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August 2014


Please take the time to read through this newsletter for some important announcements and events.  

Happy Trails.....

Jane Hamilton
Executive Director
Alaska Farm Bureau

PS. Don't forget to reserve your room for November's Friday Forum in Homer. Information is below. 


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







As we go to press, we sadly note the passing of Bruce Willard, longtime rancher in Homer.  Bruce was a respected and well liked member of the Peninsula Farm Bureau Chapter, the Fox River Cattlemen's Association, and he was a member of the Alaska Farm Bureau's Board of Directors at the time of his death.  


Our thoughts and prayers are with Bruce's family and friends. He made a difference in Alaska agriculture, and he will be greatly missed.   


Bruce Willard

July 24th, 1935 - August 9th, 2014


Bruce Willard passed away Aug. 9, 2014 in Arizona, where he had been undergoing cancer treatment. He was born July 24, 1935, in Oakfield, Wisconsin.


Bruce was a Homer resident since 1946. He was a true Alaskan.


He homesteaded with his wife Linda in 1959, was a commercial fisherman, big game guide, company commander of the local National Guard, a longshoreman and a cattle rancher. He was on the board of directors of the Alaska Farm Bureau and a strong supporter of Alaska agriculture.


Bruce is preceded in death by his father George (Jess) Willard, his mother Alyce Willard, and sons Bruce Douglas and Jess Robert. 


He is survived by his wife Linda, sister Joann Butt, daughters Tammy Hagan and Kristin Willard, grandchildren Trisha Jones, Corissa Martin, Lacy Cissney, Connor, Devin, Jake and Allie Gleason, Caroline Gardner, Rebecca Willard, and great grandchildren Riley and Chase Jones, Charity and Thomas Martin, and Timmy and Emma Cissney. 


Bruce will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all who knew him. We take comfort that he is now with The Lord.


Memorial services will be announced and held at a later date.  







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.


Now is the time to make your hotel reservations.  Land's End has quite a variety of room types.  However, there aren't too many of any one type.  Rooms are going fast.  Now is the time to reserve the type of room that you want!  To make hotel reservations:  Telephone:  907-235-0400.


Be sure to mention that you are making your room reservation under the block of rooms reserved under the Alaska Farm Bureau to get your discounted rate.


Port City:  Price $71/plus tax, one double bed and a trundle bed, looks out on the parking lot. 

Port Bay:  Price $80/plus tax, one double bed and a trundle bed, view of the bay. 

Mid-Ship City:  $80/plus tax, 2 double beds, looks out on the parking lot.

Mid-Ship Bay:  $107/plus tax, 2 double beds, view of the Bay. 

Mid-Ship King:  $107/plus tax, 1 King bed, view of the Bay. 

Starboard Bay Suite:  $134/plus tax, two rooms:  1 King bed and the other room has 1 Queen bed.  


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!




Wood bison at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center Photo Credit AKWC.org

Mike Miller is offering free admission to the 

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage for Alaska Farm Bureau members as you travel to and from Homer for the Alaska Farm Bureau's November events. Regular admission price is $12.50 for adults. 

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Alaska's wildlife through public education, conservation, and quality animal care to displaced, orphaned and injured animals.  The center provides up close viewing of a great variety of animals such as moose, wood bison, elk, musk oxen, bears, caribou, black-tailed deer, lynx, and others along with Snickers, the popular porcupine.  Be sure to visit their gift store as well. 

Mike is the founder and Executive Director of the Conservation Center as well as an active Alaska Farm Bureau member. Be sure to take advantage of his generous offer! Thank you Mike!! 






Greetings to all, I hope that your summer has been as productive as ours, this is our first summer farming in Delta, and let's just say we are on a learning curve.


But now I would like to share my opinion on something that concerns my families farming enterprise here in Alaska. On July 2nd I joined a group of folks here in Delta on the telephone conference regarding MMM & S.


I was stunned after listening to person after person defending or attacking the facility and its personnel. I was under the impression that this conference and its subsequent email survey where to take a look at improving upon or gaining new ideas, and even developing some form of leadership to explore bigger and hopefully much better alternatives for the future.


Should we be satisfied with current agricultural marketing conditions and options or should we be granted the same opportunities as the rest of our great country.


The United States has spent billions teaching and developing sustainable agriculture in third world nations around the world.


