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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 [email protected].


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 securemilksupply.org and for beef cattle at securebeef.org. 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 [email protected].


Happy National Agriculture Day!

National Ag Day was created in 1973 to increase public awareness and understanding of the role of agriculture in our everyday lives. Each year on March 19, we celebrate the importance of agriculture and help people develop a greater appreciation and connection to our local farmers and ranchers.

National Ag Day is all about raising awareness of agriculture‘s vital role in our society. The goal of National Ag Day is simple – we believe every citizen should:

  • Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
  • Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
  • Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

From all of us at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to you, happy National Ag Day!!


Watch our new 2024 Ag Day video here:

UDAF Seeking Specialty Crop Block Grant Proposals

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is seeking grant proposals for the 2024 Specialty Crop Block Grant. A total of $342,390 will be awarded through a competitive grant process. Each proposal may request up to $70,000.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is a competitive grant program operated by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to administer federal funds from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Since 2020, UDAF has awarded over $1.8 million in SCBG funds. This grant is open to producers, private businesses, schools, trade associations, non-profits, farming and ranching co-ops, etc. headquartered in Utah. This funding is available for projects designed to enhance the competitiveness of Utah-grown specialty crops which include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and horticulture and nursery crops; a full list of specialty crops is available here.

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 “Utah has a diverse and economically significant specialty crop industry. Utah is the nation’s second leading producer of tart cherries and climate produces some of the most desirable stone fruit in the nation,” said Craig Buttars, UDAF Commissioner. “The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is proud to administer this grant program and looks forward to innovative developments in the state’s specialty crop industries.” 

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Applications for grant funds should describe how the project potentially affects and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. This year, UDAF’s priorities will be projects that are designed to enhance the competitiveness of Utah-grown specialty crops by (1) leveraging efforts to market & promote specialty crops; (2) assisting producers with research & development relevant to specialty crops; (3) expanding availability & access to specialty crops; and (4) addressing local, regional, & national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

The application window will be open until April 5, 2024 at 11:59pm. Selected project duration will be September 30, 2024 through September 29, 2027.  For more information, contact Allison Ross at [email protected] or visit ag.utah.gov/specialty-crop-block-grant-program.


UDAF Requests Public Comment for Upcoming Specialty Crop Block Grant Application Cycle

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is seeking public  comment for the upcoming Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) application cycle,  which will be open from February 26 – April 5, 2024. The SCBGP is a competitive grant program  operated by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to administer federal funds from the  USDA Agricultural Marketing Service; this grant is open to farmers, private businesses, schools,  trade associations, non-profits, farming and ranching co-ops, etc. headquartered in Utah.  Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, and nursery  crops (including floriculture). 

In 2024, $342,390 will be awarded for projects designed to enhance the competitiveness of  Utah-grown specialty crops by (1) leveraging efforts to market & promote specialty crops; (2)  assisting producers with research & development relevant to specialty crops; (3) expanding  availability & access to specialty crops; and (4) addressing local, regional, & national challenges  confronting specialty crop producers.  

UDAF is requesting public input on the following issues impacting Utah’s specialty crop industry  for this year’s application cycle. This input will help shape the ranking and rating criteria  priorities to maximize benefit for Utah’s specialty crop industry.  

  • Enhancing food safety;
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (21 U.S.C. Chapter 27)
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes; 
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • Pest and disease control;
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; and
  • Sustainability.

Please submit comments by February 23, 2024 at 12pm by email to: [email protected] with the subject line “PUBLIC COMMENT.”

For more information, contact Allison Ross at [email protected] or visit: ag.utah.gov/specialty-crop-block-grant-program.