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UDAF’s Commissioner Buttars acknowledges Utah Farmers Markets for National Farmers Market Week

National Farmers Market Week is being celebrated from August 7 – 13, 2022.  In conjunction of this special week, UDAF’s Commissioner Buttars signed a proclamation to honor all of Utah’s producers and farmers that make Utah one of the top states for farmer markets.

Read the full proclamation here.

Discover all of Utah’s Farmers Markets here.



Avian Influenza Confirmed in Turkeys in Sanpete County

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) officials have confirmed a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) on a turkey farm in Sanpete County, affecting several thousand turkeys that were being raised for food.

“While we have seen a decrease in cases as we have gone into summer, avian influenza still continues to be a concern in our state,” said state veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “We urge bird owners to remain vigilant in watching for symptoms in their flocks and practicing proper biosecurity measures.”

UDAF officials were dispatched to the farm to assist with depopulation efforts and will test surrounding farms and domestic bird flocks in the affected area. At this time, the outbreak is contained to a single farm.

Symptoms of HPAI include high death loss among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If domestic birds are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact the state veterinarian’s office immediately at Early reporting and action will help to contain the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern; only one human case of this strain of HPAI has been detected in the United States. As a reminder, proper handling and cooking poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to ensure the health of their birds. USDA APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at:

UDAF Awards $25.5 Million in Water Optimization Grant Funding

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has awarded $25.5 million dollars in grant funding to 140 new recipients, including farmers and water conservancy districts, of the Agricultural Water Optimization Program. These projects were awarded from a total of 195 applications received.

“We are amazed at the response we have received from Utah’s farmers and ranchers and their eagerness to participate in the water optimization program,” said Commissioner Craig Buttars. “The large number of participants show that Utah’s agriculture community is working to be part of our water saving solution.”

The Agricultural Water Optimization program was initially funded in the 2019 Legislative Session with the purpose of reducing consumptive water use while maintaining or improving agricultural production; improving water metering to provide real-time, accurate measurements; and to improve and protect surface water and groundwater quality by reducing the overwatering of crops. Finished projects from the initial round of funding have a reported savings of 21,459 acre feet of water, equaling about 7 billion gallons of water.

During the 2022 Legislative Session, the Utah Legislature funded this program with $70 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. These 140 projects are the first to be funded from the ARPA funds. Eligible applicants can receive a 50/50 cost-share grant up to $500,000 to complete their projects; a water/irrigation management plan is required for all funded projects.

Applications for the next round of funding will be open from August 1 – 31. For more information and to learn how to apply, visit here.


Announcing the Utah Pollinator Habitat Program

Pollinators play a vital role in our agricultural industry, local economies, and overall health of our ecosystems. Unfortunately, many pollinator populations have experienced drastic declines in recent years. Population loss can be linked to several contributing factors including loss of habitat, changing climate and associated weather patterns, disease and pesticide use.

In a state-wide effort to improve our outlook and boost pollinator populations, Utah has committed to help establish and enhance pollinator habitat. Over the next three years we hope to increase the amount of available habitat across the state by putting approximately 90,000 resource plants in the ground. Native Seed Mixes will also be available for distribution to maximize our reach and effort to help local pollinators succeed. Ready-to-plant Habitat Kits and Seed Mixes will be available for qualified projects through our application process.

Learn more and how to apply here.




USDA Disaster Designation: Utah, May 23, 2022

This week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a primary agricultural disaster designation for counties in Utah.  The designated counties are listed in the attached letter to the Governor of Utah.  Additional information on USDA’s disaster assistance program, including county lists and maps, can be found, by clicking here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact USDA’s Office of Congressional Relations at (202) 720-7095.

Click here to view the designated counties: USDA Disaster Designation