LAYTON -- It's an age-old battle: Farmers versus the elements.
And 2012 was no different, say Utah farmers and ranchers attending the 96th annual Utah Farm Bureau Federation convention.
The three-day convention, being held at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, continues through today.
About 450 of the state's 7,000 farmers and ranchers are attending the conference that brings the farming community together to discuss such things as water rights, property rights and compensation for wildlife damage.
This year's keynote speaker is Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby. Rigby will speak on "building bridges" at 4 p.m. today at the conference center.
But most of the conversation shared in the halls was about this year's fuel prices, the constant interference of the federal government and its regulations, and the drought conditions that affected farmers and ranchers either directly or indirectly.
"They weathered the storm this year," said Matt Hargreaves, communications director for the Utah Farm Bureau Federation.
Which means Utah farmers -- an optimistic bunch that would give someone the shirts off their backs, Hargreaves said -- were able to withstand the state drought.
Weber County farmer Rulon Fowers said he is pleased to see that snow has already begun to accumulate in the Wasatch Mountains.
But if farmers are going to have a good year, he contends, they are going to need a lot more of it.
"We need a lot of snow in the mountains," said Fowers, who farms hay and corn, and raises cattle. "The drought has hurt us."
Fowers jokingly added he would rather order up the weather than have it forecast to him.
But despite the drought, he said, it was a decent year. "The prices are good -- but the cost of our production has gone up."
The farming community has also been impacted by high fuel prices.
"Fuel affects everything, because everything has to be transported," Fowers said.
He claims to be the eternal optimist, like many others who farm, and said if it wasn't a good year this past year, it will be next year.
Fowers isn't alone in being stung by the drought.
Because of drought conditions in the Midwest, this year's turkey prices are a little higher, said Kent Christensen, a Norbest representative.
The drought affected the price of corn, the feed Norbest turkey farms in San Pete, Sevier and Juab counties use to raise collectively
5 million mountain-grown turkeys a year, he said.
Norbest is one of 20 vendors attending the convention.
The convention also included a public and silent auction, with proceeds going to support the national program "Ag in the Classroom."
The two auctions in 2011 raised about $7,000 in revenue for the statewide classroom instruction, said Arlene Boyack, a program coordinator for the State Farm Bureau.
Waneta Fawcett, Utah Farm Bureau state women's committee representative for Weber, Morgan and Summit counties, said:
"We want kids to know where their food comes from. It doesn't come from the store."