News and Announcements Archive

July 2015

  • July is National Blueberry Month. Alaska Blueberries may not be ripe quite yet, but be prepared for blueberry season with our publication, Alaska blueberries. Included is information on nutrition and health, selection, cleaning and storage, juice extraction, preparation as well as recipes.
  • Mat-Su District Office agent Julie Cascio is giving a number of food preservation workshops in Palmer, Wasilla and Talkeetna in late July and early August. For more information, call 907-745-3360 or view the fliers for PalmerWasilla and Talkeetna.
  • It’s almost fair season. Come celebrate garden bounty, handiwork, talent and foods you may not have tried the rest of the year.

Visit with Extension at these fairs:

If you would like to exhibit preserved foods at a fair or need help judging a fair, see our Attractive and Safe Food Preservation Exhibits publication.

  • Look to Extension for help preserving your fish this summer. We offeronline canning lessonsDVDs and free publications on canning, freezing and smoking fish on our websiteDistrict offices in FairbanksAnchorageKenaiBethelPalmerSitka and Juneau will also test pressure canner gauges for free to ensure they are adjusted correctly.
  • Got more questions? You can Ask an Expert online or call our toll-free line, 1-800-520-5211, to reach one of our agents.
  • Aug. 7 is Alaska Agriculture Appreciation Day at the Matanuska Experiment Farm. The public is invited to activities from noon to 5 p.m., including a sheep-to-shawl demonstration, hay wagon rides and other kids’ activities, presentations and exhibitors. And see Extension’s new offices at the farm.
  • Save the date: The Anchorage district office will celebrate Extension’s 100-year history with Centennial Week Aug. 11–16.  Topics for special classes include Alaska’s wild berries, geotourism, survival sewing, fall tree care, invasive garden flowers and more. Details will be available here soon.

June 2014

  • Extension offices statewide will be closed July 3 and 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Normal business hours will resume on July 7.
  • Congratulations to 4-H’ers Eli Butler of Kenai and Tara Maricle of Fairbanks, who received 2014 University of Alaska 4-H Scholarships. Both will receive one year of free tuition  — Butler at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Maricle at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Butler plans to study veterinary medicine and Maricle will study illustration.
  • Look to Extension for help preserving your fish this summer. We offeronline canning lessonsDVDs and free publications on canning, freezing and smoking fish on our website. District offices in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Kenai, Bethel, Palmer, Sitka and Juneau will also test pressure canner gauges for free to ensure they are adjusted correctly. Gauge testing is also available throughSoutheast Alaska Regional Health Consortium offices in Kake and Wrangell.
  • Got more questions? You can Ask an Expert online or call our toll-free line, 1-800-520-5211, to reach one of our agents. See other resources on our Food Safety, Preservation and Health Facebook page. Agents post tips about washing produce, using meat thermometers, picnic safety and more.
  • On Tuesday , Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. through the summer, the Anchorage District Office will be hosting a series of special events. Tuesday nights horticulture agent Julie Riley will explore different topics with her Summer Shorts series. Wednesday nights features Marianne Kerr’s Sew Special classes. Thursday nights are the Yard and Garden clinic, where you can bring your plant identification specimens, pest specimens and/or other questions for Gino, Jessie and Julie. For more information, "like" the Anchorage District Office on Facebook or visit www.uaf.edu/ces/anchorage.
  • Extension will host a certified food protection manager workshop July 9 in Fairbanks and Palmer and at videoconference sites in Ketchikan and Sitka. The deadline to register is June 27 so participants may receive class materials and locations for the food safety class beforehand. State regulations require that all food establishments have at least one certified food protection manager on staff. See details here and register online.
  • Juneau District agent Sarah Lewis will travel to Ketchikan on June 8 to teach two workshops on food preservation. Your Cottage Foods Business will cover the basics of starting a home-based cottage foods business and Canning Soups and Sauces will cover safely pressure canning ready-to-eat meals. The classes will be held at the Ketchikan High School Family and Consumer Sciences Kitchen.  For more information or to register, call Susie at 523-3280 ext. 0 or see the flier.
  • Extension nutrition educators in Fairbanks, Tok and Bethel will lead grocery store tours this summer to help individuals learn how to eat healthy and stretch their food budgets. The Cooking Matters at the Store program targets low-income families with children ages 5 and under. A KTVF Channel 11 story with Reina Hasting features the program.
  • The Healthy Living lecture series will meet Tuesdays at  7 p.m.  in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Murie Building Auditorium, through  Aug. 12 . Extension is co-sponsoring the series again this year and UAF Summer Sessions is coordinating. Topics will include breast cancer treatments, your aging eye, hospice, retirement without regret, injury prevention, nutrition matters, robotic surgery and more. See the full schedule and stay healthy.

