A Trip to the Farmer’s Market

Jed Christenson, director of marketing for the UDAF, explains what people can expect to see at the Farming at the Market event this coming Saturday.

Occupying the Center Plaza at Pioneer Park, visitors will have the chance to see:

• A petting zoo with small animals including goats, sheep, piglets and rabbits

• Experts sharing gardening tips and tools

• Children can thresh wheat

• Kids can plant a “living necklace”

• Opportunity to take pictures with milk moustaches in front of the “Got Milk?” banner

What is AgriAdvocates?

AgriAdvocates is working to educate Utahns on the importance of buying locally-produced food and acquiring self-sustaining techniques and tools for cultivating your own crops and gardens. Farms and ranches in Utah are disappearing at an alarming rate and play a huge impact both on Utah’s economy and our abundant wildlife.

Some quick facts:

• The percentage of fresh fruits and vegetables imported into the U.S. more than doubled between 1985 and 2001? About 27% of U.S. fresh fruit imports and 38% of U.S. vegetable imports now come from Mexico. Imports from China have also been rising steadily since 2001.

• Between 2002 and 2007, Utah lost 636,528 acres of land in farms. In fact, Utah’s sheep populations have dropped from over 2.8 million to just 220,000.

• During the coming decades, we will need 50% more food to feed our growing populations. The world’s population is projected to reach 9 billion people, yet our agriculture land continues to decrease.

• Utah’s farmers and ranchers sell about 1.5 billion dollars of product.

• Farmers and ranchers, processors and other agriculture-related businesses employ over 66,000 people and represent about 14% of Utah’s economy.

• Well-managed grazing of livestock on public land is the single biggest key to sustaining healthy wildlife habitats in Utah – Although private lands in Utah make up only 21% of the state, it is estimated that over 80% of Utah’s wildlife depend on those private working farms and ranches for critical seasonal habitats.

To learn more about how you can support farming and ranching in Utah, visit www.agriadvocates.org and ‘like’ their Facebook pages.

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