I don't know about you, but 2017 sure flew by! I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year celebration!
With the end of the year comes a recap of our Annual Meeting events and preparing for the upcoming Legislative Session. It was great to see all of you who were able to make it to Homer in November for the Friday Forum and Annual Meeting.
We had some great speakers - a lot of information for people to take home on small businesses in Alaska, marketing, opportunities for producers to reach markets through food hubs and an opportunity to hear for Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation! What a treat that was!
Those attending the banquet and Annual Meeting heard from American Farm Bureau President, Zippy Duvall! This was a great opportunity and we enjoyed getting to know Zippy better - as well as giving him a feel for Alaska's Agriculture community.
We were able to hear about what the American Farm Bureau does in DC, in the courts and also the importance of the agriculture community being unified in our efforts to promote and expand agriculture.
Agrilogic Consulting was also at our events, doing the Thursday night workshop, and one of our vendor tables. Agrilogic is working with USDA Risk Management to help producers in Alaska learn more about risk management programs available through USDA - including crop insurance. Agrilogic does have a newsletter which can be found
Every year during the Friday Forum and Awards Banquet, we hold our Bruce Willard Scholarship Auction. All proceeds from the silent and outcry auction go to supporting up to two $2,000 scholarships for someone seeking a job in the agriculture or natural resource fields. Thanks to all those who donated items to be auctioned off! With support from donations and all those bidding on the items we were able to raise $2743.50 for the Bruce Willard Scholarship fund!
Read through the newsletter to get some of the highlights from our Annual Meeting events as well as an update on the Sheep/Goat issue (Board of Game prop 90/64).
Here's to a successful new year!
Amy Seitz, Executive Director
37075 Nicholas View Lane
Soldotna, AK 99669
PS. Do you still need to renew your Farm Bureau membership this year? Or, have you been meaning to join and just haven't gotten around to it? Join/renew on our website -
Save the Date for the 3rd Annual Alaska Grown/Made Reception
Governor Walker and the Alaska Farm Bureau will be hosting our 3rd Annual Alaska Grown/Made Reception in Juneau on February 15th.
In order to continue putting on this great event, we are asking for donations from our producers for the reception and the 62 goodie bags that go to the Governor, Lt. Governor and Legislators.
If you have something you're able to contribute, please contact Bernie Karl-
, Amy Seitz-
or one of the committee members: Richelle Plummer, Beth Van Sandt, Rita Jo Shoultz, Wayne Floyd, Kevin Fochs or Carol Kenley.
Congratulations to this year's recipients of the Legislator of the Year and Ag Appreciation Awards!
Representative David Talerico:
Along with being a member of the Alaska Farm Bureau, he has been a proponent for improving access to and affordability of land with his
PERM. FUND DIVIDEND LAND SALE.
owner of radio stations supporting Alaska's agriculture community and the Farm Bureau through continued radio ads, many at no cost.
Congratulations also go out to four of our chapters for making quota:
Delta Chapter, Fairbanks Chapter, Kenai Peninsula Chapter and Kodiak Chapter! Presidents of those chapters received a jacket for making quota.
AKFB 2017 Photo Contest Winners
People's Choice and Country Children
"And time marches on..." by Emmy Van Wye
"Orange Ya Glad to Live Here?" by Meghan Williams
|"Just One of the Herd" by Emmy Van Wye
2018 Legislative Priorities
Alaska Farm Bureau members attending the Annual Meeting voted on our legislative/regulatory priorities for the upcoming year. Below are those priorities.
- Clarify "Clean List" Regulations
- Get Limited Lability Laws in place for Agritourism
- Funding for the Alaska Nutritional Foods in Schools Program
- Change Department of Fish and Game regulations to allow for kelp harvesting and aquaponics
- More Flexibility in Land Disposal
ALASKA FARM BUREAU- 2018 RESOLUTION PLATFORM
At this years' Annual Meeting, the Alaska Farm Bureau's resolution platform had several changes made to update it. Below is the current platform voted on by voting members attending the meeting.
Along with updating our resolution platform, the Alaska Farm Bureau's Board of Directors set a policy for proposing changes in order to clarify the process. Since the Alaska Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization, Board of Directors felt it important to make sure proposed changes come from members.
Alaska Farm Bureau members are to bring up any proposed changes they have at the chapter level by July 31st to have it on the Annual Meeting agenda. Any proposed changes approved by a chapter and submitted to the Executive Director by July 31st of each year, will be distributed to the other chapters and added to the Annual Meeting agenda.
