Egg and poultry graders receive award, the war on weeds continues, and farmers market managers talk food safety at UDAF roundtable discussions.
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UDAF Egg and Poultry Graders Recognized by Governor

The UDAF's Egg & Poultry Grading team received Governor Herbert's Award of Excellence at a special ceremony May 6th at the Capitol.  

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Utah's War on Weeds

Emery County Weed Fighters Battle Russian Olive Trees; Featured on County Seat TV

Weeds come in all shapes and sizes, and in Emery County, two of the worst weeds are actually trees: Tamarisk and Russian Olive. Local weed supervisors started tackling the tamarisk first, but soon the Russian Olive took their place and took over.

During a recent tour of Russian Olive removal projects, Emery County officials showed off their methods of removing the often large trees and talked about their success.
Read the full story.

UDAF and Outdoor Market Operators Work Together to Make Farmers' Markets Safer

By Kelly Nelson and Tamra Watson, UDAF

Recently, UDAF Regulatory Services and Marketing (Utah’s Own) divisions partnered to host their annual outreach meeting with farmers market managers.
Three roundtable discussions were held statewide – Cedar City, Provo, and Salt Lake City – to increase collaboration between market operators and the UDAF. Market operators and regulators were encouraged to offer any feedback or concerns regarding the past outdoor market season as well as improvements for the upcoming season.
Many of the concerns voiced during the discussions – such as the need for more inspections per season, greater access to food safety training material, and improved communication between UDAF and farmers market operators and vendors – will be implemented this season.
The UDAF would like to thank the following outdoor markets for their attendance: Bountiful, BYU, Cedar City, Cedar City Year-round, Downtown Salt Lake City, Downtown Salt Lake City Tuesday Market, Gardner Village, Happy Valley, Harvest Market at Rockhill (Richmond), Heber Valley, High Desert Growers’ (Price), Kane County (Kanab), L’Oakley Community, Millcreek Community, Murray, Park Silly, Peterson Family Farms (Riverton), Provo, Richfield, South Jordan, Thanksgiving Point, University of Utah, Utah Botanical Center, Wasatch Front, Zion Harvest.
The UDAF would also like to thank Quincy Boyce & Kelly Nelson (from UDAF Regulatory Services), as well as Tamra Watson (Utah’s Own program), for their efforts in training operators statewide.
Cedar City Group Picture:
Back Row (Left to Right): Lisa Zumpft, Heather Carter, Symbria Patterson, Sarah Patterson
Middle Row (Left to Right): Qunicy Boyce, Paula Warner, Michelle Bonner
Front Row (Left to Right): Larry Bear, Janett Warner, Tamra Watson, Kelly Nelson, Randy Jenson

Provo Group Picture
Back Row: (Left to Right:) Ron Patterson, Michelle Stedman, Kevin Garver, Kathryn Allen
Front Row: Kelly Nelson, Jamie Wadley, Quincy Boyce, Tamra Watson

Ag Census Shows More Women and Younger Farmers and Ranchers

The 2012 Census of Agriculture, from the US Department of Agriculture has been officially released. Preliminary data was made available earlier this year, but the full results are now ready for public consumption.
The census covers a wide range of agricultural topics, and provides a good sense of the present state of agriculture nationally. Some of the analysis also suggests future trends. Some of the interesting statistics include:
  • 22% of farmers and ranchers have been running their operations for less than 10 years. They are considered beginning farmers and ranchers.
  • Nearly one million farm operators are female. That’s roughly 30% of all farm operators.
  • Nearly 150,000 farmers and ranchers are selling their products directly to consumers, and 50,000 are selling to local retailers. Local food sales were estimated to be $7 billion in 2011.
Please see the USDA news release for more information.
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has teamed up with Wasatch County and the Wasatch Cooperative Weed Management Area/weed board, to produce a series of "unwanted" posters and trail signs to help people spot noxious weeds. We are encouraging everyone to be a "weed Warrior", said Rich Riding, UDAF weed specialist. There are several ways anyone can help fight the war on weeds, said Riding. Among them, make sure you are not spreading weeds or weed seeds from one location to another via your clothes or equipment. Smartphone users can report noxious weeds they encounter by using the EDD Maps smartphone app, which is an easy to use application that allows you to enter data to help local weed control committees locate noxious weeds. Every poster/sign has a QR code for the EDD Maps site, as well as a separate code for an identification page for the weed on the UDAF website. If you have a smartphone but don't have a QR code reader, there are several free versions for various smartphone platforms. If you don't have a smartphone, you can go to the UDAF website weed identification pages to help you spot noxious weeds.

USDA Declares Garfield, Nearby Counties  Primary  Drought Disaster Areas

The USDA has declared Garfield County in South Central Utah a primary disaster area due to recent drought. The six counties surrounding Garfield County are also included in the declaration. Those counties are:
  • Beaver
  • Iron
  • Kane
  • Piute
  • San Juan
  • Wayne
Farm operators in the seven counties included in the disaster declaration are eligible for emergency loans from the USDA Farm Services Agency, and other potential assistance. Farmers in those counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator.
Contact your local FSA office for more information.

Volunteer Cleanup Day Continues Weed Control Project Started by UDAF Grant

Students from six area high schools participated in the cleanup event.

A portion of the west side of Utah Lake and the surrounding upland valley areas have become illegal dumping grounds and shooting ranges over the past several years. But with grants and participation from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and other agencies and groups, Utah County is “taking back” and cleaning up areas that have been misused and abused.
Recently, hundreds of students from six high schools in Utah County came together for a volunteer service project to clean up one of the areas that had been a dumping ground.
“I know you could be sleeping in on Saturday morning. Yet, you are here doing some service and doing some good things for our community in Utah County,” said Utah Governor Gary Herbert. “Government can’t do it all, nor should it. It’s volunteerism, people helping people, being good neighbors.”
The Pelican Point project started with a grant from the Invasive Species Mitigation (ISM) Fund, managed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). The grant allowed the county to install a fence and a vegetative strip about six miles long to “keep people from coming up onto the land, tearing it up and dropping garbage," said Doug Whitney, Utah County Commissioner. “We are going to reclaim our mountains,” he added.
UDAF weed specialist, Rich Riding said people who were illegally accessing areas for target practice or to dump trash were spreading weed seeds. The multiphase projected started by fencing off access to the canyons, except through approved roads. Cleaning up the garbage, the second phase, is just concluding now. In a few weeks work crews will begin chaining and spraying weeds, so reseeding can take place before winter.
The Pelican Point project is just one of several noxious weed control efforts throughout Utah funded by the ISM over the past two years. This year the Legislature appropriated nearly $2 million to continue Utah’s War on Weeds. Proposals and applications were accepted earlier this year. An interagency committee is meeting this week to select projects, and letters to successful applicants will start being sent on May 27th, said Robert Hougaard, director, UDAF Plant Industry Division.

Robert Hougaard, director of Plant Industry and Conservation, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and Rich Riding, UDAF weed specialist, helped provide the initial funding that got the project started.
Copyright © 2014 Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, All rights reserved.

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