Farm to School — students eat local
The Fairbanks school district central kitchen makes lunch for more than 4,700 students every day. Since last fall, the menu has included hamburger buns and rolls made with hulless barley from Delta Junction.
The recipe the district uses is the result of a collaboration between Extension and the state’s Farm to School Program, which works to increase the use of local foods in school cafeterias. Extension develops recipes for Alaska-grown products in its test kitchen.
Modifying the district’s recipe to include barley flour has helped the district meet federal nutrition guidelines for whole grains. Students also tested a recipe with greens from a Fairbanks hydroponic operation. Extension hopes to continue its work with schools and creating opportunities for Alaska farmers.
4-H Camps — an impact reaching across the state
More than 1,200 youth participated in Alaska 4-H camps across the state during the past year.
These included day camps and longer residential camps — camps where youth learn leadership and how to judge a horse, play a bluegrass instrument or ride an ATV safely.
The Military Team Leadership Camp focused on teamwork and skills especially needed during a deployed parent’s absence. Youth in Juneau’s 4-H Sustainable Harvest Camp learned how to harvest, process and eat wild and cultivated Alaska products. Meanwhile, in Cordova, musicians and would-be musicians strummed, played and danced as part of the 18th annual Cordova 4-H Music Camp.
The 4-H philosophy is “learn by doing” and hundreds of youth had fun in Alaska camps doing just that.
Working with Alaskans
- Extension reached Alaskans with distance education using the videoconference network, audios and several computer methods. We trained Master Gardeners, pesticide applicators, food protection managers, 4-H leaders and Alaskan Growers School participants from 63 communities.
- Fairbanks 4-H leader Becky Osimowicz received one of two national awards given to 4-H leaders. Altogether, 1,400 great 4-H volunteers helped foster 14,000 Alaska youth.
- Extension conferences and events brought research and expert information to producers of fruit, vegetables, grains, hay, peonies, rhodiola and livestock and others interested in growing local foods.
- Alaska Native youth in 10 rural communities practiced skijoring, cross-country skiing, martial arts, breakdancing, dog mushing and nutrition activities led by agents and volunteers.
- We’re connecting with Alaskans on 19 separate Facebook pages hosted by districts, Master Gardeners, 4-H clubs and other programs. We’re also on YouTube, iTunes U, Pinterest and Flickr.
- Agents taught nearly 1,000 residents of 20 communities how to preserve garden produce, fish and other Alaska foods, and our agents tested hundreds of pressure canner gauges.