Alaska Farm Bureau, Inc.
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February 2014


Welcome to the new and improved edition of the Alaska Farm Bureau's monthly newsletter! We hope that you find it informative.

There are many exciting things going on here at the Farm Bureau at the hiring of our new webmaster. We are in process of getting a new website and we are enjoying the new life of our Facebook page. 

We welcome your feedback on the changes. 

Happy trails....

Jane Hamilton
Executive Director
Alaska Farm Bureau

PS. Please help us to promote Alaska agriculture. Please 'like" us on Facebook, and please  this newsletter. 


A Message from Alaska Farm Bureau President Bryce Wrigley


Now that Congress has passed, and the President has signed the Farm Bill, farmers can move forward with their planting plans with some measure of certainty. The new Farm Bill provides a safety net for farmers in the event of severe losses with several crop insurance options. The bill also provides disaster provisions for livestock producers and fruit and vegetable growers.


Programs within the Farm Bill will enhance rural economies with additional jobs, invest in research and education and include reform that works for farm and ranch families. The new Farm Bill tightens eligibility requirements for participation in both the farm programs as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Some will find fault with the new bill due to changes in specific programs, but with the Nation's increasing deficit, we must recognize that business as usual can't continue.


One addition to the Farm Bill that I am particularly interested in watching is the creation of a permanent subcommittee within the EPA Science Advisory Board. This committee will be tasked with conducting peer review of EPA actions that would negatively impact agriculture. Given EPA's efforts to expand their authority over air and water, we hope that the new committee will raise awareness of the cost of proposed regulations to those of us who feed the nation.



Get Your Operation Promoted for Free! 


The "Faces of Alaska Agriculture" is the new series announced in our January newsletter begun by our new Webmaster to help get the word out about agriculture in Alaska.  


These "faces" will be used on our website and on social media.  To have you, your family, your farm and/or your agricultural business featured, send your photograph along with a brief explanation. A draft will be sent for your approval prior to printing.  


By submitting the photo, you are giving the Alaska Farm Bureau permission to use it online or in print media.  We will use the photos to promote agriculture in Alaska as well as your farm, ranch, or operation.  Send your pictures to the Farm Bureau's executive director, Jane Hamilton at


This free promotion only available to members of the Alaska Farm Bureau. To join go to:





Submitted by Catherine Hadley, Last Frontier Agricultural and Environmental Service, LLC.  Catherine is a former NRCS employee with over 20 years experience in crop and animal sciences.  She is a Certified Crop Advisor and owner of Last Frontier Agricultural & Environmental Services.  Catherine can be reached at 907.460.8628 or



A technical service provider, or TSP, is an individual or business that has technical expertise in planning and design for a variety of conservation activities.  Farmers and ranchers can hire a TSP to do work on behalf or NRCS.  TSPs provide service to NRCS clients in two basic areas:  conservation practice design, installation and check out in the development of Conservation Activity Plan (CAPs).


Conservation practices such a nutrient management, pest management, revegetation practices, etc. can be designed and checked out by a TSP.  TSP funds must be requested by the contract holder in the year they are going to be used.  NRCS would do a contract modification to add funds to the contract for hiring a TSP.  After the TSP has completed the requirements, the payment would be made.


CAPs cover the development of a plan such as a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP), Nutrient Management Plan, Grazing plan or Energy Audit Plan.  The producer applies for EQIP through the NRCS office and requests the development of a CAP in their selected area.  Once the application is ranked and funded, the producer may hire a TSP to complete the CAP.  The cost-share assistance received through the EQIP program will assist in paying the TSP fees.


There are several benefits to using a TSP for your conservation planning and implementation.  The first benefit is that you will be using a TSP that has proven their expertise in the field for which you are hiring them.  TSPs have a smaller client base and will be able to provide more individualized attention to your needs.  TSPs are also not encumbered by a large range of duties that may take time away from completing technical work.  Additionally, TSPs are required to provide the client and NRCS with certain basic items, but the sky is the limit.  A TSP can do as much work as you would like and can delve deeper into your resource concerns.




**********CLASSIFIED ADS**********


Reindeer Wanted:  The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center wants to purchase a few reindeer for public exhibit and education.  Please contact Mike Miller at or telephone him at 907.301.7942.


Classified Ads are free.  Submit your ad to the newsletter editor at or phone 907.803.4752.





The Alaska Division of Agriculture is putting together their 2014-2015 Source Book.  The Source Book is the only statewide listing of all producers with items for sale.  The Division of Agriculture will be collecting data through April 15th.  At least 5,000 copies of the Source Book will be printed and distributed to the public.  The data is also made available online in a searchable format.


The Division of Agriculture collects and distributes this data every two years.  No one will be added to the 2014-2015 Source Book automatically.  You must fill out the application even if you have been in the publication in the past.  There were 225 producers that provided their data for the 2012-2013 book.  The Division is hoping for a 20% increase this year.


