This year, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is expanding its focus to include economic development, as part of its vision to be a service organization with regulatory responsibilities.
To lead the department’s effort, Linda Gillmor was hired as the new director of Marketing and Agricultural Development.
“I would say its more of an increased collaboration with our industry partners," said Gillmor. "We also want to look at what agricultural projects are out there and so if we work together with our partners, we become aware of those projects, maybe aware of some of the challenges they are having and then we also want to put a list of all the funding.”
One of Gillmor’s goals for the economic sector of agriculture is to identify funding resources that farmers and ranchers can use to grow their businesses. Gillmor wants to make sure this information is easy to access and understand so farmers and ranchers will be able to strengthen their financial viability.
“We have international in our office and we have Utah’s Own in our office," said Gillmor. "With those two tools and collaboration with our industry partners, we are going to be working on economic development with all of our agricultural families.”
Gillmor plans to use these developments to strengthen and grow past programs such as Utah’s Own, a movement created to educate consumers of the economic impact of buying local products.