May 2014

  • Extension will host 14 free community classes May 19–23 on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. The evening classes will cover energy solutions for living off the grid, household pests, food preservation, adaptations for aging in your  home , heating with firewood, using biomass, wind and solar power, radon detection and more. Agents and representatives from the Alaska Center for Energy and Power will teach the classes in Room 201 of the Reichardt Building. See the full schedule. For more information or to register, call 474-5854.
  • Youth with an entrepreneurial spirit may sign up for Alaska’s fourth annual Lemonade Day on June 14. Participants learn about starting a lemonade stand business as well as giving back to the community. For more information or to register your youth, visit here.  A training for participating youth is scheduled at the at the North Pole Fire Department on May 29. Email Candi Dierenfield to register for the trainings and see the flier for details.
  • Anchorage agent Leslie Shallcross is teaching a hands-on food preservation series that meets 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays through May 28, and a final class will meet on May 31. Topics include canning meat and fish in jars, pickled vegetables, chutney and sauerkraut, sausage and jerky, and freezing and drying fruits and vegetables. See details and register here.
  • The Tanana District in Fairbanks will offer a monthly food preservation series through October. Upcoming classes include pickles and relishes on June 4, freezing and drying vegetables July 2 and canning fish Aug. 6. See the full schedule and register here.
  • During the summer, the Anchorage District office will be open later hours Tuesdays through Thursdays to make it easier for area residents to connect with Extension. Office hours will be  10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  on those days and hours will remain  8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  on Mondays and Fridays. The schedule will continue until Labor Day. 
  • Extension will host a certified food protection manager workshop May 14 in Bethel at the UAF Kuskokwim Campus. The deadline to register is May 7 so participants may receive class materials and  locations for the food safety class beforehand. State regulations require that all food establishments have at least one certified food protection manager on staff. See details here and register online.

April 2014

  • Fairbanks CPAs Paul Robinson and Kelly Ward will lead a workshop  May 5  about record keeping and taxes for agricultural businesses, in Fairbanks and by videoconference in Delta Junction, Homer, Soldotna, Kodiak and Anchorage. The brown bag workshop will run from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Extension and the UAF Community and Technical College. Register online.
  • Host families with a child aged 10-15 are still needed for Japanese youth visiting Alaska this summer through the 4-H Global Citizenship program. The exchange will take place July 26 to Aug. 22. Hosts don’t need to speak Japanese, — they just need to be willing to share their lives and friendship with a young person from another country. See program details here or contact exchange coordinator Jason Floyd with questions.
  • Extension has a new DVD on raising chickens: The Peep Show: Raising Laying Chickens from Chicks to Egg Producers.Community Development agent Mara Bacsujlaky talks about chicken varieties, what equipment you'll need, proper living conditions for growing chickens, how to merge an older flock with new chickens, and other tips and tricks for becoming a successful egg producer. The DVD is $5. Order one by calling our toll-free number: 1-877-520-5211.
  • The Juneau and the Palmer district offices are moving. The Juneau office is closed and will reopen April 21 at its new location at 450 Whittier St., Suite 128, in the Public Safety Building near the state museum. Palmer will close May 6–9 and reopen at its new location at the Matanuska Experiment Farm on May 12. The address is 1509 S. Georgeson Drive
  • Extension recently developed and posted a YouTube video with Jim Myers, a plant breeder from Oregon State University who was in Fairbanks recently for the Sustainable Agriculture Conference. Check out the video, which is a little under 4 minutes. Myers discusses the benefits of plant breeding for Alaska and describes what participatory plant breeding is
  • Our Juneau district office is moving.  The office in the Bill Ray Center will close April 16 and reopen April 21 at its new location at 450 Whittier St., Suite 128, in the Public Safety Building near the state museum. Come visit us in our new location.
  • April is Month of the Military Child and the Alaska 4-H Program is asking Alaskans to “purple up” on  April 15  to honor military youth. 4-H Military Program Director Candi Dierenfield said wearing purple is a visible way to thank the youth for their strength and sacrifices. Purple symbolizes all branches of the military if the representative colors are added together. The 4-H program provides support and activities to military youth, families and communities. Visit www.alaska4h.org or military program director Candi Dierenfield for more information.

