Thank you for visiting the Tanana District website!

The Tanana District is one of the largest Cooperative Extension districts geographically in the United States, covering an area of more than 120,000 square miles with a current population of approximately 100,000 distributed in 64 Native villages and the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Much of the district is inaccessible by road.

The Tanana District clientele is very diverse including 4-H leaders, youth groups, homeowners, homemaker clubs, private and commercial agriculture, local government, military personnel, subsistence families, cooperating agencies and the general public.

We have agents here to assist you in areas of agriculture and horticulture;  health, home and family development; 4-H and youth development; and natural resources and community development. For more information, click on the program area of interest to visit its webpage.


The Tanana District office is pleased to welcome two new agents who will lead community programs in gardening, nutrition and health. Julie Riley, horticulturist, and Leslie Shallcross, a health, home and family development agent, previously served with the Extension office in Anchorage.

Julie Riley

Julie Riley has worked with home gardeners and the commercial horticulture industry for 32 years. She has trained about 1,500 master gardeners since 1985. In addition to master gardener classes, she also expects to offer noncredit classes on vegetables, flowers, herbs, lawns, integrated pest management and soils. Riley will work one-on-one with commercial growers, new horticultural entrepreneurs and home gardeners. She earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Wisconsin.

Riley may be reached at 907-474-2423 or jariley@alaska.edu.

Leslie Shallcross

Leslie Shallcross, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, will offer classes on food preservation and cooking, adult health promotion and obesity prevention. She teaches individuals with diabetes and their family members about menu planning and trains community members to lead programs on self-management of chronic health conditions and diabetes prevention. Shallcross attended Penn State University, where she earned a master’s degree in human nutrition science. She has worked for Extension since 2006 but has 30 years of experience in nutrition and health promotion.

Shallcross may be contacted at 907-474-2426 or lashallcross@alaska.edu.


Memo from Julie Riley, horticulture agent

Date:  May 18, 2017

To:  Tanana District Extension clientele

From:  Julie Riley, horticulture agent

Re:  Tanana District IPM Program

The Tanana District office accepts specimens related to agriculture and home gardening; however, for the first time in 35 years, the district office will not have an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technician on staff for the early summer months. Horticulture Agent Julie Riley, who is responsible for answering questions relating to identification and management of insect, disease and weed problems, will be out of the office from May 18 through July 4, 2017. (After July 4, she can be reached at 907-474-2423 or jariley@alaska.edu.)

In the meantime, Julie has compiled the following list of resources that may be helpful for questions you may have at this time of summer:

Pest- and gardening-related resources

UAF Cooperative Extension Service publications:  To locate the online publication catalog quickly, Google UAF CES publications. Or, go to www.uaf.edu/ces/pubs/.

IPM Pest Portal:  For answers to “What’s wrong with my plant?” or “What’s this bug?,” submit digital images for diagnosis at www.uaf.edu/ces/ipm/cmp/. This includes weed identification and diagnosis of insect and disease problems (sick and dying plants).

IPM (pest-related) references:  See Cooperative Extension’s list of useful websites at: www.uaf.edu/ces/ipm/resources/.

Spring gardening fact sheets and articles:

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner column archives:

  • Prepare Your Soil for Gardening Season, May 6, 2017
  • Vole Control, June 4, 2017

SPIDERS AND HUMAN BODY PARASITES: Extension does NOT identify spiders or accept human body parasites for identification. (For human body parasites, please see your doctor.)


JUNE 10-11 — PEONY HARVESTER CERTIFICATION TRAINING. Attendees will choose one of the classroom sessions (June 10 or 11) and two field sessions (to be announced). This school is designed for growers approaching harvesting on their own farm AND for persons interested in working as peony harvesters. Class will include classroom time discussing plant characteristics, varietal differences, harvest expectations, cutting and stem care expectations, and chilling needs. Field time will include observation of plants, hands on bud “testing”, choosing harvestable stems, and, finally, actual harvesting practice. Classroom sessions are June 10 and 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day, at the Tanana District Extension Office.  Fee: $60 general and $30 for students

  • Contact for more information: Marjorie Illingworth, North Pole Peonies, 907-488-0446

JUNE 12-16 — SELF-MANAGMENT OF DIABETES AND CHRONIC DISEASE TRAINING.This five-day training is geared for health professionals and community volunteers interested in learning how to deliver two health education programs on the self-management of diabetes and of chronic disease. Leslie Shallcross, a registered dietician and agent for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, will lead the training from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The training is co-sponsored by the Alaska Nurses Association, Extension and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Continuing education credits in nursing are available. The cost is $185. For more information or registration, contact Shallcross at 907-474-2426 or lashallcross@alaska.edu.

AUG. 1 and OCT. 3 — CERTIFIED FOOD PROTECTION MANAGER WORKSHOP.  For details, cost and registration information, visit the training website. Register online at this link. Information: Julie Cascio, 907-745-3360 or jmcascio@alaska.edu.


PESTICIDE SAFETY APPLICATOR TRAINING is currently available as a self study option. (Face-to-face classes are typically scheduled just during the spring months.) For details, cost and registration information, visit the training website. Online registration is found here:  http://bit.ly/PestInvasive 

FALL 2017 FAIRBANKS MASTER GARDENER COURSE will be taught by Julie Riley, Tanana District horticulture agent. Plans are underway and registration will be announced by late summer. To be placed on a class interest list, email rlboswell@alaska.edu. For general information on the Master Gardener program, click here. Questions? Contact Julie Riley at 907-474-2423 or jariley@alaska.edu.

FREE TESTING OF PRESSURE CANNER DIAL GAUGES! Gauges can be tested on or OFF the lid of the canner (no need to haul in the whole canner). If we have someone available to test, it only takes a few minutes while you wait. If not, you may leave your gauge and we will call you when it is ready for pick up (usually within 24 hours).

It is important to have your pressure canner dial gauges checked annually to help assure home canned food is safely processed. (Pressure canners that use weighted gauges do not need to be checked.) While visiting our office, be sure to pick up some free food preservation publications!

FALL EXTENSION WEEK! Visit the Extension Week website as we get closer to fall for our schedule of classes.


LOCATION:  724 27th Ave., Suites 2 & 3, Fairbanks, AK  99701

We are located within the Fairbanks Community Food Bank building and have a private entrance. To enter our office, please drive around to the back of the building (27th Avenue side) and look for our entrance on the corner of 27th Avenue and Rickert Street. Free parking is avaiable in our reserved lot just across the street.

  • DRIVING DIRECTIONS:  The easiest way to find us is to drive south on South Cushman Street, then take a right on 27th Avenue. Drive two blocks to the intersection of 27th Avenue and Rickert Street. Look to your right for our building and parking lot.

Map it

HOURS:  We are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We close daily for lunch from 1 to 2 p.m.

PHONE:  Still have questions? Please call us at 907-474-1530 — we are happy to help!

Tanana District Listserv

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Class Registration Link

This link will take you to any district class available for credit card registration. Check our calendar at the link below for other district events.

Calendar of Events

Check out what's going on in Fairbanks and surrounding areas — classes, conferences, camps and more!

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