Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July!
This weather we are having is crazy! Be sure and keep hydrated while you're outside working in this heat and be careful if you're doing a job that might cause a spark to fly. Alaska has many wildfires across the state and the weather has not been very helpful to get them contained. If you've been following the fire and air quality issue you probably have a favorite site social media page to check for information - if you haven't been following, here are some options:
In this newsletter you'll find some information on the budget vetoes that severely impact almost all ag programs at the state and steps you should take to push for an override of these vetoes.
There are also events coming up that might be of interest to some of you. Be sure and mark your calendars for the 2019 Annual Meeting in Fairbanks - November 15-16.
Amy Seitz, Executive Director
Alaska Farm Bureau
37075 Nicholas View Lane
Soldotna, AK 99669
GOVERNOR'S VETOES DECIMATE
ALASKA AGRICULTURE PROGRAMS
Alaska Governor Dunleavy announced Friday, June 28th, his vetoes of roughly $400 million from Alaska's fiscal year 2020 budget. These vetoes have nearly decimated agriculture programs in Alaska.
Division of Agriculture:
Agriculture Development (this includes the marketing team, farm to institution, etc.): $1.2 million cut from $1.5 million
Plant Materials Center: $1.5 million cut from $3.2 million (this includes all funding for the hemp program)
cut $130 million - this will impact agriculture programs run through the university including
Cooperative Extension, 4-H & FFA, Experiment Farms
"In a time when Alaska agriculture is seeing such significant growth and having a measurable impact in creating food security for Alaska, it's baffling why the programs supporting this growth would be cut," says Alaska Farm Bureau President, Scott Mugrage.
The recently released
Census of Agriculture
shows Alaska leading the nation in percent of growth in the number of farms. There has also been 20 percent growth in the value of agriculture products sold in Alaska. Programs operated through the Division of Agriculture and University have been a key part of this growth through things like; developing markets, trade missions, product research, technical assistance and operating the Alaska Grown program.
"Cuts like these send the message that Alaska doesn't care about food security or agriculture in general," says Mugrage.
Mugrage says that the impact of these vetoes will be far-reaching. Without the growth of agriculture in Alaska, reliance on shipping to get food here will increase. At a time when Alaska needs to be self-sufficient, the Governor's veto will make Alaska more dependent on others to provide our food.
"We hope that Alaska legislators will show their support for Alaska agriculture and building a sustainable food system by overriding these vetoes," Mugrage states.
TAKE ACTION!! Contact your legislator and urge them to support a veto override!
The Alaska Legislature is getting together today in a special session called by Dunleavy to decide how much of a Permanent Fund dividend Alaskans will get this year. But the lawmakers say they'll first consider overriding at least some of the $400 million the governor vetoed from the Legislature's operating budget.
The Legislature has the right to override the Governor's vetoes with a ¾ vote - 45 legislators need to agree to the override. But they can only do it this week.
Here's what you can do!
Contact your legislators by phone, email or in person, and ask them to support an override. Speak up for agriculture, food security and diversifying Alaska's economy. Our voices matter!
If you're not sure who your legislators are go to
- bottom right of the page type your address in the "
Who Represents Me"
I hope you have your camera with you this summer! Now is the time to take pictures for our photo contest! The winners will be chosen at our Annual Meeting in November. The deadline to submit photos is October 1st, 2019.
The contest is open to every member and their children.
There are three categories:
- Farm Animals,
- Farm Scenery, and
- Country Children.
A $100 first prize will be awarded in each category. Those attending the Friday Forum and Annual Meeting 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos can also be mailed to 37075 Nicholas View Lane, Soldotna, AK 99669. 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 your photo is used.
Learn How to Export Your Products!
WUSATA® and the
Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture, announce the following events:
WUSATA Informational Seminars:
July 23, 2019 - Fairbanks, AK
July 24, 2019 - Homer, AK
July 25, 2019 - Anchorage, AK
Click here for more info and to register.
Whether you are a veteran exporter or new to international trade join us for a WUSATA Informational Seminar in July! You will have the opportunity to learn about WUSATA's programs and as well as meet with your Alaska Division of Ag representative. Let us help you on your way to exporting success!
Suitable products include, but are not limited to: All agricultural
food and beverages, retail products, food service products, ingredients,
natural/health products, produce, seafood, nutraceutical, pet food products, and
Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable - Alaska
The SBA Office of Advocacy is an independent office that serves as a voice for small business within the federal government, the watchdog for the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and the source of small business statistics. Advocacy advances the views and concerns of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policy makers.
President Donald J. Trump has made regulatory reform a centerpiece of his agenda and has signed two executive orders addressing the regulatory burden faced by the private sector. Advocacy has a unique and important role to aid agency implementation of the executive orders. To assist in accomplishing the goals of the executive orders, the office has developed a Regulatory Reform Action Plan.
As part of this plan, Advocacy is hosting
Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables across the country in an effort to hear directly from small businesses about what regulations concern them the most. This is an opportunity for small business owners and stakeholders to meet in-person with Advocacy senior staff.
or see below about the next roundtable, which is free and open to the public:
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM AKDT
Alaska Small Business Development Center
1901 Bragaw Street
Anchorage, AK 99508
ALASKA FSA SEEKS NOMINEES FOR COUNTY COMMITTEES
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is holding elections in Northern and Southern Counties. County Committees are a link between the agricultural community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture; it's important for producers to participate in these elections. County Committee members help deliver FSA programs at the local level by helping to make decisions necessary to run these programs.
If you are interested or know someone who would be a good committee member submit a nomination form by August 1, 2019. You can get more information in the election packet
and find the nomination form here.
Northern County LAA-1
LAA-I Includes the area that encompasses the following areas: North Slope, Northwest Arctic,Yukon-Koyukuk and Nome Census areas, as well as the Denali and Fairbanks North Star Borough
Southern County LAA -2
LAA-2 Includes the municipality of Anchorage, Valde
Cordova Census area south of Chugach Mtns. Kenai Peninsula Borough northofKasilofRiver.
LTB Sheep Stand: Looking for a sheep stand - preferably in the Fairbanks area. Call Jerry @ 907-590-1325
80 Acre Farm for Sale: 80-acre farm for sale in Two Rivers, Alaska. $480,000-$520,000 depending on financing- owner financing available. 30 acres brome hay, 2 acres peonies,2 acres vegetables, 3 high tunnels, small barn, unfinished shop, 30-year-old unfinished log house, well, septic, electricity. Contact Joni at 907-488-9202.
Brome/Timothy Hay: Brome & Timothy hay in square and round bales. We also have straw in square and round bales. Call for prices for pickup or delivery. Scott @ 308-362-9060
We Buy Berries:
Bear Creek Winery is family owned and operated and has a limited farm to table element. 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:
Both Red and Golden Raspberries, Black Currants, Gooseberries, Strawberries, Apples, and Blueberries. Call us at 907-235-8484
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 it's fruit used in it's wine.
Our business hours are Wed thru Sun from 2-7pm. We are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Come visit our tasting room and sample our wines before you buy. Sorry, but we are not shipping wine at this time.
Call Brian @ 907-252-8511