The Young Farmers and Ranchers program recently hosted the second Tour of Utah, this year focusing on northern Utah. This event was open to all Farm Bureau members ages 18-35. Over the course of three days, 75 YF&R members made their way to northern Utah stopping at multiple agriculture sites along the way. The tour was created as a way to help young farmers around the state get to know each other, build relationships, learn best practices, and share concerns unique to this time of life in agriculture.

The group met in Salt Lake City and kicked things off with a dinner and a few speakers. Russ Kohler, Utah Farm Bureau Board of Director member, addressed the group and expressed the impact that the YF&R program had on his family.

“My wife and I learned so much from this program and I am very excited to see all of you hear taking advantage of your involvement!," Kohler said.

The second day started out  at the Kaysville Pasta Plant, where they got to see the entire process of wheat traveling along the food chain, from seed to pasta. They followed that tour up with a stop at Matt Peterson’s, Ogden Bay Produce. Matt shared with the group how he is able to get the edge on the tomato market in the area. The next stop on the tour was a "little fishy” but a whole lot of fun at Cold Springs Trout Farm. This agriculture operation is run by two sisters and is extremely successful.

The tour pushed on to Cache Valley where they stopped into Autonomous Solutions Inc. (ASI). Here attendees saw a glimpse into the future with self-driving tractors. The night was capped off with a stop at Miller's Backyard Buckers. Seeing how the Millers are able to educate up and coming bull riders and the public on the sport of rodeo really showed how different advocating for agriculture can work in different arenas.

Day three started at Utah State University’s South Farm. From a new equestrian facility to seeing the calves on feed trials, attendees really got fed with information. In an effort to cover every end of Cache Valley the group then made the trek out to the Trenton IFA feed mill where not only did they smell corn getting crushed but got to taste it to. It was a special treat to also have the owners of Circle T Dairy come to the feed mill and share with the group how robotics have helped them improve their bottom line. The next stop showed what large scale food production looks like at Lower Family Foods. This stop looked cool but tasted even better! We closed out the tour with a fun filled evening at the Cache Valley Fun Park.

All in all, YF&R members saw some pretty amazing aspects of agriculture on the 'Tour of Utah', but the most important thing from the trip was easy to think of upon reflection. Brady & Amanda Spackman, the current YF&R State Chairs said it best, “Tour of Utah was a great opportunity to network with others with like minds and lifestyles. It gave us all an opportunity to see new ideas across many facets of agriculture that we can take back to our own operations. It was rewarding to watch the relationships form and grow as the trip went on. We hope that those relationships can continue to be cultivated into creating an even stronger voice for agriculture in our state.”