Alaska Farm Bureau News
June 2016

Congratulations Delta Farm Bureau!
First chapter to reach quota in 2016!
It's been a big year for agriculture so far - some good, some not so good, but all has gotten more press and recognition of agriculture in Alaska!
  • We had to fight for key programs in the Division of Ag budget (potato program and others within the PMC, MMM&S).
  • The Senate Resource Committee had a special hearing on food security which our President, Bryce Wrigley, presented at.
  • The Governor hosted an Alaskan grown reception at his residence in Juneau which had a great turn out!
  • There was a huge effort from the ag community to stop proposal 90 (removing sheep & goats from the clean list, etc.) that came before the Board of Game this winter - and now the Farm Bureau is forming a working group to try and come up with recommendations to forward to the state on this issue. Stay tuned for more on this.
And that's just naming a few things - there have also been several successful ag related events - including Alaska Farmland Trusts recent fundraiser "Drink Beer, Save Farms", which had a great turn out! With all the stuff that's happened in the first half of this year, I'm excited to see what the next 6 months bring!

If you haven't heard about the new magazine - Edible Alaska - be sure and check it out! Their premier issue came out this summer. And we look forward to future issues!

Be sure and read through the newsletter - there's some important deadlines coming up, news from Senator Murkowski and information on Veterinary Feed Directives.

Hope you're all having a great summer!

Best wishes,

Amy Seitz, Executive Director

37075 Nicholas View Lane
Soldotna, AK 99669 

2016 Farm Family of the Year 
The state is seeking nominations for this year's Farm Family of the Year award. This award is in it's 17 th year and will be presented August 25 th, the first day of the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. If you know a hardworking Alaskan family that is committed to agriculture and aquaculture, nominated them!
Be sure and include how they fulfill the following:
  • Production of quality Alaska Grown products (not based on quantity)
  • Community involvement (civic organizations, school, sports, church)
  • Involvement in agricultural industry organizations (local, state, and federal)
  • Overall farm family image, farming history, and unique or special production
Nominations are due by June 30 and can be submitted by mail, email, or fax to:

Kim Allen - Farm Family
Alaska Division of Agriculture
5310 S. Bodenburg Spur
Palmer, AK 99645
Fax: (907) 746-1568

 Interior Bill will Bring Vast Benefits to Alaska

Chairmanship Ensures Priorities, Protections for State Included in Critical Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released her Fiscal Year 2017 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which addresses a wide range of challenges, needs, and opportunities in Alaska. Among other advances, the bill makes significant strides in protecting our state from wildfires, improving access to Native healthcare, and reining in harmful federal regulations.

"With our state in the midst of a fiscal crisis, my Interior bill will provide much-needed stability, protections, and opportunities for communities all across our state. It directs federal resources where they are needed, while blocking excessive regulations that are causing harm and burying us in red tape," Senator Murkowski said. "I am proud of the work we have done in this bill to empower Alaskans to build our economy and create healthy communities where we can access care for our families. We honor our trust responsibilities to Alaska Natives, and prioritize the clean-up of contaminated lands. As our state continues to be devastated by wildfires year after year, my bill also gives firefighters the resources they need to protect our lands and our people."

Click here to listen to Murkowski introduce her Interior bill.

Prioritizing Alaska's Needs

Murkowski's bill will slow the regulatory onslaught from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ensures the agency will work for Alaska, by providing resources for on the ground clean up and reducing the budget for controversial regulatory actions. The bill will facilitate clean, safe drinking water in local communities by supporting a program for water infrastructure projects. It blocks funding for an overreaching and burdensome regulation known as the Waters of the United States (or "WOTUS") rule, which would have a severe impact on development projects ranging from individual homes to the Alaska gas pipeline. The bill restores Alaska's rightful control over wildlife management in refuges by blocking a proposed rule from the Fish and Wildlife Service on hunting, trapping, and land access. It also facilitates a life-saving road for the isolated community of King Cove by requiring a land exchange between the federal government and the State.

Investing in Alaska's Communities

The Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs play a vital role in Alaska, especially when it comes to providing healthcare for Alaska Natives. Murkowski's bill fulfills the federal promises made to Alaska Natives by allocating full funding for Contract Support Costs, the operational costs of tribes to deliver services including federal Indian health programs. The bill further supports maintenance for Village Built Clinics, which are the backbone of Alaska's rural health program and often the only source of medical care available to Alaskans in rural areas. The legislation also allocates significant resources to the EPA's program to construct or improve wastewater and drinking water systems in Native villages and throughout rural Alaska.
The Interior bill also fully funds the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program at $480 million, well above last year's funding levels. The PILT program provides monetary compensation to local governments throughout Alaska that contain federal lands that are not subject to state or local taxation. The revenue helps local governments provide vital services, such as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations.

