STATEWIDE NEWSLETTER S UE! JANUARY – MARCH 2010 E IS SUSTAINABLE R ENC NFE CO IAL AGRICULTURE SPEC FOR ALASKA Cooperative Extension Service ■ Tanana District Ofﬁce ■ P.O. Box 758155 ■ Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-8155 ■ 907-474-1530 Sixth Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and What's happening . . . Organic Growers School Jan. 29 – Landscapers Workshop, Palmer, 745-3360. SET IN FAIRBANKS Feb.-May – Healy and Delta Junc- tion Master Gardener Classes, By Michele Hébert, UAF Cooperative Extension Service-Tanana District TENTATIVE, 474-1530. T he Sixth Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and Organic Growers School is scheduled for March 16-17 at the Fairbanks Feb. 16-17 – Alaska Produce Growers Conference, Palmer Depot, Palmer, 745-3360. Princess Riverside Lodge in Fairbanks. Every- Feb 18-20 – Kodiak Master Gar- one is welcome from home gardeners to com- dener Class, 262-5824. mercial growers. Last year, more than 200 in- Feb. 19-20 – Alaska Peony Growers Conference, Anchorage, dividuals from 27 communities across Alaska 786-6300, www.alaskapeonies.org. attended. The conference features both state and Feb. 23-May 25 – Fairbanks Mas- national guest speakers. This year’s keynote na- ter Gardener Class, Tuesdays, 6-9 tional speaker is Chris Blanchard of Rock Spring p.m., 474-1530. Farm (www.rsfarm.com) in Iowa. Feb. 25-26 – Alaska Greenhouse A family-owned farm, Rock Spring Farm has & Nursery Conference, Juneau, grown organic produce and raised a diverse 796-6281, 746-9470 or 786-6300. array of livestock on 80 acres north of High- Feb. 27 – Juneau Garden landville, Iowa, since 1999. Part of one of the Workshop, 796-6281, 746-9470 or original homesteads in the area, the farm has 786-6300. a rich diversity of landscapes, including fertile Feb. 27 – Delta Farm Forum, Delta Junction, 895-4215. bottomlands, forest, pastures, oak savanna and a March 5-6 – Alaska Master clear-running stream. Gardener Conference, The Blanchards follow strict organic guide- Wasilla, 745-3360, www. lines to grow their produce without the use of matsumastergardeners.org/ chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They take the conference.aspx. practice one step further by using composts, March 16-17 – Sustainable beneﬁcial insect habitat and organic minerals to Chris Blanchard photo Agriculture Conference and buffer the effects of pests, diseases and weather. Organic Growers School, Blanchard explains the philosophy behind Rock Spring Farm: Fairbanks, 474-1530. March 18-19 – Subregional SARE “Wherever we have gone, we have found that food is the glue that holds relation- Conference, Fairbanks, 474-1530, ships together. Whether it’s the gleam in a customer’s eye when she returns for more by invitation only. of “the best green beans I’ve ever eaten” or the grace that’s said before a meal, food Oct. 12-Dec. 7 – Anchorage Mas- is often how we connect to something deeper in ourselves and others. At Rock Spring ter Gardener Class, 786-6300. Farm, we strive to produce healthy, delicious food that people can build a meal – and a relationship – around. At every turn, we work to ensure that this food is produced in What's inside . . . harmony with nature, keeping the creeks and rivers clean, the hawks ﬂying, and the SARE Conference continued.......2 wildﬂowers blooming.” SARE Conference Agenda...3 SARE Conference Registration...4 Blanchard has also taken an active role in the broader organic and sustainable farming com- Subregional SARE Conference (Continued on page 2.) to Follow State Conference...5 Six Critical Questions....................5 See page 2 for MORE. ➟ ➟ ➟ ➟ ➟ ➟ SARE Farmer's Toolbox...............6 Editor: Michele Hébert, Agriculture and Horticulture Agent The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service programs are available to all, without regard to race, color, age, sex, creed, national origin, or disability and in accordance with all applicable federal laws. Provided in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fred Schlutt, Director, Alaska Layout & Design: Cooperative Extension, University of Alaska Fairbanks. UAF is an afﬁrmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution. Ronda L. Halvarson SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE FOR ALASKA – JANUARY 2010 Page 2 (Continued from page 1.) Tom Jahns photo Mara Bacsujlaky photo munity. He is a