This Resolution Platform was approved by those voting members (delegates) attending the November 4, 2017, Annual Meeting.
- We support full funding by General Fund appropriations for the Division of Agriculture.
- We support the protection of the corpus of the Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund (ARLF) and its assets and a General Fund appropriation of $10 million for re-capitalization.
- We support the Board of Agriculture and Conservation (BAC) to advance the meat packing industry to private ownership utilizing a system of regional small plants.
- We strongly urge that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Board of Agriculture and Conservation (BAC) continue reviewing and modifying the regulations governing the Agricultural Revolving Loan Fund (ARLF) to stimulate responsible agricultural lending. Federal loan guarantees should be pursued.
- We urge additional funding from various State and Federal agencies for noxious weed management.
- We strongly urge the Division of Agriculture to implement inspection for USDA organic standards.
- We strongly urge that the legislature change certain statutes so that members of the BAC should not be restricted from applying for new ARLF loans or restricted from modifying existing ARLF loans while serving on the board.
- We request the Division of Agriculture to request the Attorney General's office review its decision to not allow BAC members to vote on agricultural issues of a general nature even when the producer participates within the production of that commodity. All Alaskans have access so no preference is granted to BAC members.
- We support the creation of a new cabinet level department in state government called the Department of Agriculture.
- We support legislation to require management of the Delta Bison Herd by restricting movement of the animals in such a way as to prevent damage to private property and agricultural commodities.
- We support legislation requiring the State to determine the value of damage caused to agricultural commodities by the Delta Bison Herd and make compensation to the commodity owner at fair market value for the damage.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports the containment of the Delta Bison Herd to state property through the use of containment fencing.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau urges the Division of Agriculture to complete the necessary steps to complete the Nenana Totchaket project for a timely land sale.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau encourages Alaska's retailers to refrain from labeling as "local" or "locally-grown" any agricultural products produced outside the state.
- We encourage and assist veterans who want to explore agriculture as a career choice, and support groups including, but not limited to, the Farmer Veteran Coalition and the American Farm Bureau Patriot Project.
- We encourage the use of Alaska agricultural products by the Alaska Cruise ship industry.
- We support the development of a Long-Range Plan for agriculture, drawing upon private and governmental agency input to identify and remove obstructions to agricultural success.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports the production and usage of renewable bio-fuels.
- We support legislation to develop an Alaska Farm Bill that will commit the state to solving its food security and alternative energy problems by taking advantage of the renewable resources Alaska farms already produce and encouraging research toward suitable seed, crops and livestock.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports the concept of fee simple land sales, protecting agricultural interest through the use of agricultural covenants in state land titles for disposal of lands classified with agricultural potential. We encourage the State of Alaska to initiate or enjoin in legal actions to enforce the agricultural covenants. We further support the Boroughs, Mental Health Trust and Universities attaching agricultural covenants to designated agricultural potential lands they sell or own.
- We strongly urge the Administration and Legislature to maintain a zero-net loss on land classified as agricultural and that these lands be protected.
- The opportunity to use land wisely is the basic foundation of agriculture's success. We support the transfer of the administration and management of state agricultural land and grazing areas and the disposal of such agricultural land to the Division of Agriculture.
- We support legislation to lower interest rates to a comparable rate of the USDA on agriculture Title 38 land contracts administered by the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water.
- We support State funding of the tax differential on agriculture lands to municipalities as established under AS 29 and maintain the provisions to said statute.
- Damages to crops or livestock as a result of State and Federal resource management plans must include provisions to compensate property owners.
- Grazing lands are important to Alaska's red meat and livestock production. In light of the loss of valuable grazing lands to native land selection and to other Federal reservations and wilderness area designations, we support the Department of Natural Resources' efforts to aggressively gain title to Federal land and to establish leasing policy on all lands with potential grazing in Alaska.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports the sustained management of the cattle on Chirikof Island.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports programs to address the spruce bark beetle infestation of affected areas by burning or the removal of affected trees and reforesting to protect and conserve soils.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau encourages the resolution of land ownership issues stemming from Native Corporation selections and Statehood land selection.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports legislative appropriation for matching funds for USDA's Farm and Ranch Protection Program.
