Emery County Farm Bureau holds annual meeting
The Emery County Farm Bureau, a chapter of the Utah Farm Bureau, held their annual soup in a bowl meeting Oct. 28 at the Huntington Senior Citizens Center. This is a local volunteer organization made up of local people who make their living or are associated with the agriculture industry.
Emery County Farm Bureau Pres. Jordan Hatch opened the meeting by introducing guest speakers, Ray Petersen of the Emery County Public Lands Council, David Bailey from the Utah Farm Bureau and Randy Parker, Chief Executive Officer of the Utah Farm Bureau. He also introduced Lori Brady from the United States Department of Agriculture and Farm Service Agency.
Brady explained three USDA farm loan programs with farm loan interest rates as low as 1.5 percent with 5 percent down, she told of the program "Loans for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers".
For a beginning farmer to qualify for this program, the applicant must make a cash down of at least 5 percent. Brady explained that the FSA makes and guarantees loans to family farmers for the purchase of farm land and or the financing of agricultural production.
Petersen from the Emery County Public Lands Council discussed grazing permits and the Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plan, the comment period of which ended Oct. 29. He expects the RMP will be delivered to Gov. Huntsman for review in November.
Ray told of the history regarding the current RMP from the Richfield BLM office as it relates to Emery and Carbon counties. Several public comment meetings have been held in the counties and the last ended Oct. 29.
Petersen discussed the issues with Wilderness Study Areas, the Wild and Scenic Rivers, and the BLM has designated 97,000 acres of land with wilderness characteristics. He told of plans presented that would allow no grazing, and no gas or oil drilling which were rejected. He explained the problems of drilling in the Nine Mile Canyon and issues with wild horses and burros. He said, "Sixty four percent of Emery County has wilderness characteristics," according to the BLM.
Peterson reviewed the OHV Recreation Route Designation Plan, which allows no cross country travel. There are 670 miles of designated roads for OHV use. The proposed RMP will allow for the continued maintenance of ponds and roads.
Parker, Chief Executive Officer of the Utah Farm Bureau Organization, said he recently met with Gov. Huntsman about the governor ignoring the needs of the agriculture community.
Parker spoke about the energy cost to farmers for fuel and fertilizer and because 85 percent of the Utah population is on the Wasatch front, this urban population allows 2/3 of Utah public lands to be controlled by bureaucrats in Utah and Washington. The environmentalists are funded with millions of dollars from out of state to fight against those who want to use the lands responsibly. Parker noted that the president of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) is a Swiss citizen.
He also mentioned that Judge Tina Campbell made a large contribution to the Obama campaign, this judge recently made a ruling that took away some of your property rights.
The Utah Supreme Court in a recent ruling, stated on page 6, "We establish our own rule," this is legislation from the courts, which should be unconstitutional.
In the business meeting of this volunteer organization Jordan Hatch asked David Bailey of the Utah Farm Bureau to display and discuss the Farm Bureau Policy Manual. Bailey working for the Farm Bureau travels 10 counties of Eastern and Southern Utah meeting with farmers and ranchers.
Near the end of this meeting some members were allowed to bring up the issues of how recreation rights seem to supersede property rights, of how the ethanol issue affects the farming community, how there was no good way to dispose of horses, and insurance for crops. These and many other issues farmers and ranchers are interested in were presented and discussed.