March 2014

  • Host families with a child aged 10-15 are still needed for Japanese youth visiting Alaska this summer through the 4-H Global Citizenship program. The exchange will take place  July 26 to Aug. 22 . Hosts don’t need to speak Japanese — they just need to be willing to share their lives and friendship with a young person from another country. See program details here or contact exchange coordinator Jason Floyd with questions.
  • The eighth annual “Don’t Be Fuelish Competition” begins April 1. Organizations around Fairbanks will compete until Sept. 30 to see which group of employees can save the most fuel traveling to and from work. Participants may carpool, take the bus, bike, walk or run to work — keep track of the miles they save through their fuel-efficient commute. Extension and the Fairbanks North Star Borough are co-sponsoring the competition. Since 2007, competitors have conserved 27,646 gallons of fuel and saved $109,757. Sign up and find more information at www.dontbefuelishfairbanks.com.
  • Register online for the 2014 Alaska Wood Energy Conference, which will take place April 15–17 at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel. Sessions will take a look at wood biomass utilization and impacts in rural communities, success stories, current research and new technologies. Keynote speakers will include Patricia Cochran of the Alaska Native Science Commission, Gwen Holdmann of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power and Allen Brackley, a U.S. Forest Service researcher. See details on the agenda, registration and accommodations on the conference site.
  • Stay tuned for details about the third annual Juneau Chicken Summit April 5–6. There will be classes on raising chickens at the UAS Egan Lecture Hall and an opportunity to tour area coops and meet others who raise chickens. This year, we will kick off the summit with an Extension Shindig on April 4, a dance and a local foods silent auction. A flier with details will be provided here soon.
  • Extension and the UAF Community and Technical College will host four small business workshops during March and April. The workshops will be offered at the Community and Technical College in Fairbanks and by videoconference in Delta Junction, Bethel, Homer, Juneau, Soldotna, Kodiak, Kotzebue and Thorne Bay. The March 27 workshop, Starting a Small Business, will also be videoconferenced to Palmer and Nome. Other upcoming workshops are Writing a Business Plan, April 3; Social Media and Mobile Marketing for Small Business, April 22; and Understanding and Accessing Credit as a Small Business, April 24.  See the flier for details and videoconference locations and register online.
  • As it warms up this spring, birch sap will begin rise. Extension has a new publication on tapping birch trees for sap. Backyard Birch Tapping Basics includes information on when to collect sap and how to choose the right-size trees, insert taps (spiles), collect and store the sap, and process the sap into syrup. There are numerous photographs as well as information on the nutrients in birch sap. Palmer agent Julie Cascio and forestry specialist Val Barber are the authors.
  • Extension will host a certified food protection manager workshop April 2 in Fairbanks and Palmer and at videoconference sites in Kodiak, Sitka and Valdez. The deadline to register is March 19 so participants may receive class materials and  locations for the food safety class beforehand. State regulations require that all food establishments have at least one certified food protection manager on staff. See details here and register online.
  • Extension announces its online 2013 Program Highlights. Read more about our work helping Alaskans raise chickens, preserve their harvests, find the best potato and exercise. See a spotlight about our energy specialist and find out about some of his work. Program Highlights describes our work to develop a new high-value specialty crop, a medicinal plant called Rhodiola rosea. Read about a 4-H club from Tanana that is addressing suicide and see a video about their courageous presentations to the Elders and Youth Conference and the Alaska Federation of Natives.
  • Extension in Palmer will host 33 workshops and demonstrations March 10-13 as part of its Extension Days celebration. Agents and community volunteers will offer activities at the Palmer Extension office and 11 other community locations. See the brochure with the schedule, participating locations and registration information. It is also available at participating businesses and at the Extension office at 809 S. Chugach St., Suite 2.

