USU Veterinary Students Take Part in Emergency Exercise

More than 30 second year veterinary school students enrolled at Utah State University participated in an animal disease emergency exercise March 7, 2017 at Utah State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Logan, Utah.  The exercise was designed to familiarize the students with animal disease response and the incident command system. Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and USU conducted the joint exercise. The exercise was well received and attended by several representative groups from emergency management. All had very positive remarks about the exercise.
The students were divided into groups and practiced real-life responses to a hypothetical animal disease outbreak.  The groups included: command and general staff, operations in the field for both mammal and poultry, a planning group for laboratory services, a joint information center, and an epidemiology geospatial information group. 

Students in the joint information center faced questions from roll-playing reporters, forcing the veterinary students to conduct news interviews that informed and calmed the public about the safety of their food supply.

Veterinary students and advisors staff the emergency operations center as part of the exercise in March. Students also worked in the communications center, the diagnostics lab and in the field.

Miles "Cap" Ferry Remembered

Here at the Utah Department of Agricultue and Food we wanted to take a few minutes to remember our former leader, Miles "Cap" Ferry, who served as Commissioner of Agriculture from January 1985 to January 1993. Ferry, 84, died Friday March 31, 2017. See the UDAF news release.

Ferry was a popular figure in Utah in rural and urban areas alike. Several newspaper articles described what he accomplish during his many years in the Utah State Senate. See the Salt Lake Tribune article. and the Deseret News story.

UDAF Celebrates Ag. Day With Bee Ed. Event

Honey bees and other pollinators pollinate up to a third of the food we eat. To celebrate National Agriculture Day in March, UDAF educated local 4th grade students and the public about the importance of pollinators and how to protect them.

Kristopher Watson, UDAF, wore a velcro "bee" suit to demonstrate how bees collect pollen. Students from Meadowlark Elementary School played the role of the flowers, giving pollen to the bee and taking some too.

Read the Deseret News article

Specialty Crop Block Grants Due May 5

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is seeking grant proposals for projects designed to increase production and availability of fruits and vegetables, and other specialty crops in Utah. For a link to the application or for more information, including a look at an interesting project from a previous year, go to the UDAF website

April Freezes are Dicey Times for Fruit Growers

Despite cold overnight temperatures April 4, 5 and 9, a sampling of local fruit growers are saying it didn't get quite as cold as they thought and fruit losses may be less than 10 percent. Depending on the stage of blossom development, 28 and lower is critical for fruit. Some fruit growing areas did get down to 28 or slightly lower those mornings, while some were 29 or above. Apricots are most at risk because they are in the post blossom stage in many areas.

As of time of publication we had not received reports from farmers about any additional potential losses the morning of April 10th. Warmer temperatures were expected throughout the week.

Support Local Agriculture. Sign Up for a CSA

Community supported agriculture is a great deal for local farms and local food consumers alike. Farms sell shares of their harvest for the upcoming season to consumers, who then get a box, bag or basket of whatever is harvested that week for a defined amount of time. Most summer CSAs last from 10 to 20 weeks, depending on the farm with whom you sign up. Each farm does their own program, and some farms have multiple seasons or year round offerings. That can make shopping for a CSA part of the fun. Click here for a link to a listing and descriptions of Utah CSA farms.
Copyright © 2017 Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, All rights reserved.

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