The bill also provides funding for important programs that help emergency responders respond to natural hazards and inform the public. Increases for the earthquake hazards program will help states like Alaska develop and enhance earthquake monitoring capabilities. Other important increases include additional funding for Alaska mapping initiatives that will help gather data to improve maps, thereby enhancing the safety of activities such as aviation.

Protecting Alaska's Lands

Dozens of exploration wells and core tests that were drilled decades ago remain abandoned in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Murkowski's Interior bill nearly doubles the requested funding for legacy well cleanup in Fiscal Year 2017, and further directs the Bureau of Land Management to craft a long-term funding plan to complete the clean-up of the wells.

Murkowski's bill also reforms broken federal wildfire funding practices to ensure that sufficient resources are available to fight catastrophic wildfires in Alaska and across the nation. It ends the destructive practice of "fire borrowing," where land managers rob funds from non-fire programs like energy development and recreation to pay for the costs associated with wildfire. The bill also provides increases for preventative measures to decrease hazardous fuels and protect communities. In combination with the significant resources that Murkowski provided for this year's fire season, the resources and investments made available by this bill lay the foundation to put wildfire spending on a path to sustainability.

The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee controls funding levels for federal agencies and departments such as the Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Forest Service (FS), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and Indian Health Service (IHS). Murkowski, as Chairman, is able to write the Senate's annual appropriations bill for the Subcommittee.
For further information, please contact Senator Murkowski's press office at 202-224-9301 or 202-224-8069. Visit our website at 

2017 Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge
June 30 deadline
The American Farm Bureau Federation has opened online applications for its third Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge.
The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations that benefit rural regions of the United States. It is the first national rural business competition focused exclusively on innovative entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses.
The Challenge provides an opportunity for rural entrepreneurs to
  • Develop an idea for a food or agriculture business
  • Create an innovative plan for expanding an existing food or agriculture business
  • Pitch business ideas to a team of expert judges who provide feedback
  • Win up to $30,000 in startup funds to jump start your business
  • Compete for the Farm Bureau® Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Generate buzz for your business throughout the country
If you have a great idea for a business or want to expand your existing business in a new way apply for the Challenge! It could be your chance to WIN $30,000 in startup funds to take your business to the next level! 
All applications, which include a business plan, video pitch and photo, must be submitted online by June 30. Judges will review the applications and provide feedback to the participants.
The top 10 teams will be announced in October. This includes six teams who will each win $10,000 in startup funds.
The final four teams will compete in a live competition at AFBF's 98th Annual Convention in Phoenix on Jan. 8 to win:
To find out more about The Farm Bureau Challenge, including a timeline and eligibility, go to .

A word from our State Vet, Dr. Gerlach
Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)
There is general demand by public health officials for the restricted use of antibiotics in both human and animal health due to concerns about antibiotic resistant bacteria. In addition, there is growing demand by consumers for livestock to be raised without the use of antibiotics. In many cases the public is unaware of how animals are raised for food production. The false perception is that all livestock is fed antibiotics on a routine basis to make up for crowded conditions on the farm and just to increase weight gain.   This creates a great challenge for the farmer, use of antibiotics is viewed as a bad thing but these drugs will be needed to treat sick animals and to prevent the spread of disease to others.

Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) is the new law developed by the FDA that will go into effect January 7, 2017. It will require that the use of antibiotics on the farm be under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Any antibiotic that is designated as medically important (Category II drugs) and is used in animal feed or water will need a Veterinary Feed Directive issued from a veterinarian. The FDA goal is to encourage judicious use of antibiotics for the treatment of livestock so VFD feed antibiotics can only be used for treatment and control of disease and not used to promote growth. The VFD is not exactly the same as a prescription but in a way it is very similar.  
The veterinarian must have a client patient relationship with the farmer, so have visited the farm and examined the herd or flock and formally document this with a Veterinary Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) form .  If there is a need for use of antibiotics the veterinarian writes a VFD, which is a triplicate form. One copy is retained by the veterinarian, one copy is sent to the feed supplier or feed mill, and one copy is given to the farmer.   All VFDs must be kept on file for at least two years. The FDA regulations have restricted a VFD to be valid for a maximum of 6 months.
Examples of medically important antibiotics (Category II drugs) are: Penicillins, Cephalosporins, Quinolones, Fluoroquinolones, Tetracyclines, Macrolides, Sulfas and Glycopeptides. Category I drugs (not medically important) include antibiotics that are exclusively used for animals: Ionophores (monensin, etc.), Polypeptides, Carbadox, Bambermycin and Pleuromutilin. Other chemicals that are not covered by the VFD regulations are minerals, salts or hormonal supplements.
So you need to contact your veterinarian to discuss the need for VFD for your animals and make sure you have a signed VCPR form. The vet should be familiar with the farm operation and have examined the animals to determine what antibiotic is needed to treat the animals. There should be records with any necessary follow-up evaluation of the animal's condition. Also contact the feed mill or feed distributor. If you mix your own food at the farm there was some confusion about how the regulations affect you but FDA has now clarified that; if a farmer is mixing on-farm, feeding only animals they own on farms they own, they don't need to register as a feed distributor. For more details your veterinarian will need to contact the FDA. If you use a nutritionist, you may want to let them know about any VFD that you will be using. There may be some adjustments needed for the ration.
Since the VFD is only valid for six months, the feed must be totally used, any left over after the VFD has expired cannot be fed to the animals. This will take some good planning to avoid financial loss having to discard surplus feed and may be a challenge to keep feed inventories separate. There are outreach materials that provide more details about VFD requirements; these are available at Feedstuffs VFD Central webpage: ( ).
VFDs may be an important part of your farm management strategy, but remember that treatment for disease is the last step in responding to infectious pathogens. You can be proactive and protect your animals from being exposed to disease threats by developing a Biosecurity plan. This plan may include vaccinations, worming treatments, cleaning and sanitation, as well as, restricting exposure of your animals to visitors and other animals (livestock, wildlife, pests). In addition, your farm health management plan may also include or require health evaluations (examinations by a veterinarian) or disease testing for any new additions to the herd or flock.   The other ways to decrease the risk of a disease outbreak is to lessen the number of stressors on your animals by using proper housing and transport, balanced feed ration, and appropriate stocking densities. Also be on the lookout for problems with daily observations and by monitoring the animal's performance. Use good records to keep track of animal inventory and production levels (amount of milk produced, daily weight gain, egg production), these records are important management tools for a successful business.

Upcoming USDA deadlines

Nomination Deadline: July 1, 2016 - USDA Seeks Nominees for the Potato Board

NEWS RELEASE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the United States Potato Board (Board). 
The board is composed of producers, importers and a public member.  The board expects to fill a total of 61 open seats for producers and importers from the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
For more information or a nomination form, please contact Alexandra Grimm, Potatoes USA Industry Relations Manager, by phone at (303) 369-7783, or by email at:
Application Deadline: July 5, 2016 - National Organic Certification Cost Share Program

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is available to producers and handlers (e.g., all four scopes of certification) in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands. The program provides $10.7 million dollars of assistance in fiscal year 2016.  Applications should be submitted to .

August 5-14: Tanana Valley State Fair

August 19-21: Kenai Peninsula Fair

August 25-Sept 5: Alaska State Fair


view all benefits here

Have you considered using construction equipment on your operation? Machines like skid steer loaders and compact track loaders, traditionally used on construction sites, can perform a dozen different farm jobs that could save you time and money. Read the Cat®  On the Level blog to learn more.  Alaska Farm Bureau members save up to $2,500 when buying or leasing a qualifying Cat  Backhoe Loader , Wheel Loader , Mini Hydraulic Excavator , Multi Terrain Loader , Skid Steer Loader , Compact Track Loader , Telehandler or Small Dozer . Visit  to print your Membership Verification Certificate, and then visit your local Cat dealer.

Participating Farm Bureau members are eligible for a range of purchase incentives on Cat® machines:

FB Incentive
Small Wheel Loaders
924, 926, 930, 938
Compact Wheel Loaders
903, 906, 907, 908, 910 914
Small Dozers
D3, D4, D5
Medium Dozers
Medium Dozers
Medium Dozers
Backhoe Loaders
420, 430, 450
Backhoe Loaders
415, 416
Compact Track Loaders
279, 289, 299
Compact Track Loaders
239, 249, 259
Multi Terrain Loaders
277, 287, 297
Multi Terrain Loaders
247, 257
Skid Steer Loaders
262, 272
Skid Steer Loaders
216, 226, 232, 236, 242, 246
TH514, TL1055, TL1255
TH255, TH406, TH407
Mini Hydraulic Excavators
304, 305, 305.5, 308
Mini Hydraulic Excavators
300.9, 301.4, 301.7, 302.4, 302.7, 303, 303.5
Small Excavators
311, 313, 315, 316, 318
Medium Excavators
320, 323, 325, 326, 330, 335
Large Excavators
336, 349
  • In addition, Farm Bureau members will receive a $250 credit on work tool attachments purchased with a new Cat machine
Offers valid from 6/01/16 - 6/30/16 on select Polaris® off-road vehicles
From now through June 30, receive rebates of up to $2,000 or financing rates as low as 2.99% for 36 months on select Polaris® off-road vehicles during the Polaris Summer Sales Event. Save on select 2010-16 new and unregistered models. See dealer for complete details.

