Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ranching community asking people to fast and pray for rain and snow

By Viviane Vo-Duc, Deseret News

Published: Fri, Jan. 31 7:50 p.m. MST

 Snow this week did nothing to help with the abnormally dry conditions that continue to grip the state. The Farm Bureau is inviting everyone to join in prayer and fasting to ask for moisture for livestock and crops.

Snow this week did nothing to help with the abnormally dry conditions that continue to grip the state. The Farm Bureau is inviting everyone to join in prayer and fasting to ask for moisture for livestock and crops.

(Russell Contreras, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Snow this week did nothing to help with the abnormally dry conditions that continue to grip the state.

The Farm Bureau is inviting everyone around the nation, including Utah, to a Harvesting Faith event Sunday. The group wants everyone to join in prayer and fasting to ask for moisture for livestock and crops — and when it comes, to give thanks.

“We all believe in a greater good and in a higher being,” said Leland Hogan, president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. “Through that belief, we feel that there can be intervention into what we have, that if we can show forth faith, and through faith and through prayer we can bring about a better situation, and that we could have more moisture than what we have today.”

The federation is the state's largest volunteer organization of farmers and ranchers. More than 29,000 member families in all of Utah's 29 counties belong to county Farm Bureaus, which comprise the federation.

While snow remains on the ground and in the mountains of northern Utah in many places, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates the state remains in severe drought, drought or abnormally dry conditions.

The drought impacts ranchers in two ways, Hogan said.

“The first way it hits you is in your crop production, where your ability to feed the cattle that you own," Hogan said. "And when it begins to lessen the amount of feed you have available, that begins to affect the second part.

“You can't have as many cattle because you haven't got as much feed. You shorten the amount of feed you’ve got. You have to get rid of cattle, which decreases your overall income and puts you in a much more vulnerable position economically to survive throughout the rest of the drought.”

Utah isn’t the only state dealing with drought. Early indications are the western part of the West is expected to be very dry, according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's National Water and Climate Center.

Farmers and ranchers are the first to feel the impact of the drought because of what they do for a living. While the state is in dire need for moisture, Hogan said, the agricultural community remains optimistic.

“We always think that there's a silver lining in the clouds somewhere, and we look for the bright spots,” he said. “We will survive through the drought. We will be able to produce through the cycle and beyond.”

Email: vvo-duc@deseretnews.com

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1. David
Centerville, UT,
Jan. 31, 2014

I am concerned that this is the 2nd or 3rd winter with abnormally low snow levels. I believe that faith and prayer can make a difference because I believe we are children of a loving Heavenly Father who wants to bless us. But I am also concerned about our general attitude. When it does snow I hear everyone complaining that they have to drive in it, shovel it, bundle up against the cold, walk in it, etc. Basically demonstrating ingratitude for something that is our lifeblood here in the desert state of Utah.

I hope we can gratefully receive, and acknowledge from where our blessings come.

2. Kings Court
Alpine, UT,
Jan. 31, 2014

The rain and snow this week did nothing? Well, it certainly helped even though it didn't put an end to the drought. In fact, one storm cannot be expected to end the drought, but it certainly is better than having no storm. Now, we need to have more of them, but lets not ask God to send one storm that would end the drought by itself, because that would be a disaster in and of itself.

3. The Scientist
Provo, UT,
Jan. 31, 2014

Of all the human actions that could directly or indirectly affect the weather, we might as well ask everyone to spit into the wind as to fast and pray for rain. Both are equally ineffective.

4. marxist
Salt Lake City, UT,
Jan. 31, 2014

As I'm sure you all know, the global warming climate models predict the American southwest, including the Great Basin, will dry up. California is experiencing the worse drought in its history. Climate change seems to be happening faster that any of the models predicted. I don't get any satisfaction from saying this, but maybe we need to take global warming seriously. Unfortunately, it may already be to late, in which case we must make the best of it, and yes, pray.

5. AZRods
Maricopa, AZ,
Feb. 1, 2014

Almost as predictable as cold air in the Utah winter is a comment by scientist on a religious or spiritual matter.

A sad reflection of an empty life void of the respect that comes from knowing Gods love for us.