Feb. 22-24 in Fairbanks

Details to come soon! Please keep checking back with us as plans progress! Thank you!

2016 Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference

"Getting Down to Business with Fibers and Foods"

Feb. 23-25 at The Lakefront Anchorage

Join us in Anchorage 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

  • REGISTRATION - Online registration is closed. Walk-in registration will be available 7:30-8:15AM Tuesday-Thursday 

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

View our conference archives here.


Preconference Workshops — Tuesday, Feb. 23

From Pasture to Product: Practical Tools and Solutions that Increase Success for Natural Fiber Producers, Mills and Artisans, Carrie Hull, Natural Fiber Producers Cooperative, Idaho, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., $50

Description: The pastoral scene of fiber-flocked animals peacefully grazing in pastures entice many to leave the hustle and bustle of corporate America for the farm and fiber life. However, fiber production can often bring us to the fringe of insanity! This interactive workshop shares with producers, mill operators and artisans important tools and solutions that improve quality, sustainability and sanity! Join our workshop as we work our way from pasture principles to successful products. Workshop Includes:
***Participants should bring a clipboard and small ruler
  • Productive Fiber Preparation — A "hands-on" opportunity to learn fiber sorting and preparation skills that enable producers, mill operators and artisan to classify and organize their yearly fiber harvest for production, identify herd health and management issues, and improve breeding decisions.
  • A Good Yarn — It's more than just a beautiful bedtime story! Yarn is the building block of textiles. Learn the qualities and characteristics of a good yarn and how to work with your artisan or commercial mill to create a quality yarn and product that's more than just a fairy tale!
  • "To Be or Not to Be" — Critical practices of production and marketing that improve sustainability and support success for the small producer in today's textile markets.  

Budgeting for Farm Decision Making: Enterprise Budgets, Break-even Analysis and Partial Budgeting,  Gina Greenway, College of Idaho, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., $25

Description: Enterprise budgets allow producers to estimate the costs and returns of growing a particular crop or raising a particular type of livestock. Conducting a detailed inventory of current or potential resource requirements associated with various crop or livestock production choices can be a very valuable decision-making tool. Gina Greenway will teach the nuts and bolts of constructing enterprise budgets, helping participants to understand how to estimate the revenue, cost and profit section of the budget. Gina will then walk participants through practical applications of enterprise budgets including break-even analysis and partial budgeting.

Read through Gina's series of articles linked below to prepare for the workshop:

On-farm Food Safety and Marketing, Barbara Hanson, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and Johanna HerronAlaska Division of Agriculture, 1:30-5:00 p.m., $25

Description: This workshop is designed for small growers, institutional and school gardeners, and farmers market vendors. We will cover basic information on common food pathogens, risks to product safety throughout the growing, harvesting and distribution processes, and simple steps you can take to protect your customers from illness. The state Farms to Institutions coordinator will also present information on marketing opportunities at schools and state institutions.

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 Turnagain Room starting Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning;
  • Exhibitors should be at their table during registration and breaks on Wednesday and Thursday;
  • Lunch is not included in exhibitor table fee.

Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Carrie Hull, Natural Fiber Producers Cooperative, Idaho

For the last 10 years, Carrie has worked to develop a special method of sorting and grading fiber known as the Certified Sorted System. Besides offering sorting services to a large clientele, she has taught classes all over the country, training hundreds of people to become certified sorters, and is an ASI-certified wool sorter as well.

Carrie is co-founder of the North American Alpaca Fiber Producers Cooperative (NAAFP), which is now known as the Natural Fiber Producers Cooperative (NFP), and has served as co-administrator for two years and as a product development specialist for five years, working with commercial textile producers and suppliers. She has spent the last year working to bring commercial dehairing back to the United States, and was instrumental in NFP’s recent purchase of a commercial dehairing machine from Italy. She currently serves as the NFP dehairing project manager.

Carrie has authored a number of articles that have appeared in national publications, such as Alpaca Magazine, Alpaca Street and The Shepard, and was a contributing editor for two national newsletters on fiber sorting and natural textiles.

Carrie resides in northern Idaho with her family at Timber Basin Ranch, where they believe that sustainability comes through diversity. The threefold mission of the ranch is to create a fiber producing herd that sustains itself on the sale and use of its fiber and by-products; produce outstanding breed stock with the emphasis on valuable fiber production and conformation; and share this knowledge and assist others in achieving the same.

Besides alpacas, they also raise Saanen milk goats, market hogs, laying hens, broilers, turkeys and a large garden. They apply principles of sustainable agriculture, emphasizing the importance of a symbiotic relationship between all the members on the ranch.

Gina Greenway, College of Idaho

Gina Greenway is an assistant professor of business and accounting at the College of Idaho. Gina received her bachelor of science, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Idaho where she also taught agricultural economics courses and worked as a research associate. Her focus is on applied research and extension in the areas of potato industry economics and marketing, price forecasting and farm management. 

Thank you to our sponsors!

Contact Darcy Etcheverry at 907-474-5107 to sponsor this event

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