AGENDA

Be sure to check this site often for updates.


Tuesday, Feb. 21 — Preconference Workshops

8:30 AM – 5:00 PM  Innovations in Birch Sap Processing for Small-scale Producers, Dr. Janice Dawe of UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension/OneTree Alaska & guests

Location: This workshop will be held at the OneTree facility on the UAF campus. A bus will transport participants without a vehicle to the classroom at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning. A bag lunch will be provided.

Description: Join OneTree Alaska and learn how to process birch sap to make syrup. This workshop is for people interested in producing birch sap products as a business. Participants will learn about equipment innovations and see them in action at the OneTree STEAM Studio. An outdoor portion of the workshop will include a hands-on demonstration of installing sap collection systems.

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Woodlot Management, Glen Holt, former Eastern Alaska Forester, UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension, and private consulting forester/biologist and guests

Location: Westmark Minto Room 

Description: Forestry and wildlife habitat consultant Glen Holt will be presenting a full-day workshop on means and methods of managing private forestlands for current and future uses. Topics will include forest growth, identifying forest assets, setting realistic forest management goals, timber and non-timber forest products, managing your forest for profit and more. Guest speakers from the Division of Forestry and the Forest Stewardship Program, the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will talk about bird vetch management in forest settings, managing insect pests of Interior Alaska and tree diseases in mainland Alaska. Private woodland owners will talk about adding forest management to their farm portfolio and producing forest revenues. Attendees will learn to evaluate their forest for health and forest products, how to do a useful forest inventory, how to determine tree volumes, how to scale a log for timber volume and value, sustainable forest management practices, the useful attributes of a timber sale contract, managing spruce beetle in a woodlot, wildlife habitat enhancement, recreation for profit in the forested setting, reducing trespass and more.

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM  Biochar Workshop, Art Nash of UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension

Location: Westmark Gold Room 

Description: Let’s face it, farming in Alaska is difficult because of the short growing season, cool weather, the need for boreal forest clearance and the predominance of thin, acidic and nutrient deficient soil. The cost of producing staples and vegetables makes our produce largely non-competitive with imported foodstuffs. Anything that improves the soil is welcome, and biochar is a great place to start. In this workshop, you will learn how biochar is created and applied

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Soil Management for Quality and Conservation,Dr. Mingchu Zhang, Dr. Casey Matney and Bob Van Veldhuizen, UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension, and Cory Cole, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Location: Westmark Gold Room 

Description: Casey Matney will present suggestions for managing soil fertility to meet plant nutrient requirements and discuss signs of nutrient deficiency in plants. Cory Cole will provide details about current soil quality projects at NRCS and what producers can hope to learn from those projects. Bob Van Veldhuizen will then discuss how and why to test soils, and Mingchu Zhang will explain the uses of various organic and inorganic fertilizers.

Wednesday, Feb. 22 — Conference

*All sessions in the Westmark Gold Room unless otherwise noted.

7:45-8:15    Registration

8:15-8:30    TBA

8:30-9:30    A Progressive Step Backward: Melding Modern and Traditional Wisdom into Success, Mike Ridenour, Meadow Maid Foods, Wyoming

9:30-10       Growing a Viable Birch Sap and Syrup Industry in Alaska, Steve Caccamo, Next Generation Maple Production, New York

10-10:30     Break and networking

10:30-12*   Crop Growers Session, Gold Room

10:30-12*   Farm Management Session, Yukon Room

10:30-12*   Sustainable Practices Session, Minto Room

12-1             Lunch, Northern Latitudes Room

1-3*             Crop Growers Session, Gold Room

1-3*            Birch Sap & Syrup Making Session, Yukon Room

1-3*             Meat and Fiber Production Session, Minto Room

3-3:30         Break and networking

3:30-4         Your Division of Agriculture, Robert Carter, Division of Agriculture

4-4:30         Growing a Viable Birch Sap and Syrup Industry in Alaska, Steve Caccamo, Next Generation Maple Production, New York

4:30-5         Final Thoughts, Mike Ridenour, Meadow Maid Foods, Wyoming

5         Closing Remarks and Announcements


Thursday, Feb. 23 — Post conference Workshops

8:30 AM – 5:00 PM  Innovations in Birch Sap Processing for Small-Scale Producers, Dr. Janice Dawe, UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension/OneTree Alaska, and guests (This is a repeat of the preconference workshop in order to accommodate more students.)

Location: This workshop will be held at the OneTree facility on the UAF campus. A bus will transport participants without a vehicle to the classroom at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning. A bag lunch will be provided.

Description: Join OneTree Alaska and learn how to process birch sap to make syrup. This workshop is for people interested in producing birch sap products as a business. Participants will learn about equipment innovations and see them in action at the OneTree STEAM Studio. An outdoor portion of the workshop will include a hands-on demonstration of installing sap collection systems.
 

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM - Reindeer Husbandry, Denise Hardy and guests

Location: Westmark Tanana Room 
Description: Learn from experts in the field about reindeer nutrition, gentle handling techniques, parasite control, and even artificial insemination! This workshop will teach you all you need to know before bringing your animal home. Speakers include Jane Atkinson, Dr. Greg Finstad, George Aguiar, and Dr. Isaac Bott. See tentative agenda here
 

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM -Gardening and Farming in Rural Alaska, Nicole Swenson, Tyonek Tribal Conservation District, Heidi Rader, UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension, Krista Heeringa, Coordinator, Community Partnerships for Self-Reliance with Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning at UAF, and guests

Location: Westmark Yukon Room 

Description: Growers in rural Alaska face a unique set of challenges growing food on any scale. To face these challenges collaboratively, growers from Barrow to Thorne Bay will be gathering for the rural gardening workshop. Please join over 15 presenters from across Alaska in discussing rural gardening, farming, hydroponics and aquaponics. Presenters will be discussing their individual or community projects and sharing helpful resources and their favorite rural gardening tricks. The workshop aims to provide time and space to develop a community of rural gardeners, discuss successes and challenges, share resources and identify needs with the hope that attendees will be empowered to increase local food production in their communities. Everyone is welcome to join, so please come prepared to listen, discuss, and identify solutions.

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM - Sustainable Farm Risk Management and Financing, Clif Parks, AgriLogic Consulting, and Jeff Curry, USDA Farm Service Agency

Location: Westmark Minto Room 

Description: Learn about crop insurance programs that are available to help Alaska agricultural producers remain in business in the event of damage or loss. Crop insurance eligibility, deadlines, quoting and contact information will be covered. The importance of recordkeeping will also be discussed. AgriLogic Consulting, LLC is based in College Station, Texas under partnership agreement #RM16RMETS524C004 with the USDA Risk Management Agency.

For more information on AgriLogic, visit www.AgriLogicConsulting.com.

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Rhodiola in Alaska: A Grower's Workshop, Dr. Petra Illig, Alaska Rhodiola Enterprises

Location: Westmark Minto Room 

Description:Rhodiola rosea cultivation started in Alaska in 2010, and it is a natural fit for northern agriculture. There is no "handbook" about how best to grow it for quality and commercial value, but much has been learned by trial and error. This workshop will bring prospective and current growers up to speed regarding what we have learned from experience and basic research. Root storage and processing techniques will also be discussed. Participants will learn how to start plants from seeds or seedlings, how to care for the plants in the field, when to harvest for the highest yield and how to protect roots from degradation after harvest.

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