founding board member of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES), and coordinates presentations at the Organic Farming Conference, the largest organic farming conference in the United States. He is a regular speaker at farming conferences throughout the Midwest. Blanchard has also authored a number of articles for publications such as Organic Gardening, Mother Earth News and Growing for Market. In addition to the keynote national speaker, the Sustainable Agriculture Conference will feature presenters from communities around Alaska speaking on topics such as energy-efﬁcient, insulated panel greenhouses, tropic breeze wind machines, season extensions, funding opportunities, chicken ranching, farm soil fertility and weed suppression. A panel discussion on food se- curity is also planned. Commercial growers are invited to a special preconference growers school March 16 with Blanchard. The workshop will focus on ﬁnancial and production methods. Preregistration is required. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend this exciting and informative conference, which is sponsored by the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Western Region Sus- tainable Agriculture Research and Education and UAF Cooperative Extension Service-Tanana District. For information, con- tact Michele Hébert at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a conference brochure and registration form, contact Ronda Halvarson at email@example.com or 474-2450. ❂ Chris Blanchard photo See page 3 for AGENDA. ➟ ➟ ➟ ➟➟ ➟ ➟➟➟➟ SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE FOR ALASKA – JANUARY 2010 Page 3 Sixth Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and Organic Growers School AGENDA MARCH 16 – PRECONFERENCE ACTIVITY AGENDA 1:00-4:30 Commercial Growers School with National Speaker Chris Blanchard, Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge 2:00-4:30 Tour of UAF Cold Climate Housing Research Center, transportation TBA MARCH 17 – CONFERENCE AGENDA 7:45–8:15 Registration 8:15–8:30 Welcome 8:30–9:15 CSA Basics (How we do it at Rock Spring Farm and things to think about), Chris Blanchard, Rock Spring Farm, Decorah, Iowa 9:15–9:35 Weed Suppression and Soil Fertility, SARE Farmer Rancher Grant, Mike Emers, Rosie Creek Farm, Fairbanks 9:35–9:55 Update on Alaska Organic Certiﬁcation Program and Label Requirements for Poultry Shell Eggs, Doug Warner, Alaska Division of Agriculture, Palmer 9:55–10:15 EQIP Financial Assistance: The Organic Incentive and Seasonal High Tunnels for Crop Production, Sunny Castillo, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fairbanks, and Lloyd Wilhelm, Farm Service Agency, Delta Junction 10:15–10:45 Break 10:45–11:05 Update on Farming in Bethel, Tim Meyers, Meyers Farm, Mara Bacsujlaky photo Bethel 11:05–11:25 Agricultural Tours in Alaska with the Cruise Line In- dustry, Charlotte Jewell, Jewell Gardens, Skagway 11:25–11:45 Galena – A Community Devoted to Sustainable Agriculture, Paul Apfelbeck, Galena 11:45–12:00 Funding Opportunities through the Alaska Division of Agriculture, Patricia O’Neil, Alaska Division of Agriculture, Palmer 12:00–1:00 Lunch on Site 1:00–1:20 Alaska Dairy Goat Farm, TBA 1:20–1:40 Disease Control and Plant Growth Promotion of Tricho- derma atroviride, A Biocontrol Agent Found in Alaska, Dr. Jenifer McBeath, UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences 1:40–2:00 Equipment for Innovative Farming in Igiugig, Alex Anna Salmon, Igiugig 2:45–3:15 Break 3:15–3:35 Fruit and Berry Crop Research Results in Alaska, Dr. Me- riam Karlsson, UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences 3:35–3:55 Food Security Survey, Dean Carol Lewis, UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences 3:55–4:15 Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market, Rob Leach, Shaun Lott and Sue Sprinkle, Fairbanks 4:15–5:00 Food Security Panel, featuring representatives from the Fair- banks Community Cooperative Market, Alaska Community Agriculture and UAF Sustainable Community Task Force, and moderated by Craig Gerlach, UAF 5:00–5:30 Closing Remarks, Announcements and Evaluation 5:30–7:00 Grant Writing Workshop (Agenda subject to change; please check often for updates!) Michele Hébert photo See page 4 for REGISTRATION FORM. ➟➟➟➟➟➟➟ SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE FOR ALASKA – JANUARY 2010 Page 4 