Cooperative Extension workshops get underway in Southeast

Sarah Lewis portrait
Photo courtesy of Sarah Lewis
Sarah Lewis sits aboard her family’s cruising trawler in July 2021 as they traveled to several communities in Southeast Alaska where she taught classes on food preservation and tested pressure canner dial gauges. This summer, Lewis plans to sail to several other communities to teach classes.

Southeast Alaska communities are spread out over hundreds of miles and accessible only by plane or boat. When Sarah Lewis, the Juneau-based home, health and family development agent for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, started planning classes in remote communities in summer 2021, she realized planes were out because she carries so much gear. 

With ferry schedules difficult to plan around, Lewis set sail in her family’s cruising trawler. Those first visits were a success, so she’s setting out again this month to visit three other communities on the Pacific Sapphire. Lewis will be in Wrangell from May 24- 26, Petersburg from May 28-30 and Kake on June 1-2. Later in the summer she will visit Hoonah, Gustavus, Pelican, Haines and Skagway.

Lewis will teach a variety of classes on food preservation and starting a cottage food business, as well as testing pressure canner dial gauges. She also will proctor exams for the food protection manager certification. Jasmine Shaw, the UAF Cooperative Extension program assistant in Sitka, will join Lewis in Wrangell to offer gardening classes and 4-H activities. 

Many of the activities are free; others have a small fee. For more information about all of the events, visit To register for classes with a fee, go to

For more information, contact Lewis at, 907-523-3280, ext. 1. Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made five business days in advance to Susie Wilkie at