NEPHI, Utah (ABC4 News) – For more than a century, farming has been a huge part of the economy here in Nephi and Juab County.
While the agriculture industry has made advances over the years – in a lot of ways it’s still the same.
Wade Garrett is making sure his alfalfa fields have the water they need. Something the Garrett family has been doing here for a long, long time.
“Were on the 6th generation of running this land here in Juab County,” said Garrett.
Garrett loves the fact that farming is such a big part of this Utah community.
“This was originally an agriculture county, that is what it was built on. And still a lot today. “
Garrett said there are about 100 family farms in Juab County. Some raise livestock. Some grow alfalfa.
And some, like his family, do both!
“A lot of people don’t look at agriculture as an exporter, but we are an exporter and it’s important to Juab County.”
Garrett said some of what grows in Juab County gets shipped around the world.
“We have several people in this area – Jones, McPhersons several other family names that ship their hay over there if it doesn’t go to local dairies.”
Garrett said while the crops haven’t changed much over the years – the way they are grown has.
“The equipment now is GPS – we have self-driving equipment,” said Garrett. “We’ve changed this valley to sprinklers – we used to flood irrigate – and for efficiencies and to use our water better and to make more crops.”
And as we watched Garrett’s son mow down a field we found out that process has changed as well.
“We can cut hay at 11 miles per hour – we used to cut hay at four miles per hour. We can bale hay at 6 miles an hour with a big baler. That’s all changed.”
“We used to haul bales by hand in my lifetime – and now we use big bales and few small bales.”
Garrett said things on the farm have sped up a little. Life in Nephi is still slow and steady.
“As you drive into town you can see that. You can feel that. I think it still has a sense of community here. That some places have lost.”
Garrett said another change is how they round up the cows. They used to use horses… now they hop on four wheelers.