New commissioner of agriculture wants to ensure Utah farms and ranches stay viable

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Source: CVDaily Feed
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Box Elder County Commissioner LuAnn Adams stepped down from her position on Wednesday and on Monday she will become the first woman named to be Utah Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food. Adams succeeds Leonard Blackham.

With her family, Adams manages a farm and ranch operation in Promontory. On KVNU’s Crosstalk program Wednesday, Adams said she has always had a passion about agriculture and a passion for public service.

Adams said she was shocked but extremely honored that the governor would appoint her to the job which carries a great deal of responsibility.

“We’re over anything that has to do with agriculture and also safe foods,” Adams explained. “The weights and measurements, the brand inspectors, the state vet is under our department. All the plants and testing of the seeds falls under the Department of Agriculture. It’s a big job.”

Adams has recently chaired the West Box Elder County Resource Management Plan which was selected from among 13 western states to be recognized by the Public Land Foundation with the 2013 Landscape Stewardship Award.

The new Farm Bill has yet to be passed by Congress but Adams said she hopes it will not include a lot of new mandates for farmers. But she does hope it will keep all the good programs that are already in place.

“In Utah, farming is still the lifeblood of Utah and there’s just many, many rural counties that rely on this,” she continued. “I think we’re about a fifth generation back now for the people that are in agriculture.

“I think more and more people think this food just comes from grocery stores. It doesn’t. It comes from farms. We need to keep these farms viable and do the things we can to make sure these farmers and ranchers can stay in business.”

Adams said she is passionate about agriculture and about small farms and does not want them replaced by corporate farms.