agriculture

Flickr: Lyza

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is launching a new program that rewards farmers and ranchers who are working to protect the environment.

Three Utah horses have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Dr. Warren Hess is the assistant state veterinarian at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. He says they’ve been dealing with West Nile Virus in horses since about 2003, with as many as 60 horses contracting the virus in a single year.

“Vaccination has certainly been a significant help in preventing this disease." he says. "All three of the horses, and the vast majority of all horses that have come down with this disease have been unvaccinated animals.”

Moths Invade Utah

Jun 6, 2014
Brian Grimmett

If you’ve noticed an unusual number of moths flying around inside your house or garage lately, you’re not alone. But where did they come from and should you be worried?

Utah State University entomologist Diane Alston says the invasion of the army cutworm or miller moth is mainly due to recent weather trends.

The push to promote local products made in Utah is expanding into rural areas. Tooele County hosts its first ever Utah’s Own Summit on Friday to help small food-oriented companies expand their business, add jobs, and improve rural Utah’s economy.

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

  The Commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is retiring after eight years in that job.  Leonard Blackham’s tenure included a four-year battle to keep Japanese beetles from getting established in Utah.

“I mean, if that got away from us," Blackham told KUER, "we would have had infestations of that occasionally like we do with Mormon crickets and that kinda bugs.  People would have looked out their window one morning and their garden would have been gone.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding a program into Utah that is aimed at helping rural counties escape the grasp of persistent poverty.

The new StrikeForce Initiative brings together agencies within the USDA in an attempt to better coordinate efforts to spur economic development in rural counties. Dave Conine is the Rural Development state director. He says by making knowledge and resources available through things like micro-loans that they’ll be able to make a real difference.