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Farm Bureau to meet here

The Utah Farm Bureau Federation will be holding its annual Midyear Conference Thursday and Friday at the Carbon County Event Center. The theme for this year's conference, "Protecting Our Heritage," illustrates the priorities of technology and of Utah's farmers and ranchers in making preparations today for a changing agricultural industry tomorrow.

President Leland Hogan will speak to the theme in his address.

The conference will include several presentations concerning the lives of farmers and ranchers as well as urban Utahns alike. Leonard Blackham, Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food, will speak on the state of agriculture in Utah, the Agriculture Sustainability Task Force and its roles, the impact of spring flooding on agriculture and the responsibility of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, of which he is the president.

Senator Ralph Okerlund and Representative Christine Watkins will discuss the ongoing process of redistricting. The major highlight of this topic will be on the impacts of redistricting on rural Utah.

In response to increased EPA regulations, Mark Petersen, Utah Farm Bureau Director of Water Quality/Sensitive Species Specialist, will present the new regulations and impacts on agriculture for the state of Utah.

Additional topics to be presented at the conference will include the role of state versus federal management on western lands as presented by Utah State Representative Ken Ivory, and an overview of the BLM's historical role in land management by retired BLM range manager Sheridan Hansen.

Hogan will also present Farm Bureau's 'Friend of Agriculture' award to Dr. Michael Conover. Conover has taught at Utah State University for more than 20 years and was the founding director of the Jack H. Berryman Institute for Wildlife Damage Management at USU. Dr. Conover's contributions to mitigating wildlife-livestock conflicts have greatly benefited both farmers and ranchers in Utah as well as wildlife populations.

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