- We support a rewrite of Title 29 to exempt property tax for agricultural land in production for commerce as long as it remains in agricultural production.
- We support land trusts, including but not limited to, Alaska Farmland Trust, who are dedicated to assisting land owners in preserving their working agricultural lands.
The Alaska Farm Bureau opposes any law (current or future) that would make it illegal for animal owners to give medical treatment to their own animals.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau encourages legislation that would permit the private ownership of indigenous game animals when the Alaska Board of Game has declared a surplus of such animals.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau encourages the Alaska Legislature to amend AS 29.45.030 (a)(9) to remove the word "aquatic." AS 29.45.030 (a) The following property is exempt from general taxation: (9) natural resources in place including coal, ore bodies, mineral deposits, and other proven and unproven deposits of valuable materials laid down by natural processes, unharvested plants and animals and timber.
- We support the Federal and State veterinarians to work together to establish a system for the movement of sheep, goats and cervidae to, from or through Canada.
- The animal health duties of the State Veterinarian must be maintained to protect the livestock industry as well as the general public health. The office of State Veterinarian should be transferred to the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agriculture and be funded from the General Fund.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports the establishment of a disease-free herd certification program for animals produced in Alaska. There should be coordination with Canada to have them honor the Alaska certification program for animal shipment into and through Canada. The certification program should be funded by the producers and with State funds.
- We oppose the introduction into the wild of any endangered or invasive animal species into Alaska.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau recognizes there will continually be discussions around interaction between domestic livestock and wildlife and concerns over transfer of infectious agents. The Farm Bureau supports management practices for wildlife and domestic livestock based on science, data and knowledge, where appropriate studies have been conducted by independent scientists. Management decisions should be led by the appropriate agencies - Office of the State Vet for domestic animals and Dept. of Fish and Game for wildlife - with involvement from stakeholders in the decision-making process.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau encourages the governor to appoint active Alaska agricultural producers to the University Board of Regents, As a Land Grant College; the University Of Alaska Board Of Regents should include members with at least an agricultural background.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports FFA and 4-H, agri-science and natural resource education programs throughout the State that develop industry-based education skills development and leadership to prepare individuals for Alaska's agricultural and natural resources industries.
- We support Ag in the Classroom, a program sponsored by the Alaska Farm Bureau. We support the mandatory addition with adequate state funding of Ag in the Classroom to the curriculum of all Alaska schools. We feel that students need to know the sources of their food, fiber and fuel.
- We support the expansion and line item funding for Extension Ag, FFA, and 4-H Agents and their youth development work statewide.
- We encourage the Legislature to continue the necessary general funding to the University of Alaska, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station to protect the matching Federal Hatch and MacIntire-Stennis funds to meet the needs of the agricultural industry.
- We oppose the sale of any part of the University Experimental Farm, any agricultural research facility or any agricultural properties. Should such a sale be unavoidable, the proceeds shall be applied to agricultural research.
- We strongly urge the Administration, Legislature and the University maintain a no net loss on agricultural research capability.
- The University of Alaska will expand and preserve its agricultural curriculum, revitalize agricultural research programs and proactively support the Alaska Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service programs. The University of Alaska's leading objective as a land grant university is agricultural education, as mandated in Federal and State legislation.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau encourages all Alaskans to observe Alaska Agriculture Day, the first Tuesday of May and recognize the Alaska Agricultural Community.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports laws that enable youth employment to be no more restrictive than the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports the active enforcement of the local Agricultural and Fisheries Product Preference Act as provided for in AS 36.15.050.
- Encourage the Legislature to investigate and provide opportunities for Worker's Comp insurance in a manner farmers and small business can afford. The availability needs to be competitive and the limit of claims needs to be set.
- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game shall not relocate any wildlife without first testing the animals for disease. Test results shall be provided to the State Veterinarian. No wildlife shall be relocated if it is infected with communicable disease.
- Inspection services of agricultural products including meat grading, vegetable quality, etc. are a consumer protection and, therefore, these services should be paid for with general funds.
- We support fair implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). Any action by EPA to eliminate crop protection tools should be based on sound, scientific evidence and have been peer reviewed. We urge Congress to provide oversight to EPA to insure that implementation occurs as Congress intended. We support implementation of a disposal assistance program for hazardous farm chemicals.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau requests that agricultural water users be classified as less than "significant users".
- The Alaska Farm Bureau believes any fines levied against producers by State Agencies or local government shall not be returned to agency funds.