Sixth Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and Organic Growers School REGISTRATION FORM ATTENDEE INFORMATION Name (Include nickname, if preferred, for name tag.):_________________________________________________________ Title:_____________________________________ Business/organization:________________________________________ Address:_____________________________________________ City:_____________________ State:_____ ZIP:_______ Phone:___________________________ Fax:______________________ E-mail:__________________________________ MARCH 16 – FREE PRECONFERENCE ACTIVITIES MARCH 17 – CONFERENCE FEES (Preregistration is required.) (Lunch and snacks are included.) ❒ Commercial Growers School with National Speaker Chris $55 per person: $_______ Blanchard, 1:00-4:30 p.m., Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge Exhibitor space ($10 per table): $_______ ❒ Tour of UAF Cold Climate Housing Research Center, Please indicate what you will need: 2:00-4:30 p.m., transportation TBA ❒ table ❒ electricity ❒ easel ❒ extra chairs TOTAL DUE: $_______ PAYMENT OPTIONS ❒ Cash ❒ Check enclosed, payable to CES (check #______) ❒ Purchase order #:____________________________ ❒ JV from account # (UAF employees only): _________________ ❒ Credit card (circle your card): MasterCard Visa Cardholder name (as it appears on card):___________________________________________________________________ Card number:_________________________________________________________________________________________ Expiration:____ V-code (last 3 digits on back of card):_____ Amount to charge:______ Credit card billing ZIP code:_____ The UAF Cooperative Extension Service will charge your card the amount indicated above. In the event this amount is incorrect, you will be contacted. CES will conﬁrm your registration via e-mail receipt upon success of transaction. All credit card information is held in strict conﬁ- dentiality, and an original receipt is available upon request. All registration fees will be refunded for reservations cancelled up to the start of the event. Questions and concerns should be directed to: UAF Cooperative Extension Service Business Ofﬁce, P.O. Box 756180, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6180, or call 907-474-7269. Signature:____________________________________________________________________________ Date:___________ I give the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) permission to photograph, videotape or record me and to use the photographs, videotapes, ﬁlm or audio recording in print and electronic publications, video broadcasts, radio broadcasts or any similar electronic and mechanical means. I agree that the photographs, including negatives, slides and prints or any other presentation of the images, are the property of UAF. I waive any right I may have to inspect and/or approve the ﬁnished product in which the images may be used. By signing this form, I intend to release and discharge UAF from any and all claims that I may have and agree to hold harmless and defend UAF from liability arising from claims or litigation arising from its use of my image or voice. REGISTRATION & PAYMENT DUE MARCH 1! CONFERENCE LOCATION & LODGING UAF Cooperative Extension Service-Tanana District Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, Edgewater Room P.O. Box 758155 4477 Pikes Landing Road Fairbanks, AK 99775-8155 Fairbanks, AK 99709 ATTN: SAC/OGS Room rate: $69 single/double per night (plus tax) Phone: 474-2423 Fax: 474-6885 1-800-777-1725, Ext. 2, or www.princesslodges.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Request group code: TNB-L0074 The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service programs are available to all, without regard to race, color, age, sex, creed, national origin, or disability and in accordance with all applicable federal laws. Provided in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in coopera- tion with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fred Schlutt, Director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is an afﬁrmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution. FAIRBANKS SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE FOR ALASKA – JANUARY 2010 Page 5 Subregional SARE Conference to Follow SIX CRITICAL QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED State SARE Conference in Fairbanks Article by Phil Rasmuson and photos by Ron Daines, Western