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May 2014

Greetings! 

I hope your month is off to a great start! We have a LOT going on around our beautiful state, so please be sure to read through ALL of the news and upcoming events below! 

 

Don't miss the news below about the Mt.McKinley Meat and Sausage Plant! There are links included below that you can click and help provide feedback by participating in the surveys. 

 

And certainly last but NOT least, please make sure you read the information below about the EPA ruling and how that will impact Alaska providers! 

Thank you for ALL you do to contribute to food security in Alaska!  

Happy Trails.....

Jane Hamilton
Executive Director
Alaska Farm Bureau

PS. Please keep us updated as to what's going on at your operation! We would LOVE for you to send us pictures so we can promote for you, sharing photos in our newsletter, on Facebook, and on our website! Also, please LIKE us on Facebook and check out our new website
 

 

PROPOSED EPA RULE WILL AFFECT ALASKA FARMERS

 

photo credit: James McFarland
On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a proposed rule that would assert Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction over nearly all areas with any hydrologic connection to downstream navigable waters, including man-made conveyances such as ditches and areas of agricultural land that are wet only during storms.

 

We need your help to stop the EPA from regulating your land and water!  

 

Read more about this important legislation here.


 

INPUT SOUGHT FOR MT. McKINLEY MEAT & SAUSAGE PLANT

 

The Division of Agriculture and Board of Agriculture and Conservation (BAC) are seeking public input on options to transition the Mt. McKinley Meat & Sausage plant near Palmer from state ownership to the private sector. 

  

To gather input from the red meat industry, other processing plants, and Alaska chefs and restaurants, the Division of Agriculture has developed surveys. The division is seeking responses to these surveys by May 30. Please click here to participate in the surveys. 

 

The public is invited to provide oral comments on options for the plant's future during the public comment session of the BAC meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, July 2 from 1-2 p.m. in the conference room of the Division of Agriculture's Palmer office. 

 

For more information about this meeting and for the number to call and participate, please click here


 

 SARE CALLS FOR GRANT PROPOSALS

 

Photo Credit: Kodiak Chapter
Western SARE has posted this year's Calls for Proposals
.  Alaska producers may be interested in applying for 2 of the 5 listed grant opportunities, each with varying application deadlines. Steven Seefeldt, the Western SARE professional development coordinator for Alaska, is eager to help people develop their ideas and to review their proposals. In fact, you may even want to include Steven as part of your proposal. To review detailed descriptions of each type of grant and find links to the specific call, click here. 
 

Farmer/Rancher 

 

1-3 year grants are awarded to agricultural producers with support and guidance from a technical advisor. Individual farmers or ranchers may apply for up to $15,000, and a group of three or more producers may apply for up to $25,000. Grants are for on-site experiments that can improve operations and the environment and can be shared with other producers. Grant recipients may also focus on marketing and organic production. Proposals are due in December 2014. A technical review will be held in January 2015, and proposals will be selected for funding in March 2015. 

 

Professional + Producer

 
These grants are similar in concept to the Farmer/Rancher Grants with a few key differences. Instead of a producer serving as the project coordinator, an agricultural professional - Cooperative Extension educator or Natural Resources Conservation Service professional, for example - coordinates the project. A farmer or rancher serves as the project advisor. Applicants can seek up to $50,000 and must have at least five producers involved. Proposals are due in December 2014.

A technical review will be held in January 2015, and proposals will be selected for funding in March 2015. 

 

If you would like assistance, Steven Seefeldt can be reached at 907-474-2423 or ssseefeldt@alaska.edu.

 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AG RELATED BILLS?

photo credit: BigStockPhoto

HB-77 Relating to the Alaska Water Use Act:  Did not pass.

 

HB-121 Relating to the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank:  Passed, awaiting transmittal to the Governor.  Governing Board must be residents of the state.  Loans may be made to non-residents if the processor or facility is located in the state and loans may now be made for tourism-related operations.

 

HB-202 Relating to raising the fee for bison permits and included mitigation for bison damages:  Did not pass.

 

HB 207 Relating to The BAC and loan approval authority:  Did not pass.

 

HB 215 Relating to labeling GMO food products:  Did not pass.

 

HB 224 Relating to limiting/banning neonicotinoid pesticides:  Did not pass.

 

HB 231 Relating to cattle brands:  Passed-awaiting transmittal to the Governor.

 

HB 238 Relating to procurement preference for state agricultural and fisheries products:  Did not pass.

 

HB 248 Relating to establishing a Think Local Day:  Did not pass.

 

HB 249 Relating to prohibiting the use of GMO seeds or plants to grow agricultural products for sale:  Did not pass.