You can submit your data at the Division of Agriculture's website




Agriculture and Food Research Grants- Due March 14


The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide funds to support projects that help ensure the availability and accessibility of safe and nutritious food by increasing the supply and reducing losses. Project types supported within the Food Security Challenge Area are multi-function integrated research, education, and/or extension projects, food and agricultural science enhancement grants and conferences. State Agricultural Experiment Stations, colleges and universities, other research institutions and organizations, and many other groups are eligible to apply. $6,000,000 total program funds are available. Letter of Intent due March 14, 2014, application due June 12, 2014. For more information:





Each Alaska Farm Bureau Chapter is eligible for a grant up to $1,000.  The grant should be used for one of the following:
  • Top increase membership in your Chapter.
  • To promote Alaska agriculture or mariculture.
  • To promote the Alaska Farm Bureau
Members of each Chapter determine what project they want funding for during your local Chapter meeting.  Only one application per chapter is to be submitted.
The deadline for submission is April 1st.
The request should be from an officer of the Chapter and this will be the person that will be responsible for submitting the final grant documentation.  The grant must be completed within 12 months.
There is no actual application form.  Just write a letter or e-mail describing the project, explain what you will be using the funds for, and the project completion date.
Chapters are to certify that the project is completed and account for or describe the total cost of the project, including any funds that your Chapter contributed.  Certification may be in the form of a letter or e-mail.  Digital photographs of the completed projects are requested and appreciated, but not required.
The $1,000 will be advanced shortly after the project is approved.  If all of the funds are not used, any remaining funds are to be returned to the Alaska Farm Bureau when the project is completed.
Chapters that have not completed their projects by April 1st of the following year shall return the $1,000 grant advance to the Alaska Farm Bureau.
Application letters or e-mails stating the grant project request and the final completion letters or e-mails should be sent to the Alaska Farm Bureau at P.O. Box 760 - Delta Junction, AK 99737 or to

USDA Agriculture Education Grants- Due April 3


The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide grants to promote and strengthen secondary and 2-year postsecondary agriscience and agribusiness education and agriculture in the K-12 classroom in order to help ensure a qualified workforce and encourage more young Americans to pursue and complete a baccalaureate or higher degree in the food, agricultural and human sciences. Public secondary schools, public or private nonprofit junior and community colleges, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations are eligible for this grant. Application deadline: April 3, 2014. For more information:



Alaska Farm Bureau Scholarship- Deadline April 12, 2014


The Alaska Farm Bureau is again offering a $2,000 scholarship to applicants who are interested in working in an agricultural or natural resource field.  Applicants may be graduating high school students or adults who are applying to schools for the fall semester or students already enrolled in a college, trade school or vocational school.
The deadline to apply is April 12, 2014.  The application is on our website:  If you have questions, please contact the Alaska Farm Bureau Office at 907.803.4752 or the executive director by e-mail at
The scholarship is funded exclusively by the scholarship auction held each year during the Friday Forum and Annual Meeting events in November.  100% of auction funds are devoted to the scholarship program.  The number of scholarships offered each year depends on the amount of money raised.  Scholarship are offered in $2,000 increments, with any balances carried forward towards the next year.  The Scholarship Auction will be held in conjunction with the Awards Banquet that will be held at Land's End Resort in Homer on November 14th.


Grainger is introducing the Milwaukee Heated Jacket #24U074.  It's water and wind resistant with three heat levels on both the front and the back, with up to 6 hours of continuous heat.  It's M12 Lithium battery compatible.  Currently, it's at 25% off.  


Remember, Alaska Farm Bureau members get free shipping on orders made on-line.  Be sure your account indicated you are a Farm Bureau member. Order



Agriculture-Related Bills Submitted During this Legislative Session:



HB 77:  Introduced at the request of the Governor - An Act relating to the Alaska Land Act, including certain authorizations, contracts, leases, permits, or other disposals of state land, resources, property, or interests; relating to authorization for the use of state land by general permit; relating to exchange of state land; establishing that performance of a feasibility study for the development and operation of a hydroelectric site at Chikuminuk Lake is not considered an incompatible use of the Wood-Tikchik State Park; relating to procedures for certain administrative appeals and requests for reconsideration to the commissioner of natural resources; relating to the Alaska Water Use Act.


HB 121: Introduced by Rep. Feige - An Act relating to the examinations, board, loans, records, and lobbying contracts of the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank.


HB 202:  Introduced by Rep. Feige - An Act raising the application fee for a drawing permit for the hunting of bison to $20; requiring the game management plan for bison in the Delta Junction Bison Range Area to include mitigation of bison damage to farm crops and farm and personal property; and authorizing the commissioner of natural resources to make grants to mitigate or prevent damage caused by bison.  (Members at the November 16, 2013 Alaska Farm Bureau's Annual Meeting voted to support this bill).


HB 207:  Introduced by Rep. Feige - An Act establishing the Board of Agriculture, Conservation, and Development; transferring the powers and duties of the Natural Resource Conservation and Development Board to the Board of Agriculture, Conservation, and Development; transferring to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development the authority to approve loans from the Agricultural revolving loan fund; terminating the Natural Resource Conservation and Development Board.  (Support for this bill was defeated by members at the November 16,2013 Alaska Farm Bureau's Annual Meeting).