February 2014

  • America Saves Week is  Feb. 24 to March 1 , and Extension is participating in a few ways. We are posting tips on Facebook and Twitter and we will also give away a $200 savings account. To be entered in the drawing, clients simply need to fill out this form

    Using this poster, clients can also tell us what they are saving for, take a picture and submit it to our Facebook page or the photo submission page. You do not need to do this to be entered in the drawing. It is simply a way to share what people are saving for and to participate in America Saves Week. See our photo gallery. As part of the event, Roxie Dinstel will give a workshop on living on less and saving more, at  7 p.m. Feb. 26  at the Noel Wien Library in Fairbanks.

  • Pesticide applicators may work toward renewing their certification during a March 5 conference in Anchorage. The Alaska Certified Pesticide Applicator Conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of Alaska Anchorage Gorsuch Commons. Participants may receive 6˝ continuing education units toward their Department of Environmental Conservation recertification. See the conference site for registration information and the agenda.
  • Extension and the UAF Community and Technical College will host a workshop March 6 on how to get a business loan. The class will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Fairbanks and by videoconference in Delta Junction, Soldotna, Bethel and Thorne Bay. The workshop is designed to take the fear of the unknown out of the loan process and will explore nontraditional and traditional funding options for businesses. The instructors are Russell Talvi, the Fairbanks Small Business Development Center director, and Paul Bauer, a vice president of business lending at Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union.  The cost is $25. Videoconference participants may register online and, in Fairbanks, by calling 455-2858.
  • Come visit with Extension at the Alaska Forum on the Environment, which takes place in Anchorage  Feb. 3–7 .  Our agents are giving presentations on wood heating, rhodiola potential, emergency preparedness, bedbugs and geotourism.  Altogether, there will be more than 135 technical breakout sessions and six keynote events as well as sessions on climate change, energy, environmental regulations, marine debris, coastal issues, emergency response, cleanup and remediation, fish and wildlife, solid waste and more. See the full schedule.
  • A workshop series on starting and operating a specialty food business will be offered in Fairbanks and Kodiak and at videoconference sites in Palmer, Anchorage, Soldotna, Juneau and Petersburg. Extension and the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program will host the workshop, which will meet four Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Feb. 15 to March 8. The instructors are Quentin Fong, seafood marketing specialist for the Marine Advisory Program; Kate Idzorek, Extension food technician; and seafood scientist Brennan Smith of the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. Register online and see locations and details on a flier.
  • A free workshop on cutting firewood and wood stove safety will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 8 on the UAF campus. Extension and the Yukon River Chapter of the Society of American Foresters will host the workshop in Schaible Auditorium. Multiple agencies will present information on wood stove operation and maintenance, drying wood, determining how many cords you need, and how and where to get firewood. Contact Glen Holt or see the flier for more information.
  • The annual Delta Farm Forum on Feb. 22 will feature topics of interest to area farmers and food producers. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Delta High School small gymnasium. Topics include high tunnels, noxious weeds, food security and updates from the Alaska Farm Bureau and the Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District. See the full agenda.
  • Extension will host the Alaska Produce Growers Conference Feb. 1 at the Palmer Community City (old depot). Topics include soil analysis, organic and conventional fertilizer recommendations, weed identification and the latest on potato research. See the full agenda and register online.

