A New Concern
More and more farmers are under economic and financial stress. Farm bankruptcies are at their highest since 2011. ("Farm bankrupties jump to highest level since 2011 as Trump's tariffs bite, Markets Insider, October 31, 2019).
One farmer complained about having to wake up at three in the morning in order to manually open irrigation locks to obtain water from wells. More farmers need pressurized sprinkler systems to stay in business.
Require each city and county in Utah to hold a public referendum on providing urban farmers with tax exemptions on the productive use of their farms.
Require each city to hold periodic public referendums on an agricultural and open space masterplan on whether or not to slow housing development and preserve open spaces in their communities.
Study the fiscal feasibility of developing a state assistance program to help farmers compete in today's competitive economy, including investing in regenerative farming that focuses on replenishing a soil's nutrients without relying on synthetic and mined fertilizers and at the same time spending less on equipment, water, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers.
A potential $700 billion economic market by 2030, is being stymied by America's reversal on promoting more efficient and cost-saving LED lights that were to replace the old fashioned energy wasting light bulb. The potential for farmers to continue producing food year-round is threatened by the high cost of old fashioned light bulbs. Washington Post (November 19, 2019).
Farmers Fighting our Changing Environment
Our changing weather appears to be contributing to a highly subsidized agriculture industry where 40% of a farmer's income is now coming from government disaster assistance, insurance indemnities, current federal farm bill legislation, and trade assistance ("1 big thing: U.S. farmers could really use some help" Axios Markets, November 5, 2019).
Because Utah agriculture continues to be a major industry in our state, especially for rural communities and part of our local culture's focus on self
sustaining independence, Utah needs to partner with other States to vigorously combat nature's changing environment and adapt to its frightening impact on our local economies.
Our Urban Farms Are Among Our Most Precious Natural Resource
Every thirty seconds, America is losing farm land the size of a football field lost to development. In Utah, since 2001 we have lost 576,611 acres to roads, buildings, and gas and oil development. Deseret News (August 7, 2019). Even so Urban Farming is growing in Utah contributing to the $21 billion economic industry in our state. "Agriculture survey finds urban farming a hot commodity in Utah," Deseret News (April 14, 2019).
Our precious farmland, especially regenerated soil, is a special local resource closer to Utah residents that benefits families with:
increasing the amount of more healthy and better tasting food
protecting our environment through reduced transportation and distribution resources and costs
helping to cleanse our increasingly polluted air.
Utah needs to consider the promotion of government-university sponsored research and pilot projects into the feasibility of transforming our local farms into productive, regenerative farmland year round.
Fortunately this Clinton agricultural property is not under threat of eminent domain nor immediate sale.