Region SARE T he Western Region of the USDA-CSREES Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will host a subregional conference March 18- 19, 2010, in Fairbanks. Participation in the envisioning conference, which follows Question 1: What will be needed to create stron- ger local and regional food systems the Sixth Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and Organic Growers School, that are less reliant on imports from March 16-17, is by invitation only to 100 key leaders in Alaska agriculture. The elsewhere? envisioning conference will ask participants to address six critical questions. The subregional conference is one in a series of conferences that Western SARE is conducting as listening sessions among key agricultural stakeholders in the sub- regions of the broad and diverse Western region. Goals are to help chart the future Question 2: of Western SARE and agricultural sustainability in Alaska, and to showcase what What are the local and regional con- SARE has accomplished in member states since the program was initiated 21 years sumption and production trends in ago. your local area? Western SARE funds grants totaling more than $2.8 million per year to farmers, ranchers, researchers, educators and nonproﬁt institutions in the Western region. Onsite conference coordinator is Michele Hébert of Fairbanks, working with Western SARE supporters in Alaska and SARE staff in Utah. Overall conference Question 3: director is Phil Rasmuson, Western SARE regional coordinator at the host institu- The SARE program was commis- tion, Utah State University. sioned, by Congress, to get its re- Conference participants will join approximately 100 invitees representing the search results to the farmer and diversity of Alaska agriculture and its support organizations. Participants will learn rancher. How can this process be how Western SARE grants are working to sustain the state’s farmers and ranchers. improved? Facilitated roundtable discussions will generate ideas and suggestions to help guide Western SARE’s decisions for the future. Those attending will be eligible to apply for a post-conference grant that addresses the top issues and needs that arise during discussions. Jerry DeWitt, former national director of SARE and director of the Leopold Cen- Question 4: ter for Sustainable Agriculture in Ames, Iowa, will facilitate the conference and What type of research, education and guide participants through six critical questions, which are listed below. ❂ development projects will be neces- sary over the next 10 years to help economically sustain farming and the environment? Question 5: If Western SARE received (from Congress) an additional $1 million per region, what types of projects should be targeted or emphasized? Phil Rasmuson Question 6: How can we (Western SARE) over- come barriers that may prevent un- der-served groups, including socially disadvantaged groups, from applying for and receiving SARE funding? Michele Hébert Jerry DeWitt PRSRT STD U.S. Postage Paid Fairbanks, Alaska Permit No. 2 P.O. Box 756180 Fairbanks, AK 99775-6180 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE FOR ALASKA – JANUARY 2010 Page 6 SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE FOR ALASKA ❂ ❂ ❂ "Farmer's Toolbox" ❂ ❂ ❂ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education: SARE is a program of the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture that functions through competitive grants conducted cooperatively by farmers, ranchers, researchers and ag professionals to advance farm and ranch systems that are proﬁtable, environmentally sound and good for communities. Western Region SARE is includes Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Micronesia, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Information: Visit the Western Region SARE website at www.wsare.usu.edu for information on news and events, grants, projects, publications, professional development training and confer- ences. The host institution, Utah State University, can be reached at 435-797-2257 (phone) or 435-797-3344 (fax), or write to USU Ag Science 305, Logan, Utah, 84322. Sustainable Agriculture for Alaska Newsletter: The newsletter is published quarterly – January, April, July and October. To receive it electronically, subscribe to the SARE listserv at https://lists.uaf.edu:8025/mail- man/listinfo/ak-sare-1 and follow directions.