January 2013

  • A Jan. 30 workshop in Anchorage will focus on the business aspects of growing peonies. The financial risk management workshop will run from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at the BP Energy Center at 900 E. Benson Blvd. Rod Sharp and Jeff Tranel, agriculture and business management specialists from Colorado State University Extension, will lead the workshop. Topics will include start-up costs, annual expenses and revenues, profitability analysis and take-home tools.  Register for the workshop and see more information about the Alaska Peony Growers Winter Conference.
  • Fairbanks CPAs Paul Robinson and Kelly Ward will lead a workshop  Jan. 14  about record keeping and taxes for agricultural businesses, in Fairbanks and by videoconference in Delta Junction, Homer, Soldotna, Palmer, Anchorage and Kenny Lake. The brown bag workshop will run from  11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  and is co-sponsored by Extension and the UAF Community and Technical College. See the details and register online.
  • The first issue of the Boreal Forest eNewletter is hot off the press. Extension’s Eastern Alaska forester, Glen Holt developed the electronic newsletter to cover all aspects of forestry, from forest management and timber harvesting to forest health and regeneration. The current issue has articles on cutting, splitting and stacking firewood, safe tree felling, dealing with wind-damaged spruce and more. Contact Carmen Kloepfer to subscribe.
  • Join Anchorage Extension for this year’s Pillow Patrol, from  11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 18  at the Extension office at 1675 C St. Participants in the annual service project create pillowcases for Anchorage-area foster kids. Materials and tools will be provided, but anyone with a sewing machines is encouraged to bring it. No sewing experience is necessary. Donations of yard-size pieces of fabric are appreciated. See the flier for details.
  • Fairbanks CPAs Paul Robinson and Kelly Ward will lead a workshop Jan. 14 about record keeping and taxes for agricultural businesses, in Fairbanks and by videoconference in Delta Junction, Homer, Soldotna,  Palmer and Kenny Lake. The brown bag workshop will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Extension and the UAF Community and Technical College. See the details and register online.
December 2013
  • All Extension offices will be closed Dec. 25 to Jan. 2 for the holidays. District offices in Fairbanks, Delta and Bethel will be reopen Jan. 3 but all other offices will remain closed as part of the university’s optional closure.  All offices will reopen Jan. 6. See you in 2014.
  • Extension will offer three pesticide certification and recertification trainings for pesticide applicators. Jan. 15 is the deadline to sign up for the first session, which will be offered by videoconference Jan. 21–23 at Fairbanks and Anchorage district offices, the Delta Career Advancement Center and other locations as requested. Other trainings with the same material will be offered evenings March 24–27 and during the daytime April 28–30. See the details and register online.
  • Save the date: Extension will host the Alaska Produce Growers Conference Feb. 1 at the Palmer Community Center (the depot) in Palmer. Watch for an agenda and details.
  • It's not too early to prepare for the 2014 garden season. Consider signing up for our online Master Gardener course if you live in a community without the training. The next session begins Feb. 18. The noncredit class course is also ideal for individuals who wish to work through the dozen lessons at their own pace. The cost of $300 includes a copy of Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual
  • Extension energy specialist Art Nash will lead weekly brown bag energy workshops Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. through libraries that participate in the OWL Network. Upcoming topics include solar energy for home or cabins Dec. 10 and wind power Dec. 17. See details on the series that runs through Jan. 28 at participating libraries. Check with Carmen Kloepfer at Extension to see if your library plans to participate in the videoconferences.
  • The 2014 Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery Conference will take place later in the year, instead of its usual January dates.  Extension will host the 2014 conference in Anchorage. Stay tuned for dates and details.
  • If you want to look like a real sourdough, consider ordering our How to Make Trapper Cap publication. Trapper caps make great Christmas presents, too. Call our toll-free line at 877-520-5211 to order.
  • The UAF community and friends are invited to a tailgate party/open house from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Anchorage District office at 1675 C St. Stop by before the UAF-UAA basketball game or hockey game for refreshments, to check out Anchorage Extension and to share in the UAF community spirit. Parking is available for the UAF community. There will be door prizes, and attendees are encouraged to parade to the hockey game with the Nanook mascot.
  • Extension will host five free workshops on firewood, radon, and camp and cabin energy solutions Dec. 3-4 at the Anchorage District office. Glen Holt, Extension’s eastern Alaska forester, will lead workshops on harvesting firewood for home heating and enhancing wildlife habitat; cutting, splitting, stacking and curing firewood; and basic tree felling and chainsaw safety and maintenance. Energy specialist Art Nash will talk about detecting and taking care of radon, and practical energy solutions for outdoor camping and cabin living. See details. Seating is limited, so call 907-786-6300 to register.
  • Dec. 20 is the deadline to register for a certified food protection manager workshop that will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 15. Extension will offer the food safety training in Palmer and Fairbanks and by videoconference in Kotzebue and Sitka. Alaska regulations require food establishments to have at least one certified food protection manager on staff. See more details and register online.
