a process of altering their drug labels and submitting them for FDA approval. At press time, just two medicines for food animals had been approved.

“A lot of this change hinges on a veterinarian-client-patient relationship,” Rood said. “Producers must get a veterinary feed order from a licensed veterinarian and there must be a ‘valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.’ It’s a relationship such that a vet can confidently diagnose, prescribe and treat animals. Does it mean I have to have been on your farm in the past month? The past six months? That I’ve seen every one of your animals in a certain period? What it means is still being clarified.

Rood said large production operations have veterinarians on staff who will know the new regulations, but smaller operators including many farmers, ranchers, small acreage farmers, people who keep a few chickens, backyard beekeepers and those in the business of raising and selling game birds do not and may have limited access to veterinarians because of shortages of veterinarians in rural areas or find the veterinarians do not have expertise with certain species of animals.

To assist producers and veterinarians as more details of the feed directive are clarified, USU Extension is creating a website where dates of upcoming seminars, fact sheets, links to FDA publications and other information will be posted as it becomes available. Please visit vetfeed.usu.edu in the coming months for more information.


By: Lynnette Harris

Utah State University
College of Agriculture and Applied Science





posted: September 8, 2016


Utah Pollinator Week Celebrated June 20-26
Utahns Urged to Plant Pollinator Friendly Flowers – Free Seeds Offered at Wheeler Farm Event
6351 South 900 East Murray, UT 84121

(Salt Lake City)  Helping Utah’s bee population is as easy as planting a flower garden.  That’s the message from three organizations dedicated to protecting bees and our food supply.  The USDA - Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), and USU Extension Service feature programs that encourage consumers and larger landowners to plant pollinator friendly flower species.  The flowers help extend the bees’ pollen foraging season before and after the summer months.  Malnourished honeybees tend to have weakened immune systems which make them more susceptible to pests, diseases and pesticide exposure.

     “The health of our food supply is linked to the health of our pollinators,” said LuAnn Adams, commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  “Because as much as 30 percent of agriculture depends on pollination, we are dedicated to helping protect our pollinators,” She added.

     USDA Research also shows wild native bees, which number about 900 species in Utah, contribute to crop pollination on farms where their habitat needs are met. This is why NRCS Utah works with partners and local producers to create and support pollinator habitat in the “Beehive State” through programs outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill.

    “Pollinators are an important part of a healthy agricultural and natural landscape,” said Dave Brown, state conservationist for NRCS in Utah. “Our goal is to help local farmers and ranchers meet their agricultural goals while conserving natural resources, and one of the ways we do that is by encouraging practices that develop habitat for native and managed pollinators.”

    In San Juan County, for example, NRCS Utah has teamed with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide technical assistance on more than 34,000 acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land that incorporate pollinator habitat features.

  National Strategy to Protect Honey Bees

     The UDAF’s Honey Bee Program is participating in the national strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators by developing a Managed Pollinator Protection Plan (MP3). The goal of the plan is to protect honey bees from pesticide poisoning, promote honey bee forage resources and improve overall pollinator health.  Access the MP3 plan and other information at: http://1.usa.gov/1YpthT9

Flower Seeds Available

     You don’t have to be a beekeeper to help Utah’s bee population.  In conjunction with Pollinator Week, the three agencies will give away a limited supply of pollinator friendly flower seeds during a demonstration at Wheeler Farm Monday, June 20th at 11:30 a.m.  In addition, Governor Herbert has declared June 20 – 26, 2016 as Pollinator Week in Utah.
      Growing pollinator friendly flowers is one way the public can help Utah’s bee population. The UDAF will also have a limited supply of free flower seed packets at its office at 350 North Redwood Rd., Salt Lake City - (801) 538-7104.

Contact: Larry Lewis (801) 538-7104
Cell (801) 514-2152
Rey Leal, USDA-NRCS (801) 538-7150
Kati Wagner USU Extension (801) 201-2822






posted: June 20, 2016