Cox drought

Gov. Spencer Cox (center), Craig Buttars, the commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (left), Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and Layton farmer Tyson Roberts (right)

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Gov. Spencer Cox — a farmer himself — is calling on Utahns to conserve water to help save the state’s farms and ranches. And he doesn’t want to hear from anyone that the state’s water woes can be solved by further restricting the flow to farms.

That’s “very uninformed,” Cox said. “I might say ignorant. … Nobody has done more to cut back on water usage in this state than our farmers,” whose water has been cut “between 70 and 75% on most farms. As a result, that’s dramatically reducing crops.”

Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, and Craig Buttars, the commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, stood before a very dry field of alfalfa at the Roberts family’s Layton farm to plead for Utahns to use less water.

“If everyone conserves,” the governor said, “our farmers can produce a little bit more this year and get through and be back even better and stronger next year.”

He said he wants to “change that narrative that if we just reduce water to farms and ranches, we’ll have more water. It’s just not that simple.” In part because cutting water to agriculture will drive up food prices.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state. For the full article, click here.

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