November 2013
  • Upcoming conferences and special events include the Delta Farm Forum on Feb. 22 and the Sustainable Agriculture Conference March 11–13 in Fairbanks. Details will be available later.
  • With Thanksgiving on the horizon, the UAF Cooperative Extension Service has released a four-minute YouTube video to demonstrate methods for even procrastinating cooks to safely defrost a turkey. Roxie Dinstel, a Fairbanks Extension agent, advises cooks to keep the turkey out of the “temperature danger zone” of 40 to 140 degrees, by either thawing it in the refrigerator or by other recommended methods. These include thawing it under cool, running water or in the microwave. Dinstel also talks about the fourth alternative, of cooking the bird frozen. See more details in the video.
  • For Alaska-specific information about keeping egg layers through the winter, Alaska Extension has a Winter Chickens DVD available for $5. The DVD has information about housing, feed, bedding and costs, as well as tips for building a coop and a list of supplies.  Use this form to order through the mail or call 877-520-5211.
  • Want to connect with other chicken aficionados? Extension agent Mara Bacsujlaky offers tips and answers questions through her blog, Alaska Backyard Chickens.
  • As Thanksgiving draws near, read Serving Turkey Safely for tips on thawing, cooking and serving your bird while avoiding foodborne illness.
  • Interested in finding out more about another culture? Dec. 1 is the deadline to apply to an Alaska 4-H summer exchange program to Japan. Alaska youth, ages 13 to 18, may apply for the exchange, which is July 11 to Aug. 9, 2014. Participants are hosted by a Japanese youth of the same gender and similar age and share in their daily activities. Youth not currently in 4-H may apply.  See details on the program or email japanalaska@gmail.com for information.
  • AlaskaHost customer service training will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 5–6 at the Anchorage District Extension Office. This is a train the trainer class. See the flier for details  and register online. Co-sponsored by Extension and the Alaska Division of Economic Development
  • Ed Morrison, an economic policy advisor from Purdue University, will lead a one-day planning workshop in Anchorage and Fairbanks  Nov. 7 and Nov. 8  on a process he calls “strategic doing.” Morrison developed the process to help groups collaborate, develop a clear outcome and then identify what it takes to accomplish that outcome within a time period. See more details for Fairbanks and Anchorage workshops. These are co-sponsored by Extension and the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development.
October 2013
  • The public is invited to a lecture at  7 p.m. Nov. 5  with Jason Fridley, a biologist from Syracuse University who specializes in invasive plant biology. Fridley will talk about the global patterns of species’ invasions and Charles Darwin’s perspective on the issue. The lecture is scheduled in the Murie Building auditorium on the UAF campus.
  • The Mat-Su/Copper River District in Palmer will celebrate Extension Week Oct. 21-25 with 14 free community classes on everything from gluten-free baking and heating with wood to ATV safety, radon detection and using your GPS. See links to the full schedule and registration options. Register ahead to ensure space in the class.
  • Author and historian James Mackovjak will talk about “Alaska Salmon Traps: Their History and Impact on Alaska Communities” from  noon to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Anchorage District office. You may also participate by videoconference in Room 108 of the Brooks Building on the UAF Campus, the Petersburg Public Library and at campus locations in Kodiak, Homer, Bethel, Kenai and Ketchikan. Alaska statesman Vic Fischer will introduce Mackovjak. See details on the event in  Anchorage and in Fairbanks and call 786-6300 to reserve a seat in Anchorage and for other videoconference locations.
  • Tanana District will celebrate Fall Extension Week Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 with 14 free classes on everything from gem prospecting, bird vetch and geocaching to making healthy bread, forest management and detecting radon. See the full schedule and sign up by calling 474-1530. 
  • The Anchorage District office will offer hands-on food preservation classes this fall. Anchorage classes will meet Wednesday nights through Nov 6. Topics will include making jam and jelly, canning fish and meat, drying, pickling, drying fruits and vegetables, and making sausage and jerky. See details on Anchorage classes or register online.
  • Save the date! Extension is coordinating the 2014 Alaska Wood Energy Conference April 15-17 in Fairbanks. More details and an agenda will be available later.
  • If you’d like to learn more about gardening in Alaska and are willing to share your knowledge with others, consider signing up for Extension’s Master Gardener training. The 40-hour training begins Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 (two classes) in Fairbanks. See registration options and class information for the sessions.  Online training will be offered in the spring of 2014.
  • Tanana District will celebrate Fall Extension Week Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 with 14 free classes on everything from gem prospecting, bird vetch and geocaching to making healthy bread, forest management and detecting radon. See the full schedule and sign up by calling 452-1530.
  • Alaska 4-H will celebrate National 4-H Week  Oct. 6-12  with green smoothies, a national science experiment and other activities. Alaska youth are invited to join the “Green Mustache Movement” by making a smoothie with spinach and fruit and sending a photo of their green smoothie mustaches to the Alaska 4-H Facebook page. See the healthy recipe and more about it at www.alaska4h.org. Youth across the country are participating in the National Youth Day Science experiment, “Maps and Apps,” on  Oct. 9 . Check with your local 4-H office for details about when and where activities are offered.
