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Proposed Utah budget focuses on ag

Gov. Spencer Cox wants $200 million for the Agricultural Water Optimization Program.

Farm Press Staff

December 21, 2022

1 Min Read
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Joel Ferry, executive director of Utah's Division of Natural Resources, discusses the Agricultural Water Optimization Program during a meeting with reporters near the Great Salt Lake in October 2022.Tim Hearden

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has proposed a budget that would include $200 million for the state's Agricultural Water Optimization Program, $3 million for the Utah Food Security Processing Grant Program, and $18 million for ag infrastructure.

The ag water program has been in place since 2019 and has brought about huge successes in optimizing agricultural water use, saving over 7 billion gallons of water in the first year of data collection, according to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

This program has also seen increasing interest and support from the agriculture community. $70 million dollars in grants were administered in 2022 alone, funding over 300 projects. 

The Food Security Processing Grant Program is a new program created in the last legislative session that administered $1 million in grants with the goal of bolstering food processing, making local food easier to access, and providing local markets for Utah’s farmers and ranchers.

In the first round of funding, UDAF received over $14 million dollars in requests, demonstrating that there is a significant need and demand to increase food processing in the state.

The infrastructure project in central Utah seeks to increase the production, processing, storage, and transportation of food. This project would further UDAF’s goal to increase food processing and food security in the Beehive State.

For more on the budget proposal, click here.

Source: Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

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