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UDAF Gets Animated: Agriculture Water Use in Utah

Utah has to be conscious of its water supply – it is one of the driest states in the nation, after all. Many of us know that Utah’s water supply mostly comes from melted snowpack, but how much do we actually use every year?

The average annual precipitation in Utah is 61,348,000 acre feet. For reference, one acre foot equals 325,851 gallons of water. That’s enough water to fill about two-thirds of an Olympic swimming pool. On average, we divert about 4.8 million acre feet for human use, which is almost 8% of that total precipitation. That means 92%, or 56.9 million acre feet, stays in nature!

Learn more about agriculture water use here in Utah, and have some fun, watch our newest animated episode below!

To watch all of our animated episodes, click here.


 

FDA Consumer Advisory: Diamond Shruumz-Brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars

The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with America’s Poison Centers and state and local partners, are investigating a series of illnesses associated with eating Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars.  

As of June 7, 2024, a total of eight illnesses have been reported from four states including AZ (4), IN (2), NV (1), and PA (1). All eight people have reported seeking medical care; six have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. FDA is working to determine the cause of these illnesses and is considering the appropriate next steps. 

Product:

All flavors of Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars

Symptoms: 

People who become ill after eating Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars reported a variety of severe symptoms including seizures, central nervous system depression (loss of consciousness, confusion sleepiness), agitation, abnormal heart rates, hyper/hypotension, nausea, and vomiting.  

Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars can be purchased online and in person at a variety of retail locations nationwide including smoke/vape shops, and at retailers that sell hemp-derived products such as cannabidiol (CBD) or delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC).  The full list of retailers is currently unknown, and FDA recommends that people do not purchase or consume any flavor of Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars from any retail or online locations at this time.  

Recommendations: 

  • Consumers should not eat, sell, or serve any flavor of Diamond-Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars, and should discard them.  

  • Consumers should check their homes and discard these products if found.  

  • This product may appeal to children and teenagers as it is marketed as candy.  Parents and caregivers should consider discussing the information in this advisory with their children and take extra care to avoid this product being consumed by younger people.  

  • Retailers should not sell or distribute Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars and should hold the product in a secure location until additional instructions can be provided on how to return or safely dispose of the product.  

  • If you become ill after consuming these chocolate bars, please contact your health care provider and/or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222. Let them know you have recently consumed the Diamond Shruumz-brand Microdosing Chocolate Bars. 

  • Healthcare providers should report these illnesses to their local health department and/or the Poison Help Line. 


 

New Information Concerning Dairy Cattle and Avian Influenza

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Dairy Cattle:

  • Early 2024- An unknown milk drop syndrome was identified in adult, mid- to late-lactation dairy cattle in the Texas panhandle area, and later affected dairies in Kansas and New Mexico.
  • March 25, 2024 – Cattle on a Texas dairy were confirmed with the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus that has been circulating in poultry and wild birds in the United States since 2022.  Since then, numerous dairies across many states have tested positive for HPAI.
  • Infected animals show a severe drop in rumination, feed intake, and milk production. Milk appears thick, discolored, and clumpy. Unlike other species affected by HPAI, dairy cattle do not die, but recover in health and some milk production over the course of weeks.
  • It appears that all the cases in dairy have spread from 1 initially infected farm. The route of spread could be via milk, animal movement (even those that are not showing illness), people and equipment.
  • April 24, 2024 – USDA issued a federal order stating that milk from lactating dairy cattle must test negative for HPAI before those cows cross state lines.

Click here to learn more here.

UDAF Announces Local Soil Health Workshop Grant

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is pleased to announce the opening of the Local Soil Health Workshop Grant. The Soil Health Advisory Committee has been awarded $30,000 of federal funds under the Agricultural Soil Health Outreach Project (AgSHOP) to support various organizations in planning workshops and educational events that spread awareness about soil health and regenerative farming principles and practices. The grant is meant to increase opportunities for Utah agricultural producers and professionals to learn about regenerative farming practices and build local networks of soil health-focused individuals.


“We at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food hope that this grant gives more people access to soil health learning opportunities,” said UDAF Commissioner Craig Buttars. “This grant will assist our programs to empower local resources to develop strong programs and communities of their own to better support individuals. We look forward to the events that will be supported under this grant.”


The Local Soil Health Workshop grant under AgSHOP will be distributed in increments between a minimum of $1,500 and a $10,000 maximum to directly support planning individual or multiple events in Utah that pertain to soil health and soil health education in 2025. The purpose of the grant is to enable new events or to significantly expand the scope of existing events. Eligible organizations include those that work with agriculture producers in Utah, those with the capacity and experience to host quality events, and/or those with grant management experience.


“The AgSHOP project is an amazing opportunity for Utah and the surrounding region to promote soil health principles and practices through regional and local knowledge sharing by bringing together our soil health champion farmers who are implementing these principles in our own backyard,” said Tony Richards, Soil Health Program Manager. “This funding will allow our local partners to host high quality localized events around soil health in communities throughout the state.”


UDAF is dedicated to increasing awareness and adoption of practices that encourage healthy soils and improve the state of Utah farmland and rangeland. A number of factors will be considered when awarding funds, including but not limited to number of events, expected attendance, partner involvement, previous experience, and willingness to engage in soil health localization efforts. New or expanding events will be prioritized in the application process.

The grant application window will open from May 6th, 2024 and will close on June 14th, 2024.
To apply, visit https://udafgrants.utah.gov/submit or contact [email protected] for
more information.

The AgSHOP project is part of efforts of the Utah Soil Health Partnership, Working Together to Improve Utah’s Soils, visit www.utahsoilhealth.org and ag.utah.gov/farmers/conservation-division/soil-health-program to learn more.


UDAF Announces $1 Million 2024 Utah Food Security Processing Grant

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has $1,000,000 available for local food and agriculture businesses through the Utah Food Security Processing Grant (UFSPG). This grant aims to increase the security of Utah’s food supply chain by increasing the in-state processing of agricultural products grown and raised in Utah.


“We are excited to be able to provide this much needed grant for a third year,” said Craig Buttars, UDAF Commissioner. “We have seen huge success from the last two funding periods and know that this grant is making a positive difference in Utah’s food security.” 


The UFSPG program was created in 2022 with an initial one-time $1 million investment by the State Legislature; the success of the program was continued with two additional $1 million appropriations during the 2023 and 2024 legislative sessions. During the program’s first two years, $2 million in grant awards ranging from $1,900-$150k was awarded to 38 businesses across the state. This program has been highly successful, benefiting local farms and ranches, processing businesses, and consumers while reducing food waste and transportation costs.

Highlights of past funding rounds include:

  • A Wasatch County cheesemaker increased their processing capacity by 1,000lbs/week
  • A Rich County produce processor increased their production by 200%
  • A Utah County produce processor increased their packing capacity by 80%
  • A Weber County processor increased their production by over 800 beef and 300 pigs annually
  • A Utah County produce processor increased their freezer storage capacity by 900%

This year, grant awards will be capped at $200,000. There is no minimum award, and $20,000 will be held for microgrants of $5,000 or less. At least $500,000 will be awarded to meat and poultry businesses. Eligible entities include for-profit, non-profit, producer co-op, and state and local governments. All grant-funded activities must result in the sale of processed products; ineligible activities include homesteading, research, land purchases, and payroll, among others.

The application opened on May 1st, and will close on May 31, 2024 at 11:59pm. For more information, and for the link to apply, please visit ag.utah.gov/foodsecuritygrant or email [email protected].