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UDAF Announces LeRay McAllister Working Farm and Ranch Fund Grant Application Period

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is pleased to announce the opening of the LeRay McAllister Working Farm and Ranch Fund grant application period that opens on June 1, 2023.

“Agricultural land preservation is a top priority for UDAF,” said Commissioner Craig Buttars. “The LeRay McAllister Working Farm and Ranch Fund is how our department is working to accomplish this priority by providing avenues for farmers and ranchers to preserve their land.”

Formerly known as the LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Fund, the Fund works to preserve or restore critical agricultural land in Utah by purchasing development rights on these critical lands. This allows farmers and ranchers to continue to utilize their land for agriculture and secures Utah’s local food security. This program also helps maintain open space, which benefits wildlife and keeps Utah’s landscape open and beautiful.

The 2023 grant application period for this fund will open on June 1, 2023 and pre-applications are due by June 30, 2023. Interested landowners must partner with an eligible applicant, such as one of Utah’s counties, cities, or towns; the Utah Department of Natural Resources or other Utah state agencies; and/or 501(c)(3) charitable organizations such as a land trust. Matching funds from another source are required.

For more information or questions about the Fund, individuals may visit or they can contact the Fund manager, Jeremy Christensen at or 385.441.4106.

UDAF Issues Statement Regarding the Utah Firewood Quarantine

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is issuing the following statement regarding the importation and movement of firewood into the state and regarding the Utah Firewood Quarantine.

“As camping season is upon us, UDAF is urging the public to be aware of the current quarantine of the movement of firewood into Utah from out of state,” said Kristopher Watson, State Entomologist. “Firewood brought in from out of state is one of the main pathways of invasive pests that we are working hard to keep out of the state, including Emerald Ash Bore, Spongy Moth, and the Asian Longhorn Beatle. These pests destroy trees and landscapes in areas they inhabit. Please help us keep our natural habitats healthy and free from these pests by ‘buying it where you burn it’.”

Some helpful tips for preventing the spread of these invasive species are:

  • Buy firewood near where you will burn it- a good rule of thumb is only using wood that was cut within 10 miles of where you’ll have your fire, 50 miles if necessary. Regulations vary in each state, so visit our Firewood Map to learn more.
  • Check for labels with state of origin information before purchasing firewood.
  • Some states list their firewood vendors on Firewood Scout, to make finding local firewood easier for everyone. Check their site to see if your state is included!
  • Wood that looks clean and healthy can still have tiny insect eggs, or microscopic fungi spores, that have the potential of starting new and deadly infestations. Always leave your backyard firewood at home, even if you think it looks fine.
  • Aged or seasoned wood is still not safe. Just because it is dry doesn’t mean that bugs can’t crawl onto it- and some insects can take several years to mature inside the wood.
  • Tell your friends not to bring wood with them- everyone needs to know that they should not move firewood.

UDAF is working closely with the Utah Department of Natural Resources and other state and national park management agencies to help monitor for invasive pests and educate the public about the firewood quarantine. For more information on the quarantine and other resources, visit

Agriculture Survey Responses Needed

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is concerned for Utah’s farmers and ranchers in light of the harsh winter, snowy spring, and flooding. We are actively working to get relief aid.

Next week Governor Cox is calling a special legislative session to address these issues and we need your help. Please take a minute to:

  • Spread this message to any and all of your friends in agriculture
  • Fill out the following survey ( to contribute critical data

Rich County Ranchers Devastated by Extreme Flooding

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has received reports of extreme flooding in Rich County along the Bear River causing devastation for ranchers and their livestock.


“After many difficult years of drought and an extremely hard winter, these ranchers are now experiencing some of the worst flooding ever seen in Rich County,” said UDAF Commissioner, Craig Buttars. “Our department is working to do everything we can to help these ranchers and set up resources for others who may experience hardships due to flooding.”


UDAF officials estimate that 20-30 ranches along the Bear River have been impacted by flooding. As a result of this emergency, cattle have been evacuated to avoid the rising waters. These ranchers are expected to incur additional feed costs of $18,000-$25,000 per ranch and transportation costs of $2,500-$5,000 to relocate cattle. Additional costs have been incurred to divert water and create high ground for cattle to stand on. Unfortunately, some cattle have been lost. UDAF has not yet determined the total number of cattle lost.

UDAF officials are working closely with the ranchers in Rich County and the Department of Emergency Management to address these emerging concerns. More information on additional resources is expected by Friday, May 5th.  


UDAF Seeking Applicants for 2023 Food Security Processing Grant

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is now accepting applications for the Utah Food Security Processing Grant program. During the 2023 General Session, UDAF was appropriated $1,000,000 by the Utah Legislature for the second year to provide grants to small meat, poultry, and fruit and vegetable processors to make immediate impacts to processing capacity to improve local food security.


“UDAF recognizes the great importance of having a secure food supply for the people of Utah,” said Craig Buttars, UDAF Commissioner. “In order to ensure food security in our state, it is imperative that we encourage an increase of food processing. We are proud to continue to provide this grant another year to continue to improve Utah’s food security.”


UDAF is seeking applicants with fewer than 100 employees who plan to expand an existing facility to increase their processing capacity to meet current demand, protect the security of the food supply, and help ensure more Utah-produced food is processed in-state. This program will reimburse processors for a portion of expenses to expand and improve existing facilities. Grant amounts will be dependent on the total amount of eligible applications received and approved with a maximum grant award of $200,000. $1,000,000 of grant funding is currently available for this program.  Applications are due May 31, 2023 and grant recipients will be announced by June 26, 2023.

Interested applicants can find more information and the application by visiting