So possibly we should put forth an effort to show some guidance to our leadership here in Alaska to give agriculture same sort of "PLAN" for the future. 



Scott Mugrage

President of Delta Farm Bureau






Senator Lisa Murkowski recently sent a letter to President Obama at the request of Alaska's peony growers and the American Cut Flower Association.  It asks the President to support the American cut flower industry (and Alaska's peonies!) by making it a White House policy to use only American flowers at the White House.  It's been the White House policy for many years to showcase American food and wine at White House State Dinners, but there's never been such a policy for American flowers.  Senator Murkowski thinks it's high time that changed.




November 20, 1980-August 1, 2014


Lydia Clayton

Lydia Clayton passed away on August 1, 2014 due to a car accident in Idaho.  She was 33.  She was born in Gales Creek, Oregon and attended Yamhill-Carlton schools and graduated in 1999.  She then attended the University of Idaho, earning a bachelor of science in horticulture in 2004 and a master of science in plant science in 2009.   Lydia left her position as the Horticulture and Small Farms Educator with the Kenai Peninsula's Cooperative Extension Service in May of this year. 


"Lydia's positivity and exuberance for life were contagious, and she worked hard to surround herself with the people and communities she loved," her family said.  "Lydia was a loving and passionate woman; she enjoyed adventuring, gardening hot springing, and especially loved spending time with and caring for those she loved."


A celebration of life will be held in honor of Lydia on September 6, 2014, in Genesee, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate time or money to your local community garden, or the Soil Stewards Organic Farm, Attn: Jodi Johnson-Maynard, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Drive MS 2339, Moscow, Idaho 83844-2339, or Backyard Harvest at BackyardHarvest.org in Lydia's remembrance.   Cards may be sent to her fianc�, Mike Friedrich at 246 E. Walnut Street, Genesee, ID 83832 or the Clayton family at 1282 3rd Street #33, Lafayette, OR 97127. 





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 [email protected]. 






The election process for the Alaska Farm Bureau's Board of Directors began this month.  You should have received your Nomination Petition in the mail.  If you did not or want another, contact the Alaska Farm Bureau Office at 907-803-4752 or e-mail the director at [email protected].


Complete the petition with the name and address of the person you wish to nominate that will represent your chapter on the Board of Directors.  Two General Members who have their 2014 dues paid must sign the nomination petition.  The petition must also be signed by the person nominated indicating that they agree to serve if elected.  The person nominated must be a General Member and have their 2014 dues paid.  A General Member is someone that is actively engaged in agriculture or mariculture.


Nominating petitions must be received or postmarked by September 5th.  Mail them to the Alaska Farm Bureau Office at PO Box 760 Delta Junction, AK 99737.  Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by October 1st. 


Members of the Copper River Valley Farm Bureau Chapter will not be participating in the election process this year as their Director, Marlene Wenger's term of office does not expire until 2015.








The Ag Appreciation Award will honor your neighbor who is exceptional in their service to agriculture and the farmers and ranchers in Alaska.  


The Legislator of the Year Award is to honor an Alaska Representative or Senator who has made a significant contribution to the advancement, promotion, or protection of agricultural producers in the state.


The deadline to nominate is September 1st. The nomination process is not a formal one as there are no applications or forms to complete.  Just send an e-mail or a note with the person's name and a brief description of why you think they should be honored.  Send your nominations to the Alaska Farm Bureau's office at PO Box 760 or e-mail it to [email protected].






The next Alaska Growers School begins September 24th.  The training is offered by UAF-Cooperative Extension Service and will be offered by webinar and teleconference on Wednesdays at 5:30 P.M. through December 17th.  The Growers School is ideal for Alaskans who wish to start a farm or expand an existing one for profit or subsistence. 


The training will emphasize farm planning and risk management, but will include the basics of whole farm planning, growing vegetables, berries and fruit, raising poultry and livestock and using seasonal extension techniques.  Resources for financial and technical expertise and loan programs also are covered.


The fee is $95, but tuition waivers are available.  For more information or apply for a waiver go to www.uaf.edu/ces/ags or call Glenna Gannon, Alaska Growers School coordinator at 907-452-8251.





The Farm Service Agency's Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program (RTCP) application period will end on September 8th.  Applicants will have until November 3, 2014 to provide your supporting documentation.  For more information, contact your local FSA Office or look at their website: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ak. 



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Alaska Farm Bureau Members Get 20% Off Services!







