Reflecting on the Many Miracles of Agriculture
Our Mission at the Utah Farm Bureau is to “Inspire ALL Utah families to connect, succeed and grow through the miracle of agriculture.”
I have thought a lot this past winter about what miracles are. Last November, at the end of the growing season, our state was in SERIOUS trouble with water. Reservoirs all over the state were at record lows. The Great Salt Lake was at an all-time low, and the Colorado River Basin was in complete collapse. It was a scary time for all of us. Now here we are, six months later, and we have broken just about every record for precipitation for winter. As I write this, we are at about 29 inches of snow water equivalent (SWE), which is three inches more than the previous record of 26, set in the infamous year of 1983. It is clear to me that we have witnessed a modern-day miracle.
I have witnessed miracles before in my life. We all have. I think the most important part of it all is that we all realize where those blessings come from. Some may say it is easier for farmers and ranchers to understand where those miracles come from. We have the daily opportunity to witness new birth and see those animals take their first breath. We get to see the tiny seeds planted in the dirt and witness that same seed harvested. Honestly, it is such an amazing and humbling experience.
The truth of the matter is, however, that almost always when those miracles occur, the chain of events that took place gives us all different opportunities to grow. For example, in November we were having discussions about what water uses were the most important. Food production, lawns, businesses? In some areas, we were even worried about how we would get water for culinary purposes to all the residents in our state, and the entire west. Today, however, the topic has turned to protecting ourselves from flooding.
It has been a real honor for me to see the water community all work together in both situations. Last November, and through the legislative session, we were trying to figure out how to stretch the water we have. And now, this month, we’re trying to figure out how we manage our reservoirs and water infrastructure to deal with runoff in a way that does the least amount of damage and still puts to use this precious resource.
I would like to personally thank the leaders in our State that have always been there to make hard decisions. We don’t always agree on every decision, but I can promise you that our Governor and State Legislature are trying to do their best to help lead our state in the right direction. Water managers from all over our state and the State Office of Water Resources and Water Rights have worked tirelessly to help us “Connect, Succeed and Grow, Through the Miracle of Agriculture”. We must never forget the importance of agriculture in our state. Local food production will only become more valuable and important in the future.
But today, even though farmers and ranchers in our state have seen delays in planting, and the challenges that come with it, let’s just take a moment and acknowledge this very important “miracle” of the precipitation we have received this winter and where that blessing came from.
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