Presentation on theme: "Agriculture Sustainability Act SB 46 Senator Scott Jenkins."— Presentation transcript:
Agriculture Sustainability Act SB 46 Senator Scott Jenkins
Why Should Utah Citizens be Concerned? Self Reliance -Concerns about foreign food supplies Desire to “Fresh” local production Agriculture is a Utah Heritage - Core Values Local farmers create green space and education opportunities Utah’s best soil and climate conditions for food production are vanishing
Self Reliance, Food Security, & Local production We understand the problem of foreign oil dependence. Our farmers and food safety programs provide the safest food in the world. Support for local farmer’s markets keep growing. The public wants local food production.
Farming Community Benefits beyond “Food” Farming is a tie to our past Heritage and the manner of life that has taught hard work and honest relationships. Farms provide open/green space and help make our communities more inhabitable. Farms create an education and recreation opportunities for children to learn where food comes from (Brown milk doesn’t come from Brown cows?)
Utah’s Best and Most Productive Farmland is Vanishing Not all soils are the same. Much of the best and deepest soil is located in the Wasatch front. This same area has a unique climate condition, with less frost, milder winters, and cooler summers. – Ideal for fruit and vegetable farming. Urban Farms will transfer to the next generation in only one of two ways: 1. As a Gift or 2. With a Conservation Easement.
As part of the Earth Day event, several members of Future Farmers of America submitted essays on open space. The common theme was a fear that there will be no land for them to farm in the future. Deseret News, April 1998 Source: GOPB, FIC Between 1988 and 2008: – Utah, Davis, Salt Lake, and Weber County have developed over 135K acres – Washington County developed over 26K acres By 2030: – The State is expected to develop over 315K acres – Wasatch Front Counties to develop over 160K acres – Washington County to develop over 65K acres Between 2002 and 2007, Utah developed 1.64% of its remaining prime ag-lands.
Davis & Weber Counties Irrigated Non-Irrigated Sub-Irrigated Urban Water
Senate Bill 46 Dedicates Roll-back property taxes on agriculture land transferring to non-agriculture use to conservation easements within that county. These would be matched with USDA and private organization funds to purchase conservation easements in a willing buyer/seller market. Funds would be used only for prime agriculture land. Funds increase with increased development pressures and decrease when development slows. Makes one time adjustment in tax rates for all taxing entities to hold them harmless.
Summary Will we repeat the mistake to become dependent on foreign food as we are with foreign oil? If we want a different outcome (retain some farmland) we must take a different action! There is no such thing as a “free” lunch! (Conservation Easements are not free)