HB 215:  Introduced by Rep.Tarr - An Act relating to the labeling of food; relating to the misbranding of food; requiring labeling of food products with genetic engineering.


HB 224:  Introduced by Rep. Drummond - An Act limiting the application of neonicotinoid pesticides.


HB 231:  Introduced by Rep. Chenault - An Act eliminating the Department of Revenue's duty to register cattle brands.


HB 238:  Introduced by Rep. Tarr - An Act relating to the municipal procurement preference for state agricultural and fisheries products; relating to legislative oversight of that procurement preference.


HB 248:  Introduced by Rep. Kawasaki - An Act establishing May 15 each year as Think Local Day.


HB 249:  Introduced by Rep. Kawasaki - An Act prohibiting the use of genetically engineered seeds or plants to produce or grow agricultural products for sale.


The full text of each bill can be found at

Type in the bill number in the "Search" box.  You can find the full text, the sponsor's statement and the bill's history and current status.




Last Frontier Agricultural & Environmental Services, LLC


Offering soil sample collection and analysis, integrated pest management plans, irrigation water management, grazing management, water testing and feed testing. 


Call Catherine Hadley at 907.460.8628

or send her an e-mail:




USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) is announcing the expanded coverage for specialty barley types in Alaska.  Expanded coverage includes Hulless, Waxy Hulled and Waxy Hulless types. 


Starting with the 2014 crop year, the 5% premium surcharge for acreage insured under organic farming practices has been removed.  A new contract price option is available to organic producers who grow eligible crops under guaranteed contract and changes to organic transitional yields (t-yields) will be phased in so they will be more reflective of actual organic farming experience.  RMA continues to add organic price elections for certain crops based on availability of date.  Additional information on risk management tools for organic farmers can be found on the RMA Organic Crops website at


RMA reminds growers of the March 17th sales closing date for Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) programs.  These programs include the Adjusted Gross-Revenue-Lite Insurance (new application/enrollment policies) and coverage for spring-seeded insurable crops of barley, cabbage, potatoes, oats and wheat as well as organic crops.


Alaska producers have the option of obtaining an individual MPCI policy for each insured crop or a whole-farm revenue protection package, Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite (AGR-Lite).  AGR-Lite provides protection against low revenue due to unavoidable natural disasters and market fluctuations that affect income during the insurable year.  Most farm-raised crops, animals, and animal products are eligible for protection.  Coverage may include organic and specialty commodities.


Current Alaska policyholders and uninsured growers must make all of their decisions on crop insurance coverage before the March 17th sales closing date.  Federal crop insurance program policies are sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance companies and agents.  A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA service centers or on the RMA website at




ARRC - Lending to Farmers Is Our Business


Line of Credit loans for all farm-operating costs. (3 years) Chattel loans for equipment new or used (5 years on used 7 years on new). 

Real Estate loans for purchase or improvements to land (up to 20 years.)


All loans are 5 to 9 percent interest depending on credit and collateral.  Call Steve at 907-745-3390 or email at





February 27th:  Delta Farm Bureau Chapter meeting at the Jarvis Office Building at Mile 1420.5 Alaska Highway in Delta Junction.  The meeting begins at 7:00 P.M.


March 5th:  Certified Pesticide Applicator Conference in UAA Gorsuch Commons Room 107 at 3700 Sharon Gagnon Lane, Anchorage.  Cost is $50, which includes lunch.  Agenda and conference details at


March 6th:  Kenai Peninsula Farm Bureau Chapter meeting at Ninilchik Fairgrounds.  Potluck is at 6:30 P.M.  Meeting begins at 7:00 P.M. 


March 11-13:  Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Fairbanks at the Wedgewood Resort.  Agenda and registration at


March 14th and 15th: Alaska Botanical Garden Annual Meeting and Spring Garden Conference.  Held at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel.  Agenda and registration information can be found at



April 15th:  Deadline to submit your data for the Division of Ag's Source Book.  Data is submitted at their website:


March 17th:  Crop Insurance Sales Closing Date for new application/enrollment policies for spring-seeded insurable crops (barley, cabbage, potatoes, oats and wheat).


March 29th:  New and Intermediate Peony Growers School at the Tanana District Extension classroom in Fairbanks.  New growers will meet from 9:00 A.M. to Noon.  Intermediate growers meet from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M.   For information:


March 31st:  Deadline to submit comments about the USDA changes to Chronic Wasting Disease and Herd Certification Programs.  The changes are in the Federal Register.  Links include http://www.regulations.ov/#!documentDetail.D=APHIS-2--6-0118-0402 and!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2006-0118.


Last half of April there will be several apple tree-grafting workshops at the Tanana District Extension Office in Fairbanks:  For information:  Email Steven Seefeldt at


April 26th:  Agriculture Forum at Land's End in Homer.  Sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula RC&D Office. 



Life is short - Eat Good Food - The Best Is Always Alaska Grown!




Attention Alaska Producers!


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Wendy's clients include: Alaska Farm Bureau, Arizona Farm Bureau, Sitka Wildlife Tours, Alaska Ocean View Bed and Breakfast Inn and many more!


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Logo redesign by 23 Kazoos