Commissioner Blackham Announces Retirement

Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food, Leonard M. Blackham, has announced his intent to retire in early January 2014, following a noteworthy 25-year public service career.  Blackham was appointed Commissioner in 2005, after serving 12 years in the Utah State Senate and four years as a Sanpete County Commissioner. 
"I applaud Leonard’s devoted service to the State, particularly his leadership on improving rural economies,” Governor Gary R. Herbert said.  â€œThere is no one who represents Utah agriculture with more energy or heart, and very few know rural Utah as well as Leonard.  His enthusiasm will be missed.” Read the full story.

UDAF Employee Featured in Worklife Elevated Newsletter

You may remember from the June 2013 issue of this publication that we featured a story about UDAF employee Michelle Jack's award winning work on a group project in her Certified Public Managers training program.

Now, Jack and her class team are featured in the State of Utah employee newsletter, Worklife Elevated this month. Congratulations Michelle on well-deserved recognition. Read the story here.

UDAF Supports Shift Your Spending Week

Utah's Own Director, Seth Winterton, was interviewed for the November 2013 issue of Utah Stories, promoting keeping at least 10 percent of your holiday spending here in Utah and in your local community. Read the full article in the Nov. 2013 issue of Utah Stories, available now.

2013 Leopold Conservation Awards Announced

The HA Farms - Stowell Family of Parawan, Utah were awarded the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award. Two other finalists for the awarded were: Junior Goring Ranch and the Johnson Mountain Ranch. Watch a video about the winners.

ACES Program Completes Educational Display

Promotion of the upcoming program begins

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has developed a new display to educate farmers and ranchers, and the general public, about the new Agriculture Certificate of Environmental Stewardship program.

The program, which is scheduled to begin is January 2014, is designed to recognize agriculture producers for using best management practices to protect and enhance natural resources, while still feeding a growing population at an affordable price.  It also educates producers about the ever changing landscape of laws and regulations that they should be implementing and of which they might not even be aware. Specific benefits to farmers and ranchers include:
  • Defense against environmental lawsuits
  • Potential 10 year certification
  • Records confidentiality
  • Increased production with fewer expenses
  • Access to planning experts
  • Financial resources
  • Marketing and promotion
The program is also benefits consumers by providing:
  • A secure local food supply
  • Improved wildlife habitat
  • Open space
  • Clean water.
The display was unveiled at the Utah Association of Conservation Districts annual convention in November. UDAF Conservation program staff plan to take the display to several farm and ranch meetings over the next several months to kick off the program.

Revisions to Utah Egg Law Benefit Smaller Egg Farms

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has amended the Utah Egg Grading and Inspection Rule to allow owners of small egg producing farms (less than 3,000 hens) to market their products to larger commercial businesses such as restaurants and grocery stores.  Full story.

Utah Trapper of the Year Honored

Preston Nowers received the "Trapper of the Year" award from the Utah Woolgrowers President, Tom Boyer at the recent Tri-State woolgrowers convention in Jackson, Wyo. Nowers works for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food in the southwest part of the state, including Iron and Washington counties.
Copyright © 2013 Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, All rights reserved.
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