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UDAF Announces Disaster Relief Fund

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has received funds for an Emergency Disaster Relief (EDR) loan program to aid Utah’s farmers and ranchers who have been negatively affected by the extreme drought conditions. 

“Utah’s current extreme and prolonged drought conditions have been devastating for our agricultural producers,” Gov. Cox said. “These farmers and ranchers need real solutions and we are committed to helping in every way we can. Authorizing money from Go Utah will provide necessary aid to those who truly need it.” 

In an effort to help producers stay in business, the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) is providing $5,000,000 from the Industrial Assistance Account to fund an EDR loan program that will be administered by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food under their Agriculture Resource Development Loan (ARDL) Program. Eligible agricultural producers can apply for EDR loans of up to $100,000 to help reimburse financial and other losses they have experienced due to the drought, such feed costs or loss of livestock. The seven year loans will be interest-free for the first two years and will not require collateral from the agricultural producer. 

“This year has hit Utah’s farmers and ranchers hard,” said Craig Buttars, UDAF Commissioner. “We are hopeful that these loans will be a financial bridge that will allow producers to keep their operations going so that they will continue to benefit not only Utah’s rural economies but all Utahns who enjoy local agricultural products. I would like to thank Governor Cox and his team for their support in making this relief possible.” 

Applications will be accepted September 13, 2021 – April 1, 2022 or until funds are depleted. To learn more about the EDR loans and to apply, click here.

UDAF Celebrates Agency’s Centennial at Interactive Utah State Fair Exhibit

In celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Utah Department of  Agriculture and Food (UDAF), UDAF will be hosting an interactive butter making exhibit at the  Utah State Fair. Through this exhibit, the Department will invite fair visitors to learn more about  the farm-to-fork process and UDAF’s role in the food production process.  

“Events like this are a great opportunity to connect families and children and to learn more about what it takes for food to make its way from the farm to your dinner table. We hope that you’ll join us in celebrating this milestone and learning more about the Department’s role in the everyday lives of all Utahns.” Says UDAF Commissioner Craig Buttars.“  

The Department recognizes the important role of agriculture in the state’s heritage as well as its importance in the state’s future; educational events like this help UDAF fulfill its mission as a state agency to promote the healthy grown of Utah agriculture.  

The Utah State Fair will be held September 9-19 at the Utah State Fairpark.  A map of the Utah State Fairpark can be found here and fair hours can be found here. The UDAF exhibit will be located next to the Wildlife Building on the south side of the park.

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Utah Horses

***Horse Owners Should Contact Veterinarian Immediately if Infection is Suspected


As of September 7, 2021, nine cases of West Nile virus (WNV)  have been confirmed in horses in Utah this year. Weber County has had seven cases  and there has been one case each in Salt Lake and Box Elder counties. At least six humans and seven birds have also tested positive for the disease. The Utah Department of Health has reported the highest number of positive mosquito pools ever  seen in Utah. 

According to Dr. Dean Taylor, Utah State Veterinarian, “Vaccines against West Nile virus and other neurologic diseases are readily available from your veterinarian. Every owner should discuss vaccinations with their veterinarian in the spring before mosquito season.” Owners can also protect their horses by using insect repellants, fans and screens and eliminating stagnant water sources where mosquitoes breed. 

West Nile virus is carried by mosquitoes and can cause disease in humans, birds, horses and some other mammals. Horses become infected with WNV through mosquito bites; unlike many other diseases, infected horses do not spread the infection to other  horses or people. Signs of WNV include loss of appetite, depression, fever, and neurologic signs like stumbling, circling and weakness. The disease can cause long term neurologic problems or even death. Horse owners who suspect WNV should contact their veterinarian immediately.

For more information on WNV in Utah, visit https://epi.health.utah.gov/west-nile-virus/.

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UDAF Offers Free Pesticide Collection and Disposal

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is offering two free pesticide waste collection events in Green River and Roosevelt, Utah this October. These events are open to the public as well as producers and licensed professionals and are for pesticides only; no other waste products will be accepted. Pesticides are substances intended to control pests and include insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, antimicrobials, fungicides, and larvicides.

Dates and Locations:

Roosevelt
October 7, 2021 — 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Roosevelt UDOT Maintenance Station
400 West US Hwy 40, Roosevelt, UT 84066
Green River
October 21, 2021 — 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Green River UDOT Maintenance Station
225 Main Street, Green River, UT 84525

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Taken at last year’s waste collection event.

Last year, 10.5 tons of potentially hazardous waste pesticides were collected and disposed of properly. Waste pesticides include products that are expired, degraded, banned by EPA or otherwise considered unusable. Improper storage and disposal of pesticides is a serious environmental and public health concern. These collection and disposal events are conducted in partnership with the Utah Department of Transportation and Clean Harbors Environmental.

“These events are a great service UDAF provides at no cost to protect our communities. We encourage Utah’s farmers and pesticide professionals to take advantage of these free collection opportunities.” — UDAF Pesticide Program Manager Henry Nahalewski.

Registration is recommended, but not required. Find more information and register online at: https://ag.utah.gov/pesticidedisposal.

 

 

UDAF Announces New Utah Cannabis Production Establishment Licensing Advisory Board Members

Senate Bill 192 Medical Cannabis Act Amendments, signed into law March 2021, requires the commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to appoint five members to the new Cannabis Production Establishment Licensing Advisory Board; this must include a member of the public, a member with knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical or nutraceutical manufacturing industry, a law enforcement representative, a member of an organization representing medical cannabis patients, a chemist who has experience with cannabis and who is associated with a research university, and the commissioner or commissioner’s designee as a non-voting member (4-41a-201).

Board members were appointed by Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Commissioner Craig W Buttars and underwent Ethics, GRAMA, and Public Meetings Acts Training on June 7 , 2021. Newly appointed board members include:

● Miles Maynes – member of the public
● Edward Bellmar Walker – Chemist at Weber State
● Kevin Potter – Law Enforcement Representative
● Joshua Alden Daniels – Patient Representative

UDAF is still looking for one member with knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical or nutraceutical manufacturing industry. Qualified applicants should email cannabis@utah.gov for more information on how to become a board member.