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Utah farmers and ranchers welcome governor’s call to pray for rain

Sweet corn is harvested on a Church farm in Layton, Utah, on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. From the farm, the corn goes to be processed at a cannery and stored at a warehouse until it's shipped to bishops' storehouses and local food pantries across the country. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — Farmers and ranchers say this is historically bad drought cycle right now. They are asking Utahns to pray for rain and conserve water.

Related: Growing Utah drought conditions spur Cox to pray for rain

“It’s times like these as a country, as a state, as a person, we realize where our blessings come from, and they come from God,” said Ron Gibson, president of the Utah Farm Bureau.

Farmers pray for rain

He is a fifth generation dairy farmer in Weber County.

“My dad is 85 years old and never seen anything like it. We have areas in our state that are at 5 percent of the water they normally get. Other ares are at 12, 15. I don’t know a part of our state that is not below 50,” he said.

Gibson said any water that people can save, especially from secondary-water systems, goes to help farmers and ranchers grow your food.

Gibson appreciates the leadership of Gov. Spencer Cox on the drought. The governor has issued two proclamations already. He also has been calling on Utahns to conserve water in several ways and be careful with fire. This week, the governor asked for Utahns to join with him in praying to a higher power for rain.

“And when we pray, it’s not about that it rains today. We need to pray and fast that we get out of this cycle, and we get into a cycle where we get the rain and snow we need,” said Gibson. 

Working together against the drought

He said farmers know that Utah has cycles of drought and cycles of better precipitation. Not only do they need more water this summer, they need more storms next winter.

Some people criticized the governor’s call for prayer. But Gibson said this is not about politics, it is about working together to preserve crops, livestock, wildlife, the food chain and our way of life.

He explained how farmers and ranchers are already coming off of a terrible year of disrupted supply chains from the pandemic. Now they are looking at more losses due to the drought.

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