- Regulations and certification fees can be a burden to the marketing of agricultural products. The State shall provide free training when implementing new regulations.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports the implementation and enforcement of COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) legislation as approved in the 2002 Farm Bill.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau supports Federal and State legislation to over-turn the effects of the Kelo decision. Should a government agency condemn farm property for another purpose the value shall be based on the highest market value.
- We support voluntary premise ID for animal and bird operations. Premises used for gatherings such as shows; demonstrations and competitions should be excluded from premise ID requirement.
- We believe the conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract renewal eligibility should be based on Environmental Benefit Index (EBI) and any cropland waivers in place at the time of initial contract approval.
- Local foods should receive an exemption from USDA and local schools nutrition guidelines in Alaska school districts. Individual school districts are encouraged to actively include local foods.
- We support the removal of the statement "veterinarians should not advocate the sale or consumption of raw milk" in the Alaska Board of Veterinary Examiner's Handbook (2013)" (Under Milk Ordinance).
State Ferry agricultural discounted fares should include, but not be limited to agricultural equipment, livestock, produce, feed, seed, fish by-products and fertilizer. We support legislation that provides statutory allowance of 50% reduction of rates for Alaska agricultural commodities and livestock producers on a space available basis.
- The Alaska Farm Bureau opposes any action by the Alaska Railroad that would negatively impact agriculture in the state.
The Alaska Farm Bureau supports full implementation and funding of the Alaska-Hawaii Title for Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers to the current Farm Bill. This title has transportation and production credits for states designated as geographically disadvantaged.
Sheep & Goat Issue
Board of Game Prop 90/64
The Board of Game took up Prop 64 (previously prop 90) - REMOVAL OF SHEEP & GOATS FROM THE CLEAN LIST - at their statewide meeting in November. There was a lot of public involvement with this; over 300 written comments, several producers participating in the public testimony, and a "town hall" meeting hosted by the Board of Game members.
The Board of Game voted to "take no action" on this proposal - which does take it off the table. While this proposal is gone, the issue is still actively being worked on. The office of the State Vet is continuing the study on movi and looking for more producers willing to test their animals. The Alaska Farm Bureau budgeted $5000 last year to assist sheep and goat owners in costs associated with participating in this study - these funds have almost been used up so please contact Amy Seitz (
or 907-252-5064) to check on availability before submitting for reimbursement. More information on the study can be found on the State Vet's website
To continue work on this issue, an expanded working group is being formed and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is providing a facilitator to assist in the discussion. Information from this working group will be available for interested parties to access: how to access this will be released when details have been worked out.
Alaska Grown Program Discussion
The Division of Agriculture requested time at the Annual Meeting to hear from producers on the Alaska Grown trademark and its requirements. The Division also wanted feedback from producers on looking at potential changes; logo, livestock rule, mariculture, etc.
While there was not an official vote taken, the consensus of members attending the 2017 Annual Meeting is that the Division of Agriculture should look into including mariculture, ways to improve enforcement and options for removal if a member is publicly degrading the program.
The Division of Agriculture has been asked to change the livestock rule from 51% of an animal's life in Alaska to 100%. There was not support from members to change this rule at this time, one reason being that many of Alaska's poultry producers would not qualify. Until we have more hatcheries with larger quantities of chicks, changing this requirement is premature.
If you're not familiar with the requirements, below is a quick list of what "Alaska Grown" is. If you're interested in more detailed information, contact the Division of Agriculture.
(1) a vegetable or fruit grown for a minimum of 90 percent of its lifecycle in the state;
(2) a seed harvested from a product meeting at least one of the requirements of this section;
(3) a processed feed product with at least 75 percent of its ingredients being Alaska Grown;
(4) livestock grown in the state for a minimum of 51 percent of its life;
(5) an egg produced from poultry, while the poultry is in the state;
(6) an apiculture product, such as honey, wax, comb or pollen, produced while the bees are in the state;
(7) an animal fiber produced from Alaska Grown livestock;
(8) an imported live woody plant grown outdoors in the state for a minimum of two years and bearing a hang-tag stating the location where the plant was acclimated and pointing out that it was not started in Alaska;
(9) a nursery or greenhouse plant, imported into the state as a rooted cutting or propagule and grown to a saleable product with at least 50 percent of its production time being within the state;
(10) a plant, tree, grain, or grass grown to a finished product in the state; or
(11) a byproduct or processed product with the principal ingredient meeting at least one of the requirements of this section. Water is not considered an ingredient under this section.