We are accepting reservations for the Alaska Farm Bureau's Friday Forum and Annual Meeting at Land's End Resort in Homer on November 14th and 15th.


There are 10 tables available inside the meeting for your display on both days.  It is expected that you will be able to set up on Thursday evening, November 13th.


Tables are $75/for Farm Bureau members and $100 for non-members.  Click here for registration form. You can pay for your table by mail or online using this link:


Friday Forum Vendor Reservation


Photo credit: Nancy Tarnai


Don't forget!! It's time for the Alaska Farm Bureau Photography Contest.    


The Alaska Farm Bureau photography contest is open to every member and their children.  


There are three categories:  

  1. Farm Animals, 
  2. Farm Scenery, and 
  3. Country Children. 

A $100 first prize will be awarded in each category.  Those attending the Friday Forum and Annual Meeting in Homer on November 14th and 15th will select the "People's Choice" from among all the photographs entered.  That winner will also be awarded $100.00.


Photographs will be judged on the following criteria:  creativity, originality and human interest.  


The photographs should be digital and e-mailed to AKFB executive director [email protected].  


Photos can also be mailed to PO Box 760 Delta Junction AK 99737.  The deadline is October 1st.  


Copies of the photographs may be used by the Alaska Farm Bureau to promote agriculture in our membership brochures, website and Facebook.  Credit will be given to the photographer if their photo is used.





Fairbanks Farm For Sale:  Arctic Roots Farm and Bed and Breakfast at 1293 Esro Road, off Chena Hot Springs Road. The parcel includes 25 acres of brome grass, 30 acres of birch forest, a 1-acre moose proof orchard/garden, a 20'x 48' high tunnel and a 20' x 48 greenhouse with drip irrigation. There are 3 homes - a farmhouse and two modern homes which are used as an agra-tourism bed and breakfast, a large shop with a heated utility room, a large barn with sheep handling corrals, a chicken coop, root cellar, and 30 acres with a 5' stock fence.  Contact owner Chris DuBois at 907-750-1514 for more information.  It is listed with Joe Russo at Russo Reality. Joe can be reached at



Rams for Sale:  Black Welch Mountain rams, very gentle, $300 each.  Nancy Davidian and Chris DuBois, Arctic Roots Farm. Call 907-750-1514.


Land For Sale:  70 acres in Salcha. It has Richardson Highway frontage and is near Milepost 315. There is a small stream on the property.  $42,000.  Contact Ann Geise at 907-895-4466.


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 [email protected] 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 [email protected].


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 [email protected].


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 [email protected].



Classified Ads ARE FREE to Alaska Farm Bureau Members.  Submit your ad to the newsletter editor at [email protected]
or phone 907.803.4752.





September 1st:  Deadline to apply for Executive Director position with the Alaska Farm Bureau.  


September 1st:  Deadline to nominate Legislator of the Year and Ag Appreciation Awards.


September 5th:  Nominating Petition deadline for candidates to represent your chapter on the Alaska Farm Bureau Board of Directors.


September 8th:  Last day to enroll in the FSA Reimbursement Transportation Payment Program.  Contact your Northern or Southern Farm Service Agency Office. 


September 30th:  Deadline for Forage Crop Insurance.  Policies are available in Fairbanks North Star, Kenai Peninsula, Matanuska-Susitna, Southeast Fairbanks, and Valdez-Cordova borough.  Visit with your crop insurance agent to learn specific detail for the 2015 crop year.  A list of agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or at the Risk Management website at: www3.rma.usda.gov/tools/agents.


September 30th:  Deadline to make your hotel reservations with Land's End Resort at the discounted rate for the Alaska Farm Bureau Friday Forum and Annual Meeting.  Call them at 907-235-0400 or 1-800-478-0400. Be sure to mention that there is a block of rooms reserved under the name Alaska Farm Bureau when making your reservation in order to receive the discount.


End of September/October:  Distribution of applications for the Organic Certification Cost-Share Assistance Program.  Applications will be distributed through Barbara Hanson at the Division of Agriculture.  Contact her at 907-761-3854 or [email protected].


October 1st:  Photo Contest entries due.


October 1st:  Ballots will be mailed to vote for the candidate to represent your chapter on the Alaska Farm Bureau Board of Directors.


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.



Join the Alaska Farm Bureau and SAVE!  


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!  


Membership is only $40 a year! Join today and support Alaska agriculture!