Discussion and Future Direction
The Utah Farm-Chef-Fork programme has clearly reduced barriers to sourcing local food and expanded the availability of locally produced foods at restaurants across Utah. The rural-urban linkages established through programme efforts have created additional economic opportunities for rural growers and urban chefs while also improving the tourist experience and enhancing Utah’s overall destination image and, more specifically, its potential for food- and drink-related tourism. The number of Utah restaurants publically sourcing locally rose by 140% from 2012 to 2016 (Utah’s Own, 2016). While tourists may continue to be initially drawn to Utah for its National Parks and outdoor activities, they will now have more opportunities to enjoy the tastes of Utah as well.
The Utah Farm-Chef-Fork programme is currently organizing farm and restaurant tours, as well as farm dinners for the general public. The tours provide educational opportunities for chefs and growers regarding farm practices, seasonal challenges, and restaurant needs and challenges, and continue to establish connections between the two groups. Farm dinners in a range of locations, from just outside Zion National Park to a county-owned experiential farm in Salt Lake City, will be the next step in the initiative. These dinners will provide local food opportunities for both residents and tourists to Utah. More information about the Utah Farm- Chef-Fork programme can be found at https://extensionsustainability.usu. edu/programs/.