Sustainable Agriculture Focus of Upcoming Conference – Press Release 11/7/2004

DATE 11/07/2004 7:15 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Sustainable Agriculture Focus of Upcoming Conference

The Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council is teaming with the Utah State University’s extension services to help farmers learn more about sustainable agriculture.The two are organizing a February conference that will feature John Ikerd, a prominent national expert in the field. The first-ever event will be held in Brigham City and is aimed reaching farmers in Sanpete County, along U.S. Highway 89 and across Utah.”We are looking at all sort of ways that we can help farmers, both locally and across the state,” says Gary Anderson, a USU extension agent and former mayor of Ephraim. “We are exploring new practices and looking back to the past to find ways to help increase income for farmers.”

This includes more profitable methods for farmers to take their products from farm gate to plate, community support such as promoting and improving farmers’ markets, and new products and commodities.

The February session will include a keynote presentation by John Ikerd, a professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. John Ikerd is also the state coordinator of extension programs in sustainable agriculture, and helped implement a national professional development program for farmers and agricultural workers. He also researches educational programs and the effects of sustainable agriculture on farm families and rural communities.

Ikerd, who was raised on a small dairy farm in Missouri, has spent 30 years in various professional positions at four major land grant universities. He advocates that to be sustainable, agriculture must be ecologically sound, economically viable and socially responsible. At the conference, he will discuss how agriculture that uses up or degrades it natural resource base, or pollutes the environment, will eventually lose its ability to produce and therefore is not sustainable.

For his part, Anderson has been involved in numerous endeavors related to promoting and starting businesses in communities along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway, including helping craft makers and business owners market their products. He also was extensively involved in a feasibility study pertaining to business activity along the historical route.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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