12th Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference
February 23-25, 2016 at the Lakefront Anchorage
Welcome to the 2016 conference archive!
"Getting Down to Business with Fibers and Foods"
The 12th annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference was held the last week of February in Anchorage at the Lakefront Hotel. Attendance was down this year, likely due to the change in venue to Anchorage, but there were still over 160 people in attendance. Attendees participated in sessions covering topics ranging from sustainable practices, to marketing, to meat & fiber production. There were several comments that the presentation offerings this year were the best yet! Carrie Hull from the Natural Fiber Producers Cooperative taught a full-day preconference workshop on increasing success for fiber producers and artisans. Gina Greenway from the College of Idaho presented a workshop on enterprise budgeting that was well received by attendees. 18 exhibitors were available with information and products suited toward Alaskan growers. The event would not have been possible without support from Alaska’s agriculture industry, and 5 organizations and businesses provided sponsorships to keep costs low to attendees. Next year the event will be back in Fairbanks.
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.