Are you in the market for new hay equipment or a utility tractor? Now, for a limited time, you may be eligible for  0% financing for 72 months  on new Case IH major hay and forage equipment and Maxxum®  and  Farmall®
Case IH offers the equipment you need to get the job done on your farm or ranch. Add to that Alaska Farm Bureau members are eligible for a $300 - $500 discount on Case IH Maxxum and Farmall tractors and Case IH hay equipment. Stop by your Case IH dealer today and see how you can save big on the equipment you need to take your operation to the next level.

June is Chevy Truck Month, and that means it's time to make a strong decision. Now through June 30, get a great deal when you find a Truck Month Bonus Tag. Visit for eligibility. Not available with lease and some other offers - see your dealer for details
Urban Farmer Uses Chevy Silverado to Build Business

Urban farmer Andy Chae of Fisheye Farms grows kale, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, beets and edible flowers on a 2,000-square-foot plot of land in Detroit. Chae likes the urban farm setting since land is less expensive and he gets a chance to educate consumers about fresh produce. His dream is to grow his farm to two to three acres complete with hydroponic gardens and fisheries.

Of course, Chae needed a way to bring his produce to farmers markets and local chefs, and that's where the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado came in. Chae likes the Silverado for its versatile cargo box and tie-down capability, high-strength steel, available spray-on bedliner and the slow drop of the available EZ-Lift & Lower tailgate. Spray-on bedliner, upper cargo tie-downs and cross rails tiered storage system all are part of the available cargo convenience package.

Alaska Farm Bureau members can save $500 on most Chevy models with a Farm Bureau discount certificate. Learn more at

Wanted - 30 Wiener Pigs: Looking for Alaskan raised wiener pigs, need all same size weight ~ 50# mid may. Contact Mary Lambe, 907-398-4282.

Surplus Elk for Trade: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center has surplus elk to trade for Canadian descendant reindeer. We also will trade elk for quality hay. Raising elk requires a permit and fencing standards provided by the Division of Agriculture. If interested in trading please contact Mike Miller at
or 301-7942

Looking for Land to Lease for Cattle Grazing: Top dollars paid for land to lease suitable to graze cattle. Minimum acreage 40 acres. On the Kenai Peninsula. Please contact Robert Gibson at 907-598-2000.

Heavy Duty Truck Financing: Our company specializes in heavy duty truck financing and can work with blemished credit and startups. We do not sell any equipment, we only arrange financing. You can select the truck and/or trailer vendor of your choice. There is no cost or obligation to determine if you qualify. To learn more contact us by phone, 708-646-6510 or email . If you contact us by email include your contact number and any equipment that you own (free and clear), if applicable.

We Buy Berries: Bear Creek Winery is family owned and operated and we are a farm to table operation. Our award winning wines are so popular that we cannot grow enough berries to keep up with demand, so we also buy berries from local farmers. Please keep us in mind if you are thinking of growing or need a buyer for any of the following crops: Raspberries, Black Currants, Gooseberries, Strawberries, Apples, and Blueberries. Contact Louis at 907-235-8484
Computer Repair, Networking & IT Consulting: The goal of AK Bits and Bytes, LLC is to provide exceptional customer service, and professional results at a reasonable price. You can place your technology needs in our hands and no longer worry about them. We offer expert confidential solutions you can trust.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be your technology solutions provider. If you are happy with us, send your friends, if you are not call us to make it right for you.

We repair all brands of personal computers desktop or Laptops. Hardware or software, we'll fix your computer and get it running properly. Certified Tech and fast friendly service. Call for an appointment. Available 7 days a week. Discounts to Alaska Farm Bureau members.
Visit website . Contact Lisa McDonald: 907-398-3994

100% Alaska Grown Wine:  Alaska Berries, located near Soldotna, is the first and only Estate winery in Alaska. An estate winery is one that grows ALL of its fruit used in its wine. Our business hours are Wed - Sun from 2:00 to 7:00pm. Come visit our tasting room and sample our wines before you buy. At this time we are not shipping wine. Contact Brian Olson, 907-252-8511

Fairbanks Farm For Sale: Arctic Roots Farm, 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 907-460-8555.

Rams for Sale: Black Welch Mountain rams. Very gentle. $300 each. Nancy Davidian and Chris DuBois, Arctic Roots Farm. Contact them at 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.

Locally Grown Food Wanted : 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 © (3) environmental education organization in Homer. It was established in 1982. E-mail for more information. Telephone: 907-235-6667.

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 ¼ mile away. Very private, but easy access to town. Owner financing is available. $85.000 OBO. Contact Tracey Pulido at . See photos on Fairbanks Craigslist.
Classified Ads are free. Submit your ad to the newsletter editor at or by calling 907-252-5064.

Alaska Farm Bureau
37075 Nicholas View Lane 
Soldotna, AK 99669

Call  907-252-5064 or send an  e-mail to:

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