 

HB 309 Relating to allowing distilleries to sell small quantities on their premises as well as tasting samples to be consumed on premises.  Passed, awaiting transmittal to Governor.


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EARN A FREE TRIP TO HOMER IN NOVEMBER!

Members who enroll five (5) new members earn travel and two nights to the Alaska Farm Bureau's Friday Forum conference and Annual Meeting in Homer on November 14th and 15th!Just be sure that your name is on their membership application to receive credit for enrolling them.  

 

Several members are well on their way as they have already enrolled new members.  

 

Homer is beautiful in November!

 
 
NOVEMBER FRIDAY FORUM CONFERENCE 
AND ANNUAL MEETING

Save these dates! Reservations have been made for our events this November. They will be held at Land's End Resort in Homer. Please mark your calendar now so you won't have any conflicts for these dates:

Friday, November 14th: 
  • Friday Forum conference, Awards Banquet and Scholarship Auction.
Saturday, November 15th: 
  • Annual Meeting
Land's End Resort has quite a mixture of different types of rooms and prices. Each type has a limited number. If you want a specific room type, I would advise that you make your reservation early. Beware: They do require a deposit payment that is charged to your credit card now.

To make hotel reservations: Telephone: 907-235-0400. 

 

Room types: 
  • Port City: Price $71/plus tax. One double bed and a trundle bed. Looks out on the parking lot. They have 8 of these rooms reserved for us.
  • Port Bay: Price $80/plus tax. One double bed and a trundle bed. View of the bay. They have 8 rooms reserved for us.
  • Mid-Ship City: $80/plus tax. 2 double beds. Looks out on the parking lot. They have 2 rooms reserved for us.
  • Mid-Ship Bay: $107/plus tax. 2 double beds. View of the Bay. They have 4 rooms reserved for us.
  • Mid-Ship King: $107/plus tax. 1 King bed. View of the Bay. They have 7 rooms reserved for us.
  • Starboard Bay Suite: $134/plus tax. Two rooms: 1 King bed and the other room has 1 Queen bed. 
Gold Nugget Farms, Palmer, R to L Gerald Huppert, Josh Lutz, Teri Bernowski, Paul Huppert
 

 

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 steve@arrc.us. 



 

FARM FAMILY OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS SOUGHT

 

photo credit: Stephen Rice
The Division of Agriculture is inviting you to submit nominations for the 15th Annual Farm Family of the Year award that will be presents during the Alaska Sate Fair in August.

 

The award was established in 2000 to honor an Alaska farming family that epitomizes the spirit of the industry and to show appreciation for all the hardworking Alaskans committed to agriculture and aquaculture in the state. 

 

Nominations are due June 17th.  The Farm Family will be selected using the following criteria: 

  • Production of quality Alaskan Grown products (not quantity)
  • Community involvement (civic organizations, school, sports, church, etc.)
  • Involvement in agriculture sector organizations (local, state, federal, tribal, etc.)
  • Overall farm family image, farming history, and unique or special production.

Nominations should offer details about the family and how the family members fulfill the criteria.  Nominations should be mailed to Jacquelyn Schade, AK Division of Agriculture 1800 Glenn Hwy, Suite 12, Palmer, AK 99645.  They may be faxed to 907-745-7242 or e-mailed to Jacquelyn.Schade@alaska.gov.


 

AFBF LAUNCHES FARM BILL RESOURCES WEBSITE

 

 

photo credit: Delbert Simineo
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has launched a new website to summarize and provide access to current farm bill information and educational resources. The website includes a series of video presentations produced by AFBF in which the key commodity and crop insurance provisions of the 2014 farm bill are explained. 

 

Video presentations include: 

1) Farm Bill Overview

2) The Price Loss Coverage and Supplemental Coverage Option programs 

3) The Agricultural Risk Coverage Program

4) The Stacked Income Protection Program for Cotton

5) The Dairy Margin Protection Program.

 

Users can link to the website from AFBF's Voice of Agriculture website splash page, or use the direct link to the site. The site will be updated as additional farm bill information becomes available. 


CLASSIFIED ADS

 

Wanted:  Locally Grown Food:  The center for Alaskan Coastal Studies hosts a number of camps and overnight programs at our Peterson Bay Field Station throughout the course of the summer.  We provide meals for participants during the programs and would like to source more of our food locally and sustainably.  The Center is a 501 c 3 environmental education organization in Homer.  It was established in 1982.  E-mail Melanie@akcoastalstudies.org for more information.  Telephone: 907-235-6667.

