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					   STATEWIDE NEWSLETTER        S    UE!                                                                                                                        JANUARY – MARCH 2010
                          E IS

                 R  ENC


                                              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
     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 ( 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                                                                                    
     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 For a conference brochure and registration form, contact Ronda Halvarson at 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
                                               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,
                                                   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,
  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

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE FOR ALASKA – JANUARY 2010                                                                                                    Page 4

  Sixth Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and
  Organic Growers School
  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:                            $_______
  ❒ 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
  E-mail:                                                            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
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.
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
  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


         SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE FOR ALASKA – JANUARY 2010                                             Page 6

                           ❂ ❂ ❂         "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 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
         man/listinfo/ak-sare-1 and follow directions.

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