  • The Eighth Circumpolar Agricultural Conference and UArctic Inaugural Food Summit will take place Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 in Girdwood. The scientists, farmers, policymakers and others who attend will work to strengthen, support and expand food resources and northern community development. The event is hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Circumpolar Agricultural Association, UArctic and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. See the conference blog.
  • If you’d like to learn more about gardening in Alaska and are willing to share your knowledge with others, consider signing up for Extension’s Master Gardener training. Classes start soon in Anchorage, Ketchikan and Fairbanks. The 40-hour training begins Oct. 7, in Anchorage, Oct. 12 in Ketchikan, and Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 (two classes) in Fairbanks. See registration and class information for Anchorage, Ketchikan (including flier) and Fairbanks. Online training will be offered in the spring of 2014.
  • The Anchorage District office will offer hands-on food preservation classes this fall. Anchorage classes will meet Wednesday nights through Nov 6. Topics will include making jam and jelly, canning fish and meat, drying, pickling, drying fruits and vegetables, and making sausage and jerky. See details on Anchorage classes or register online.
September 2013
  • Check out our new YouTube video, How to Take A Soil Sample, with Bethel agent Leif Albertson and  Tuesday , the quality control dog. In this nine-minute video, Albertson demonstrates the steps needed to collect a soil sample for analysis by a testing laboratory.
  • Oct. 18 is the early registration deadline for the Alaska Invasive Species Conference Nov. 5–7 in Fairbanks. The conference is a forum for discussing invasive species management activities and offers expert presentations about emerging science and management issues. See registration information and the conference program online
  • Agents in Anchorage and Fairbanks will offer hands-on food preservation classes this fall.  Anchorage classes will meet Wednesday nights through Nov 20. Topics will include making jam and jelly, canning fish and meat, drying, pickling, drying fruits and vegetables, and making sausage and jerky. Classes in Fairbanks will cover jerky and sausage Sept. 24 and canning meat and fish Sept. 26. See details on Anchorage or Fairbanks classes or register online.
  • Extension will host workshops in Fairbanks Sept. 28  on passive solar heat and on making a rocket stove. The passive solar workshop will include a demonstration on how to building a simple solar air heater and participants will work on their own backpacker solar ovens to take home. The rocket stove workshop will cover the theory, design, construction and use of rocket stoves and participants will assemble two stoves . The cost is $30 per workshop or $50 for both. See more details or register online.
August 2013 
  • The Eighth Circumpolar Agricultural Conference and UArctic Inaugural Food Summit will take place Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 in Girdwood. The scientists, farmers, policymakers and others who attend will work to strengthen, support and expand food resources and northern community development. The event is hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Circumpolar Agricultural Association, UArctic and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. To register and see the tentative schedule, visit www.uaf.edu/cac/.
  • The deadline is Sept. 18 to sign up for the Oct. 2 certified food protection manager training, which will be offered in Fairbanks and Palmer and at videoconference sites in Dillingham, Kodiak, Nome and Sitka. The workshop, taught by Extension’s Julie Cascio and Kate Idzorek, will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alaska regulations require all food establishments have at least one certified food protection manager on staff. See the flier for details and register online.
  • If your organization relies on volunteer talent, consider taking a volunteer management workshop offered Sept. 7 or Sept. 11 at the Anchorage Extension office. Taught by Anchorage agent Marianne Kerr, the workshop is aimed at enhancing the skills necessary to recruit and keep volunteers, train them thoroughly and place them in appropriate positions. Kerr has more than 30 years of volunteer program management in several nonprofit organizations. See details or register online.
  • Anyone for zucchini chips? Find out what to do with your excess zucchini and where can you go to get your pressure canner gauge tested. Our district agents have started a new Facebook page to answer food preservation and food safety questions that Alaskans may have, and to share links to recipes and other food news and events around the state. Check it out and eat well.
  • Aug. 20 is the early registration deadline for the Eighth Circumpolar Agricultural Conference and UArctic Inaugural Food Summit, which will held Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 in Girdwood. The scientists, farmers, policymakers and others who attend will work to strengthen, support and expand food resources and northern community development. The event is hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Circumpolar Agricultural Association, UArctic and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. To register, visit www.uaf.edu/cac/.
  • If you’d like to get a jump on next year’s garden, consider getting your soil tested this summer to identify deficiencies in nutrients or pH.  The Extension publication, Soil Sampling, describes how to take a good sample. Refer to Factors to Consider in Selecting a Soil Testing Laboratory for suggestions on where to send it.