 

Vendors for Center Market Wanted:  The Center Market at The Mall at Sears in Anchorage is looking for vendors with unique Alaska Grown or produced products.  The Center Market is a year round, indoor farmers market.  We are looking for vendors to join us on Wednesdays for this spring.  We will start our Saturday market in August.  For more information, e-mail Alex Davis at adfarmorganic@gmail.com

 

For Sale:  2008 Dodge 3500 Pickup.  4 door crew cab, 6.7 l inline diesel engine, turbo charger, duel rear wheels.  Black with Leer Topper.  5th wheel attachment, 6 speed automatic.  Excellent condition with all the bells and whistles. Super chip included.  151,000 miles.  Please call Jeannie Pinkelman in Delta Junction at 907-895-4006 or 895-4594.

 

Farm for Sale in North Pole:  A 9 acre commercial operation farm/nursery/tourism lodge business at 2100 Nelson Road in North Pole.  A 30'x40' attached, insulated greenhouse, fully landscaped grounds, tree nursery, large vegetable garden (only natural fertilizers used), woods in blueberries and cranberries.  There is a 2-story log lodge, stainless commercial kitchen, covered porches, and gazebo for weddings.  Good well water.  28 HP hydraulic John Deere tractor with bucket, rototiller attachments and many, many other features.  $378,000.  Contact Tracy Pulido at info@chenalakesfarm.com.

 

40 Acres for Sale in North Pole:  Gorgeous parcel that is a mix of large spruce, birch, willow and grassland.  East borders Chena Lake Recreation Area at the end of Repp Road in North Pole.  Great spot for farm, rural estate or hunting/fishing aurora-viewing lodge.  Can be subdivided into 5-acre lots.  Short walk to river or lake.  Road access, power about mile away.  Very private, but easy access to town.  Owner financing is available.  $117,000 OBO. Contact Tracey Pulido at info@chenalakesfarm.com.

 

For Sale:  Drill stem pipe.  160 pieces of 2 7/8 inch and 3- inch.  Each piece is thirty-two (32) feet long and inch thickness.  Selling for $1 per foot.  Call Mike at 907-301-7942 at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage Glacier.

 

Classified Ads are free.  Submit your ad to the newsletter editor at janehamilton99737@yahoo.com or phone 907.803.4752.

   


HACCP IN AN HOUR

 

This is a one-hour training webinar on May 29th.  It begins at 9:00 A.M. Alaska time and there is no charge.  The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) puts on the training.  Click here or more information. 


    SCHOLARSHIP WINNER ANNOUNCED

 

Ashleena Roberts of Palmer is the recipient of the Alaska Farm Bureau's $2,000 scholarship this year.  Ashleena is a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho where her field of study is Animal Science-Beef Production.  She will be attending BYU-I again this fall. 

 

Ashleena's summer jobs have been agricultural.  She has worked at William's Reindeer Farm as their tour guide and reindeer handler, at Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm as a field worker, cashier and she organized vegetable, sod and tree orders as well as a herdsman for the Alaska State Fair.  She is active in the Mat-Su Youth Court, the Pioneer Peak 4-H Club, and the Young Women's Laurel Group for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

 

The Farm Bureau will be holding a scholarship auction at the Awards Banquet on November 14th at the Land's End Resort in Homer.  The auction is our sole fund raising effort and 100% of all auction proceeds are dedicated to the scholarship fund.  Donated auction items are greatly appreciated as we look forward to another successful auction this year.  If you are not attending the banquet, but would like to contribute an item, your chapter director will be glad to bring it to the auction or you can send it to the Alaska Farm Bureau at PO Box 760 Delta Junction, AK 99737. 


GRANT FUNDS FOR BEGINNING FARMER AND RANCHER

 

Photo credit: Becky Peterson
The USDA's National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced they will accept applications for beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program from organizations that assist beginning farmers and ranchers.  Applications are due June 12, 2013.

 

Grant funds "support the development of educational outreach curricula, workshops, educational teams, training, and technical assistance programs to assist begging farmers and ranchers entering, establishing, building and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises".  The primary goal of the program is to enhance food security, community development and sustainability by providing beginning farmers with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations.

 

Applications may only be submitted by a collaborative state, tribal, local or regionally based network or partnership of qualified public and or private entities.  These collaborations my include Extension Service, tribal agencies, community based organizations, nongovernmental organizations, colleges, universities, private for-profit organizations, etc. 

 

USDA will make $19.2 million available for grants.  The Request for Applications can be found here.  Additional information is available here.

 

Webinars will be held on April 30th and May 6th. The first webinar will focus on general guidelines for the program, while the second webinar will focus on the funding allocations for socially disadvantaged and military veteran farmers and Applications are due June 12, 2014.


 WHAT'S GOING ON

 

May 29th:  HACCP in an Hour webinar:  9:00 A.M. More information here.

 

May 30th:  Mt. McKinley survey deadline.

