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History of Agriculture, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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Mountain streams along the Wasatch mountains and high country plateaus were diverted for irrigation, giving Utah geography a north-south axis that contrasted to the east-west thrust of the nation. The farming village became a characteristic of the cultural landscape. By the year 1900 more than 400 farm towns had been established. Most towns were laid out in grids with small farms adjacent. Speculation in land was denounced by community and church leaders. Property ownership often was subordinated to community objectives. Land values remained low. Debt was rare. Diversified self-sustaining agriculture was dominant. Initially at least, a biblical concept of stewardship deterred overexpansion and exploitation of the land. Irrigation was communal in social intent, limited in capacity, and generally environmentally benign. In theory, timber's potential to serve the community was more esteemed than its promise for profit. This land-based communalism worked well. The Mormon pioneer experience was expressed in physical forms that lasted for generations; and for many Utahns traditions of land use that looked beyond economics became second nature.


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