Utah State Extension in Grand County: Lessons in Profitability
The 300-acre DayStar Adventist Academy ranch was primarily designed as a teaching tool for students who live, work and go to school at the facility in Castle Valley. The farm was mainly used to grow alfalfa, but recently, principal Jerry Harris has been trying to make the farm more diverse and profitable.
He says he started working with Grand County Extension agent Michael Johnson about five years ago toward that end.
"Mike has been great in helping use work in new crops such as pumpkins, corn, tomatoes and asparagus," he said. "These have not only made us more money but we have been able to connect to the community more by selling fresh produce to Moab businesses and at the Farmers Market.
" He also helped us with a marketing survey of local businesses and we are now looking at the feasibility of building a commercial kitchen so we can sell more processed foods such as bread and dried tomatoes.
"I really appreciate Extension being able to provide research-based answers."