 

June 10th - 12th:  Grant Writing Workshop.  Sponsored by The Grant Training Center. Held at the University of Alaska. An intensive 3 day grant proposal workshop 8:30 A.M. to 4:20 P.M. each day. Online webinar is available. Fee is $595.00. Additional information here or call 1-866-704-7268.

 

June 17th:  Farm Family of the Year nominations due to Division of Agriculture.

 

July 2nd:  BAC Meeting on Mt. McKinley Meat & Sausage:  Meeting held at the Division of Ag office in Palmer from 1-2 P.M.  To participate remotely, call

1-800-315-6338 and enter 12211#  at the prompt.

 

November 14th: Friday Forum Conference, Awards Banquet and Scholarship Auction at Land's End Resort in Homer.

 

November 15th: Alaska Farm Bureau's Annual Meeting in Homer, Alaska.


  USDA ANNOUNCES $78 MILLION FOR LOCAL FOOD ENTERPRISES

 

photo credit: Karin Sonnen
U
SDA is making a $78 million investment in local and regional food systems, including food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation, and processing facilities, distribution services and other local food business enterprises. 

 

$48 million in loan guarantees for local food projects is now available through USDA's Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. Rural Developments' Business and Industry (B&I) program guarantees loans for projects that focus on local food business enterprises such as food hubs, scale-appropriate processing facilities, cold storage and distribution networks, etc.  Entities eligible for B&I loan guarantees include cooperatives, non-profit organizations, corporations, partnerships, Indian tribes, public bodies or individuals.  Click here for the website for Alaska Rural Development.

 

$30 million is available through competitive grants via the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program.  The deadline to submit an application is June 20, 2014.   This program makes funds available to farmers markets, other direct producer-to-consumer venues and other businesses in the local food supply chain.  Under this program $15 million is now available for marketing and promotional support specifically for local food businesses, including food hubs, delivery and aggregation businesses, and processing and storage facilities along the local food supply chain, and $15 million is for marketing support for farmers markets and other direct consumer outlets.  The AMS website is here. 


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 publishing. 

 

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 janehamilton99737@yahoo.com

 

This free promotion only available to members of the Alaska Farm Bureau. To join, click here.

                                                                            

LIKE DISCOUNTS?

 

Join the Alaska Farm Bureau!  We offer many discounts to all of our members: 

  • Office Depot:  Up to 80% off preferred products.  Free Shipping to Alaska on orders over $50.00.  
  • COUNTRY Financial:  Offering ID Theft, Home, Auto, Life policies and Financial Planning.  Farm policies are sold only to Alaska Farm Bureau Members.
  • Choice Hotels:  Up to 20% off when you stay at any Comfort Inn, Quality, Clarion, Roadway Inn, Econo Lodge, Mainstay Suites, and Suburban hotels.  Must use their website www.choicehotels.com or call, 1-800-258-2847.  Discount code:00228830.
  • Grainger:  10-50% discounts on merchandise purchased online and at the Anchorage store.  Free shipping on merchandise sent to Alaska that is ordered on-line at www.Grainger.com.  Your account must be set up with them as a Farm Bureau member.
  • GM Discount:  $500 discount on all GMC, Chevrolet and Buick new cars and trucks.  All vehicles are eligible for the discount except the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac. Must be a member for 60 days.  You print your own certificate at www.fbadvantage.com/deals/gm.  You will need to enter your Alaska farm Bureau membership number.
  • Prescription Drug Program:  Discounts for you, your family and your employees.  There are no enrollment forms, no claim forms.  There are 50 participating pharmacies in Alaska including Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Fred Meyer, Safeway and drug stores around the state.  Discounts for those with and without insurance.  Request cards from the Alaska Farm Bureau Office at 907-803-4752 or janehamilton99737@yahoo.com.
  • NAPA Discount:  10% discount at all NAPA stores in Alaska, except for those in Tok, Kodiak and Southeast who are not participating in this program.  For Fairbanks and Delta, use code 0495. Elsewhere in the state use code 3276.
  • Farm Bureau Bank:  Significant savings on all business and personal financial needs-credit cards; deposit accounts including money market savings and IRA's; vehicle, student, home loans and much more at
  • AVIS Car Rental:  Discounts on vehicles rented both inside and outside of Alaska at participating rental offices.  Use AVIS Code A298802.
  • CASE-IH:  $300-500 discounts on equipment purchased at CASE-IH dealerships in Anchorage, Fairbanks as well as in the Lower 48.  

FARM BUREAU MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

 

Join the Alaska Farm Bureau!  Members of the Alaska Farm Bureau receive MANY great benefits, just for being a member! 

 

Click here to see a complete listing of benefits offered to our fabulous members!  


 
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