Who can implement this: State, county, and city officials; universities; governmental organizations; advocacy organizations; and agricultural producers
Support for agriculture in Utah County among elected officials can vary widely, especially as new people with new ideas are voted in during every election cycle. Though land-use practices in Utah County often do not reflect the importance of sustaining agriculture, elected officials should prioritize agriculture in their agenda because of its tremendous economic and cultural effects on life in Utah County.
Though agricultural education is crucial for younger generations, older generations should not be overlooked in farming education efforts. Elected officials in Utah County should be continually educated about the current conditions and future possibilities of agriculture in the county. In some regions across the nation, hosting farm tours for elected officials has helped leaders better understand agriculture’s role in their communities. These tours have also allowed leaders to receive hands-on farming experiences, which help them better understand the benefits and opportunities provided by of agriculture, as well as the challenges farmers and ranchers face.
Policymakers would also benefit from assistance in writing grants to apply for funding that would support agriculture in their jurisdictions. The grant-writing process needs to be made more accessible and approachable through educational programs. Having county and city officials hold grant-writing workshops with farmers may also be helpful.
- Agricultural experts from universities, state agricultural organizations, the farming industry, and advocacy organizations should continue to reach out to elected officials to help lawmakers understand the importance of agriculture in Utah County.
- These experts should hold yearly field days to educate newly elected officials about farming and to connect them with important agricultural producers and agricultural businesses. Building relationships among elected officials, agricultural experts, advocacy organizations, and individual producers is crucial in ensuring that lawmakers have all the information needed to understand and create laws regarding agriculture.
The Utah Farm Bureau is politically active and involved in educating lawmakers about local and statewide issues that affect agriculture. The organization believes that change happens at a grassroots level and works closely at the county level to implement changes. The Utah Farm Bureau also promotes agricultural education at all levels, educating community members from lawmakers to students about different aspects of agriculture.