Farming and ranching are probably the toughest businesses that I know. And modern economics are not on our side. Land values continue to rise well beyond the capability of the land to pay. Producer inputs like fuel, labor and equipment have skyrocketed while the value of farm products hasn't kept pace. As farmers and ranchers, we need all the tools available just to hang on, let alone allow a new generation to rise up and take our place.
That's why I support Initiative 1. It provides ranchers and farmers with an option to perpetually protect their lands for agriculture on an entirely voluntary basis by providing a funding source to fairly compensate them for the land's development rights. I continue to be surprised that the Utah Farm Bureau feels differently. It's time to think positively about securing new opportunities for farmland protection before it's too late.
Christopher F. Robinson
Ensign Ranches of Utah
Salt Lake City