13th Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Feb. 21-23 at The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center

Join us in Fairbanks for workshops and seminars related to increasing the sustainability of your agricultural pursuits in Alaska.

This conference is held every year and brings together farmers, ranchers, researchers, Extension agents and members of the agriculture support industry to learn from one another and to find ways to continue to develop and improve the agriculture industry in Alaska.

Watch this page for updated information including the agenda, preconference workshops, lodging, exhibitor space and more. We hope you will join us!

Conference Quick Links

  • AGENDA - Draft available now!

Stay up-to-date on the conference and Western SARE by joining our email listserv.

View our conference archives here.


Pre & Postconference Workshops — Tuesday, Feb. 21 & Thursday, Feb. 23

Preconference workshops, February 21

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

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM - Woodlot Management, Glen Holt formerly of UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension and guests

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

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Soil Management for Quality and Conservation, Mingchu Zhang of UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension & guests

Postconference workshops, February 23

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM - Innovations in Birch Sap Processing for Small-scale Producers, Janice Dawe of UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension & guests (this is a repeat of the preconference workshop in order to accomodate more students)

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

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

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

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

Exhibitor Tables Available

Would you like to showcase your organization or sell your products to our attendees? Consider renting an exhibitor table to reach around 200 people that are involved in the industry as farmers, ranchers, processors, gardeners, researchers, and agency representatives. 

  • Tables (6-foot long table with 2 chairs) are available on a first come, first served basis;
  • Limit one per person or business;
  • Exhibits can be setup in the Gold Room starting Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning;
  • Exhibitors should be at their table during registration and breaks on Wednesday;
  • Lunch is not included in exhibitor table fee. If you would like to participate in the conference please also purchase one-day registration.

Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Mike Ridenour, Meadow Maid Foods, LLC., Wyoming

Mike and Cindy Ridenour own and operate Ridenour Ranch in Goshen County, Wyoming. They direct-market their grassfed beef and vegetables at local food co-ops, farmers markets and through a CSA under the Meadow Maid Foods label, a company they started in 2003. Mike, a former marketing executive with a degree in Chemistry from Miami University (Ohio) and Cindy, a former applications chemist with a PhD in Chemistry from Colorado State University, are frequent speakers to consumers and producers on the need for sustainable, profitable, and healthful agriculture.

Now full-time agriculturalists, their production philosophy eschews the use of conventional fertilizers, herbicides, and all broad-spectrum pesticides. They use genetic selection for health and performance, beneficial wildlife habitat development, and natural soil fertility to optimize production. The vegetable production is rooted in heirloom vegetables and includes a seed saving selection strategy to cultivate landraces for Wyoming climate and geology.

David Townsend, National FFA President

Townsend was elected to the 2016-17 National FFA Officer Team as president at the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo. A student at the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, he is involved in Collegiate FFA, University of Delaware Photography Club, University of Delaware Scuba Diving Club, Blue Hen Commuters Program and Delaware FFA Association Hunger Programs. He is also the assistant wrestling coach for Middletown High School. A member of Middletown FFA, he served as chapter reporter and Delaware State FFA Treasurer.

Townsend did not grow up with an agricultural background, and he says he didn't always know where the food he was eating came from. However, through agricultural education, he came to learn the importance of the nation's most vital industry and as a result has become quite interested in the farm to table processes throughout agriculture.

"Previous ambitions to pursue a culinary career led to increased knowledge of food safety, marketing and restaurant management," Townsend says. "The overarching theme, however, is learning about where our safe and abundant food supply comes from, and then sharing that bounty of knowledge and food with others."

Townsend's future plans include earning a degree in plant science and then operating a large-scale produce operation in Delaware.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Contact Darcy Etcheverry at ddetcheverry@alaska.edu to sponsor this event

Sponsors help keep registration fees low and assist with providing Alaska Grown food at meals.

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