New Inland Port project promises to save local farms. Can it?
The Utah Inland Port just approved its fifth project area. This one would take up about 35,000 acres in Juab County.
UPHE board member, Dr. Courtney Henley, was quoted in a Salt Lake Tribune article on the Juab Port, being called the Central Utah Agri-Park Project. “My advice for Juab County is put on the brakes,” Henley said at public meetings on the proposal. “My heart bleeds for our farmers. What is wrong with our country that we’re not producing more food here and helping our farmers? … But put on the brakes; give it six years before you start spending too much money on the authority.”
Her advice comes after five years of watching Inland Port projects that lack clear and viable business plans, and have frivolously and irresponsibly spent millions of taxpayer dollars.
She echoes concerns about what the increased diesel emissions will do to residents’ health, “For reasons that we all know: it’s very bad for your health, very costly. You’re going to die earlier.”
The Port project also comes at a time when Utah needs to reevaluate its agriculture capabilities. Alfalfa and hay farming use about two thirds of Utah’s water. Preserving the state’s water resources is our largest and most pressing issue. Otherwise, farmers will have little use for an Agri-Park.