Southern Utah University agriculture students attended the Utah Farm Bureau’s annual leadership conference on Jan. 10-13 in St. George.
The conference invites farmers and ranchers from across the state to discuss how to better fulfill the UFB mission of “[inspiring] all Utah families to connect, succeed and grow through the miracle of agriculture.”
One of the goals of the conference is to discuss possible skills that could improve farms and ranches as well as encourage agriculture producers to take more active roles in their communities and the government.
The three-day event consisted of local leadership and committee meetings, two general sessions, three-break out group sessions and Young Farm and Rancher activities.
Those in attendance this year included state and local farm bureau leadership, state and local government officials and UFB members.
The UFB leaders extended an invitation to SUU students to encourage their future participation in the FB organization. Those students in attendance engaged in discussion of agricultural topics, attended meetings, observed presentations and participated in the YFR Saturday ag tour.
In addition to meetings and discussions, a food drive event took place as a part of the conference. The food drive was put on to give aid to families and individuals who have financial needs, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This event helped feed hundreds with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers and food donated from all corners of the state,” said Dave Cox, a recent graduate of the SUU agriculture program.
The drive was organized by the UFB’s Farmers Feeding Utah Foundation. According to the foundation’s website, the organization seeks to provide “Utah farmers and families a hand up.”
Supplies available at the food drive included: milk, cheese, pork, beef, potatoes, squash, onions, and other fresh produce according to Cox. All of these products were donated by and purchased from Utah farms and ranches.
The FFUF hosts several food drives every year with the help of the community and monetary donations.
Cash donations are used to purchase produce from local farmers and ranchers that is then distributed during events like the one held in St. George. In this way the foundation is able to help the local Utah families and producers in need.
Story by: Lainie Hallows
Photo by: Mikyla Bagley