urban farmers in utah

posted November 12, 2009

from the National Center for Appropriate Technology
Southwest Urban Farmers Meet in Utah
UrbanFarmConf_LOGOw(11/10/09) In Salt Lake County, Utah—as in many places across the U.S.—urban development is eliminating farmland at an alarming rate. To combat this trend, county officials have identified more than 35 government properties that can be used for farms and community gardens. County commissioners and the Salt Lake City mayor all supported the idea.

As further encouragement for the region’s metropolitan farmers, the Southwest Marketing Network’s Urban Farming Conference will convene in the city on November 16. The one-day conference is designed to support the growth and vitality of urban farmers working along the Wasatch Front. Attendees will profit from a variety of information from small sustainable farm and ranch experts.

NCAT agriculture specialist Tammy Hinman will be at the conference, introducing farmers and ranchers to the services and resources of the ATTRA project. Hinman will also participate in a panel entitled The Face of Urban Farming, featuring city farmers from the Salt Lake City region. Other conference sessions include Farm to School; Creating Partnerships in Your Marketing; Regulations and Resources for Urban Farmers; and Scaling up to Larger Markets.

Salt Lake City County is the most populous in Utah, with over a million inhabitants. The county is home to more than 500 family farms that cultivate more than 107,00 acres. Conference presenters are farmers, ranchers, ag business professionals, government agency experts, university ag and extension educators, and nonprofit organizations from Utah, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The conference is sponsored by Salt Lake County, Southwest Marketing Network, NCAT, Western Rural Development Center, Utah State University Extension, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, USDA Rural Development, USDA Risk Management, Great Salt Lake Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the Utah Association of Conservation Districts. For more information, visit http://wrdc.usu.edu/htm/programs/swmn-urban-farming-conference or contact Tammy Hinman, tammyh@ncat.org, 406-494-8683.