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UDAF Announces the 2024 Food Safety Conference

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is proud to announce Utah’s 3rd Annual Food Safety Conference hosted April 16 – 17, 2024 at the Show Barn at Thanksgiving Point. The conference will be held from 8:00 to 5:00 each day.

“This conference is a great opportunity for those in academia, agriculture, food manufacturing and producing, public health, retailers, or anyone who is interested in food safety to come and learn about best practices, food borne illness outbreaks, and overall safety in food production and manufacturing.” said Travis Waller, UDAF Regulatory Division Director.

Speaking at this year’s conference is Dr. Darin Detwiler L. P. D. Dr. Detwiler is a nationally recognized leader in the food regulatory industry and academia, with over 25 years of consultation for industry, government, and non-governmental organizations.

Additional topics that will be covered at the conference include active managerial control, foodborne illness outbreaks, manufacturing and retail food safety, farm and produce production, dairy and egg Processing, and food distribution and challenges within the food supply chain.

For more information on the conference and to register, visit the registration website. Registration will be open throughout the duration of the conference. Media are invited to attend and media passes can be arranged.

UDAF Releases 2023 Utah Medical Cannabis Market Analysis 

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) Medical Cannabis program has released the 2023 Utah medical cannabis market analysis to estimate patient demand and medical cannabis availability throughout the state. The market analysis was completed by a third-party reviewer, Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (CPPC), to ensure a fair and accurate analysis.

“A market analysis is completed every year to evaluate whether or not the Utah Medical  Cannabis program is fulfilling its duty to ensure that medical cannabis patients have adequate  access to the medicine they need,” said Dr. Brandon Forsyth, UDAF Director of Industrial Hemp and Medical Cannabis. “I am proud to see that overall, patients are able to legally access their  medication within the state at a reasonable cost compared to other medical cannabis markets.  However, we can clearly see that additional efforts are needed to bring more Utahns into the Medical Cannabis program from illicit sources.”

The CPPC surveyed 197 participants who are currently or had previously been enrolled in the Utah medical cannabis program. 

Highlights from the market analysis: 

  • Utah’s medical cannabis patients pay less for medication, falling in the bottom ten states for amount paid monthly on cannabis 
  • 58% of patients reported there was plenty of supply of medical cannabis products
  • 74.5% of patients did not feel the need to travel outside of the state to get the medical  cannabis products they need 

Areas of concern from market analysis: 

  • 41% of patients reported having a limited or very limited supply of medical cannabis products they wanted to purchase 
  • 25% of patients are still traveling outside of Utah to get cannabis products due to cost
  • 59% of cannabis products were acquired from illicit sources rather than regulated pharmacies 

The main goal of the Utah medical cannabis program is to ensure patients have access to a  safe medical product. The program will continue to work to address the issues brought up in this analysis to make sure patients no longer feel the need to get their medical cannabis from illicit and unsafe sources. 

For more information on the Utah medical cannabis program, visit

UDAF Seeks Public Comment for $1 Million Utah Food Security Processing Grant

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is seeking public comment to help determine priorities for the $1 million Utah Food Security Processing grant (UFSPG). The purpose of the UFSPG is to increase in-state processing and storage capacity for locally produced agricultural products to strengthen local supply chain resiliency.

UDAF is seeking public comment to help determine priorities for the 2024 application period of the Utah Food Security Processing Grant through a brief online survey. The survey can be found at and will be open through April 15, 2024.

“Utah has severe processing deficits for local agricultural products,” said UDAF Commissioner Craig Buttars. “Supporting the development of processing infrastructure is key to the long-term viability of the state’s agricultural producers and ensuring consumers have access to nutritious local products. This program has made immense impacts to the state’s food supply chain and we are grateful for the continued support of the State Legislature.”

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 funding 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 80%
• A Weber County processor increased production by over 800 beef and 300 pigs
• A Utah County produce processor increased freezer storage capacity by 900%

The 2024 UFSPG will open May 1-31, 2024. If you are interested in joining the review committee for this or other grants, please contact Allison Ross at For more information visit

UDAF Issues Restrictions on Dairy Cattle Importation Due to Emerging Cattle Disease

Officials with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will be implementing increased restrictions to protect the health of Utah dairy herds. Starting immediately, March 26, 2023, and for the next 30 days, Certificates of Veterinary Inspection issued for the importation of lactating dairy cattle from Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, and other states affected with the emerging cattle disease, must be issued within seven days of transport. Certificates must also include a statement that there have been no signs of the emerging cattle disease in the herd.

Cattle impacted by this disease are primarily older cows in mid-lactation, while dry cows (non-milk producing), heifers, and calves do not appear to be affected. Symptoms of this disease include:

• Decreased milk production
• A sudden sharp drop in production with some severely impacted cows experiencing
thicker, concentrated, colostrum-like milk
• A decrease in feed consumption
• Abnormal tacky or loose feces
• Low-grade fever

The USDA has announced that four herds affected by the emerging cattle disease have had detections of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus. This virus is the same strain that has been circulating in wild birds in North America and affecting domestic poultry since 2022. It is unknown at this time if this is the only contributing cause of the cattle illness. Additional testing is being conducted on other suspect dairies to gather additional data.

There is no known risk to public health. Under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, abnormal milk is not allowed to be sold for human consumption. In addition, all animals presented for slaughter receive a thorough examination to ensure that only safe and wholesome products enter the food chain.

Utah veterinarians who suspect cases of this emerging disease should immediately report it to
the state veterinarian’s office at 801-982-2235 or

UDAF Issues Statement on Texas Cattle Disease

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has been made aware of several cases of an unusual disease in dairy cattle in Texas. UDAF is monitoring the situation and is working with our cattle industry groups to provide accurate information to producers and veterinarians. There are no restrictions on cattle imports from Texas at this time.

The cause of this disease has not been determined, but, to date, dairies in Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico have reported cattle with the same or similar symptoms. This disease has only affected dairy cattle so far. Symptoms of this disease include a sudden drop in milk production, thickened colostrum-like milk, a drop in feed consumption, reduced rumen motility, tacky feces or diarrhea, and some fever. Some cows also developed pneumonia or mastitis. Older cows appear to be the most severely affected, while dry cows and heifers (non-milk producing) do not appear to be affected. Instances of death in these cattle have been rare.

The Texas Animal Health Commission is working with the Texas A&M Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, producers, veterinarians, and the USDA to determine the cause of the disease. Livestock producers should practice good biosecurity to avoid introducing diseases to their cattle. Biosecurity guidelines can be found for dairy cattle at and for beef cattle at Producers should also work with their veterinarian on a herd health and vaccination program.

There is no known risk to public health. Under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, abnormal milk is not allowed to be sold for human consumption. In addition, all animals presented for slaughter receive a thorough examination to ensure that only safe and wholesome products enter the food chain.

Utah livestock producers or veterinarians with suspected cases of this disease should report them to the Utah State Veterinarian’s office at (801) 982-2235 or