There are many ways to increase the viability of local agriculture in Utah County. Opportunities exist to lift regulatory burdens that hinder farmers and ranchers. Opportunities exist to increase agriculture through changes in production and distribution networks. Opportunities exist in the form of tax incentives and financial assistance for farmers and ranchers. Opportunities also exist through the expansion of new sources of income for farmers like agritourism and value-added processing. Agriculture’s viability can also be expanded through more carefully considered succession planning and through increasing the visibility of agriculture to younger generations through education drives and exposure to urban agriculture.
Strategies for Goal One aim to better establish agriculture as a more viable business sector in Utah County, and are split into three categories: Opportunities for Farmers and Ranchers, Opportunities for State, County, and Local Governments, and Opportunities for Education and Outreach.
Section One: Opportunities for Farmers and Ranchers
With access to additional resources, there are many ways for farmers and ranchers to increase the viability of their farm operations. Agricultural producers can look into providing firsthand experience to community members as a way of increasing revenues through tourism, or can begin to develop new products using their produce to increase sale margins or explore untapped markets in their communities. Farmers and ranchers can also protect the current and future viability of their farms by seeking additional protections for their farming operations and by planning for who will take over their farming operations when they retire.
Section Two: Opportunities for State, County, and Local Governments
Government organizations and officials at the state, county, and local scales can significantly improve the economic viability of agriculture in Utah County. State officials can expand resources available to beginning and existing farmers and incentivize new technologies that make farming and ranching more viable at different scales. County and local governments can promote infrastructural projects and urban agriculture as a way to increase agriculture’s presence in urban and rural communities.
Section Three: Opportunities for Education and Outreach
Education at different scales is crucially important for promoting agriculture in Utah County. Utah’s universities can research technologies and promote agricultural education alongside school districts to improve agriculture’s economic and social viability. State governmental organizations and nonprofit organizations can also explore ways to better educate residents about local food production and to educate lawmakers across Utah County to ensure that its importance to the county and state is not overlooked.