Increased funding for biotechnology is necessary to revitalize Utah, a coalition of 17 Utah farm, ranch and agribusiness organizations said Wednesday.
They vowed to ask the 1989 Utah Legislature for $1 million in appropriations for the biotechnology research center at Utah State University in Logan.Coalition spokesman Ken Ashby, president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, said the group will work together to win the appropriations for agricultural research.
"The biotech research center at USU has the potential for bringing millions of dollars in research grants to Utah while, at the same time, improving the lives of Utahns and the economics of farming and ranching."
Leaders of Utah's farm and agribusiness organizations said biotechnological research at USU is critical to achieving two of the farm industry's major goals: increased profitability for agriculture and the wise use of land, water and energy resources.
Ashby said farm groups are already contributing several hundred thousand dollars of farmers' money for agricultural research at USU. "Like any other research investment, we need legislative funding to get the program fully operational."
The coalition includes, besides the Utah Farm Bureau, the Utah Pork Producers Council, Utah Cattlemen's Association, Utah Wool Growers Association, Utah Dairy Commission, Utah Horticulture Association, Utah Veterinary Medical Association, Utah Wheat Producers, Utah-Idaho Farmers Union, Utah Feed Manufacturers Association, Utah Department of Agriculture, Utah Canning Crops Association, Ogden Area Beef Feeders, Utah Egg Producers, Utah Fur Breeders Association, Utah Council of Farmer Co-ops and the Utah Association of Conservation Districts.