Many might not know what Cascade Farms in Provo is all about but a free farm day on June 15 brought more than 350 people out who learned of the vision owners Colton and Alicia Burr have for their farm.

The Utah Agricultural Land Trust, Conserve Utah Valley, and the Burr family created a day of active farm events to bring awareness to this beautiful piece of property bordering the Provo River.

“We want to put our farm into a conservation easement so that it will be protected from development,” said Colton Burr. He has been approached by developers to turn his 20 acres into warehouses. The farm sits on the edge of the Provo River, across from the ROPES course near Utah Lake State Park, and is just south of the new Provo River Delta, soon to open to the public. “I want to have a garden that kids can come and harvest from and Provo High School ag students can enjoy, a petting zoo, and other farm attractions to help people understand and enjoy farm life.”

U.S. Representative John Curtis met with the Burrs to hear their vision. He commented that he thought he’d meet an older gentleman but found a young farmer eager to keep farming. He then spoke to the crowd about his love of open space and the need to conserve it.

Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi recounted memories growing up in Provo, enjoying riding through fields. She explained what a conservation easement does:

“First, it allows families to farm their land forever, which is a beautiful thing in itself,” Kaufusi said. “It allows families to get the fair value of their land and it benefits the community as a whole by increasing the amount of green space around us, preserving our agricultural heritage, and bolstering our food security.

“It’s not often that there is such a clear win-win as we have found with conservation easements,” Kaufusi said. “I want to particularly thank the families – thank you, Colton, thank you to each family that has taken this path of a conservation easement.”

Commissioner Craig Buttars of the Utah Dept. of Agriculture & Food spoke at the event at Cascade Farms

Utah County Commissioner Amelia Powers-Gardner told the crowd she is the 8th generation in her family in this area. 

“I serve on the county commission because I want to make sure that my children and their children and their children have the opportunity to stay in Utah County and continue to have this be the best place in the world to live and raise a family.”

The Utah Agricultural Land Trust in Cache County will eventually hold the easement. Debbie Van Noy, with UALT, is working to help the Burrs find funding for the easement.

“Our goal as a land trust is to help farmers and ranchers preserve their properties into perpetuity so it remains agriculture forever,” she said.

Activities for the farm day included free pony and horse rides, wagon rides, horse rides on the Provo River trail, a mechanical bull, roping (plastic) steers, horseshoes, a climbing tower, and other games. Vendors were also available with locally-produced items such as Wagyu beef and vegetable starts.

Bobbing for apples and pie eating contests were a hit and farm-goers received free Zeppe Italian ice and frozen custard, perfect for a hot day.

Ten-year-old Wolfgang Smith had never been to a farm event and participated in the pie-eating contest and four horse rides.

Participant JJ won the 9-12 year old category for the pie eating contest.

“I love farms! When can we go to the next farm event?” he asked.

The goal is to have this be a yearly event, but there is a great need to get the conservation easement in place. Residents can help by contacting their city, county, and state leaders with requests to preserve agricultural land by further funding conservation easements.

Those interested in helping Cascade Farms financially to secure the easement can visit, to donate.

Editor's Note: This article was provided to Utah Farm Bureau courtesy of Utah Agricultural Land Trust. Any interested in contributing should verify with Conserve Utah Valley on the details of the donation opportunity. Utah Farm Bureau simply passes along this information as a courtesy.