January 16: Legislative Session begins
January 25: APGA Pre Conference Session for New Growers
February 15: 3rd Annual Alaska Grown/Made reception at the Governor's Mansion in Juneau
Alaska Farm Bureau Member Benefits
DEEP DISCOUNTS AND FREE SHIPPING ON ALL GRAINGER ORDERS
Bureau members get deep discounts on all equipment and supplies and enjoy free standard ground shipping when they order catalog items
, over the phone, or at their Grainger branch*.
Farm Bureau members receive even deeper discounts on the following categories:
To get the Farm Bureau discounts, always reference the Alaska Farm Bureau organization account number when submitting an order.
Call 907-252-5064 to get access to the Alaska Farm Bureau Grainger account number. Get started with your price savings using one of 3 easy methods:
- Present the Alaska Farm Bureau organization account number at time of purchase;
- Go to https://www.grainger.com/content/farmbureau to establish a new Grainger.comÂ® account using that account number; or
- Call Grainger customer service at 877-620-2852 to update your existing Grainger account with the Farm Bureau organization account number.
To be sure you get your Farm Bureau discount, always reference Alaska Farm Bureau's organization account number when visiting your local branch, ordering over the phone, or setting up your online account. If you
have questions or need assistance, please call 907-252-5064.
*FREE standard shipping* on all orders shipped ground transportation. Other freight charges will be incurred for services such as expedited delivery, special handling by the carrier, sourcing orders and shipments outside the continental United States.
Join the Alaska Farm Bureau for only $40 per year and your dollars will go to support our mission of improving the economic well-being and expansion of agriculture and to enrich the quality of life for all Alaskans.
Bison & Elk Harvest Hunts plus Farm Gate Sales
First come, first serve basis at Alaska Interior Game Ranch. Refundable deposit required, cabin included in harvest/hunt.
No hunting license required.
We also offer farm gate sales which mean we can sell an animal on the hoof to you.
One animal = one individual. We harvest the animal for you, you pay per pound for whole animal quartered. Farm gate sales serves our customers in Alaska very well. We are lifelong Alaskans and understand your desire for quality red meat.
These animals are grass fed. Bison and elk meat are considered gourmet meats. Special care is given to animals, no antibiotics, no hormones are added and no steroids. Animals are checked on weekly. We take special pride in what we raise.
80 Acre Farm:
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.
Pig Farrowers Wanted
: Help grow the Alaska grown livestock industry! Looking for someone to farrow pigs on a commercial scale. If you're interested in this, contact Greg Giannulis at 907-696-1888.
Green Bison Hides:
Scraped, salted, dried and folded green bison hides for sale. Ready for tanning. $150.00 each. Contact Scott Hollembaek @ 907-895-4715.
Straw Bales Wanted:
Truck load of square straw bales wanted. Please give a quote including delivery. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Discounts and donations are 100% tax deductible. Contact Mike Miller at 907-301-7942.
All Natural Beef:
Locally grown, all natural, grass fed, Delta Barley finished, Black Angus beef for sale. $3.85/lb. dressed. Available in whole or halves from Mugrage Hay & Cattle. Call 907-895-2072 or 308-362-9060.
Goats Supply, Excellent Breeds Available:
We have excellent breeds of many goat species, we have breeding pairs available. We currently have goats which are in milk, kids are ready to breed. Our goats have excellent milk and show lines. Various species we have: Nubian, Nigerian Dwarf, Pygmy, Alpine, Pygora, Kinder, Angora, LaMancha, Toggenburg, Boer, Kiko, Brush goats, Tennessee Fainting Goat. Contact Jackson at 802-729-0326
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
Goats for Sale:
We are proud breeders of excellent quality, standard size breeds; Alpine, Lamancha, Nubian, Oberhasle, Saanen, Sable, Toggenburg, Boer and the Nigerian Dwarf goats. These are healthy goats with good feet and are easy to handle. They respect goat netting fences and do not jump. Each animal has its own file with full treatment record. Ongoing support can be provided for people who are new to goats. These are very good quality goats. Call or PM Jerry @ (503) 506-7826.
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.
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.
Alaska Farm Bureau
37075 Nicholas View Lane
Soldotna, AK 99669