During the last legislative session a law was passed that the Governorâ€™s Office of Economic Development (GOED) hold a public meeting and collect data about Utah residentsâ€™ positions on Daylight Saving Time (DST). GOED is requesting input from any and all agricultural producers and producer groups interested in expressing an opinion on this issue. This is your chance to have your voice heard.
There are two ways you can provide input. A website has been set up with information on how individuals and organizations may make comments and state positions. http://business.utah.gov/time. A public meeting will also be held in Salt Lake City to discuss Daylight Saving Time on July 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Clark Planetarium (110 South 400 West, SLC, UT 84101). The following three possibilities for DST will be explored through the website and the forums:
Retain existing â€œspring forwardâ€ and â€œfall backâ€ time as currently followed in Utah
Align with Arizona on Mountain Standard Time (fall time) for all 12 months of the year
Create a new daylight saving time, i.e. spring forward for all 12 months of the year
The UDAF encourages all interested parties to participate in this process.
Utah's Own TV Spot Hits the Airwaves
Our Utah's Own Program that promotes the benefits of buying locally produced foods has a new :30 TV commercial. The spot is airing on Channel 4 on Sunday mornings at 8:30 on the public affairs show, "The County Seat".
The commercial features a Utah's Own dairy farmer, Grant Kohler of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese; Fernando Chaves, of Goldcreek Cheese; Russ Kohler of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, Jeff Stagg, Beehive Cheese; and consumer Tara Summers and children at the Farmington, Utah Harmons grocery store.
The simple message of the spot is to show consumers where our Utah's Own products come from, and how the local small companies take pride in providing a quality product for Utah consumers.
The search for the Velvet Longhorn beetle (VLB) in Utah County continues this summer. It has long been thought that VLB only laid eggs in dying trees but new evidence suggests that they attack vigorous trees too. If this is true, it could have a profound effect on Utahâ€™s orchard industry. UDAF, in conjunction with USDA-APHIS, USU and Utah fruit growers, has placed traps on healthy fruit trees that were designed to catch VLB emerging from the bark. The traps are made from wire mesh wrapped around the branches of potential hosts. UDAF hopes that the traps lead to a better understanding of the VLB lifecycle and its ability to attack healthy trees. The cooperation of private industry, academia and government agencies has been critical to the success of this project.
Animal Disease Computer Information System Nears Completion
At the end of 2014, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will have in place an Animal Disease Traceability computer program. The main goal of the Animal Industry Computer Information System (AICIS) is to be able to track the movement of animals more accurately.
By doing so, we enhance our ability to:
* Protect the animal population from disease.
* Support the producers / markets / ranchers by facilitating the export and marketability of Utah products.
* Protect the livestock industry from disease loss.
* Ensure movement of livestock in and out of state is conducted in accordance with Utah and federal laws.
* Protect the public from disease of animal origin (zoonosis).
* Meet Federal Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) Standards.
The Animal Industry division of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) will gain the following benefits by implementing AICIS:
* A single source of data â€“ no duplication of information.
* A searchable database that permits the lookup, query, and reporting of any information in the data repository.
* Reduced cost, increased processing speed, and reduced errors of animal data.
* Increased efficiency that will help us meet the needs of the general public, veterinarians and our animal production partners.
An exciting part of the new computer system is the ability to complete Brand Inspections electronically - instead of using paper. This capability will be used initially by our full-time Livestock Inspectors. Using a tablet computer, the Livestock Inspector will be able to conduct an inspection onsite and have information such as an animal's brand, premise id and owner information sent directly to AICIS in real-time. In addition, the system will be able to take photos of an animal's brand, calculate inspection fees and print certificates for the livestock owner.
Emery County Weed Warriors Fight Russian Olive; Featured on County Seat TV Show
Producers of The County Seat television show focused their June 22nd show on Utah's war against weeds and the Invasive Species Mitigation (ISM) Fund. This is not the first time the show has interviewed Plant Industry and Conservation Division Director, Robert Hougaard, about ISM, but this time the local focus was on Emery County and Russian Olive tree removal. This is a unique, interesting project, because the invasive species is a full size tree. The half hour show includes a summary of the project, shot during a recent tour of the area, and a roundtable discussion with Hougaard, and two local weed experts. Watch the episode.