Western U.S.

Utah working on improving specialty crop production

According to a study by Envision Utah, this Western US state imports 98% of the vegetables and 96% of the fruit the state consumes. Although Utah is one of the top producers of tart cherries in America, that’s the only specialty crop the state is known for. Lu Ann Adams, commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, says more fruits, vegetables, nuts and nursery crops can and should be produced in Utah.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has a program that awards grants for projects designed to increase production and availability of fruits and vegetables, and other specialty crops in Utah.

Upr.org quoted Adams as saying: “The outcomes are to increase nutritional knowledge, to promote food safety, to establish local and regional food systems and to encourage people to buy local. Also we could be developing school and community gardens and farm-to-school programs, and of course expanding access to the specialty crops to underserved communities.”

Adams says this would allow Utah to be more independent instead of importing such a large portion of produce. That would also leave a smaller carbon footprint and the local economy would generate more revenue.

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