July 2013

  • Come celebrate Alaska Agriculture Appreciation Day with us Aug. 8 at the Matanuska Experiment Farm.  Activities will run from noon to 6 p.m, including a goat-milking demonstration, old-fashioned games for children, a petting zoo, prize giveaways, hay wagon rides, a GPS activity and music. Special activities include a “sheep to shawl” demonstration by the Mat-Su Fiber Arts Guild. There will also be demonstrations on how to grow peonies, deal with invasive plants, recycle and make tinctures and lotions from local plants. The event is free but attendees may wish to bring money to purchase food and crafts from vendors.
  • Calling all elephant ears and super-sized cabbages. It’s fair time. The Southeast Alaska State Fair in Haines will lead off the 2013 season. If you would like to exhibit preserved foods at a fair or need help judging a fair, see our Attractive and Safe Food Preservation Exhibits publication.

Come join the fun and visit with Extension at the following fairs:

▪   Southeast Alaska State Fair, July 25–28, exhibits

▪   Deltana Fair and Music Festival, July 26–28, exhibits

▪   Tanana Valley State Fair, Aug. 2–11, exhibits

▪   Kenny Lake Fair, Aug. 17, exhibits

▪   Kenai Peninsula Fair, Aug. 16–18, exhibits

▪   Bethel Community Fair, Aug. 23–25

▪   Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Aug. 22–Sept. 2, exhibits

•  Kodiak Rodeo and State Fair, Aug. 31-Sept. 1

  • Got questions? Ask an Alaska Extension expert. We’ll forward your questions on hoop houses, food preservation or anything else you need to know to a knowledgeable agent in your area. You’re also welcome to search eXtension for research-based information from the national network of Extension experts.
  • The University of Alaska Fairbanks has announced plans to merge Extension and the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. The goal is to improve coordination between research and outreach. A working group with representatives from both units will gather comments from faculty, staff and stakeholders and make a recommendation on how to proceed. The new organization will likely be in place by July 2014. Extension’s services will not be disrupted. See the university’s news release.
  • Strange and bizarre, but true. Anchorage Extension invites you to an afternoon of oddities, from noon to 1:30 p.m. July 18, with mini-presentations and more than 30 specimens to peruse. Find out about slime molds, moose-killing trees and shrubs, nastic plant movements and more. Registration is requested. See details here.
  • Extension offices statewide will close July 4–5 for the Fourth of July weekend. Have a great holiday. Offices will reopen July 8.
  • Come celebrate Midsummer Extension Week July 22–26 on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. The information fest will include 10 free evening workshops about home energy efficiency, biomass, hybrid generator and battery solutions, living on less, food preservation, adaptations for aging in place, firewood care and more. Representatives from Extension, the Cold Climate Housing Research Center and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power will teach the workshops. All sessions will meet in Room 138 of the Reichardt Building. No registration is required. See the full schedule.

June 2013

  • Fishing season is on and dipnetters and anglers can look to Extension for help preserving the catch. Extension has online canning lessons, DVDs and free publications on canning, freezing and smoking fish on its website.  District offices in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Kenai, Bethel, Palmer and Juneau will also test pressure canner gauges for free to ensure they are adjusted correctly. Gauge testing is also available through Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium offices in Kake and Wrangell.
  • If you are trying to establish a beautiful new lawn or maintain the one you have, see Extension publications specific to Southcentral and the Interior and Southeast conditions. You’ll find helpful tips on watering, mowing, fertilizing, weed control, aeration, thatch removal and disease prevention.
  • Residents of the Kenai area and visitors are invited to a 4-H Summer Solstice Music Festival June 21 at the Diamond M. Ranch on K-Beach Road in Kenai. The family festival will run from 4 p.m. to midnight. Montana country music artist Wylie Gustafson will headline the event and there will be plenty of food, music and kids’ activities and a good time. The event is a collaboration with the Kenai 4-H Council, longtime 4-H supporters Carrol and JoAnne Martin and the Community Action Coalition. See more  information .
  • Learn more about health in a free Tuesday evening lecture series this summer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Healthy Living series continues through Aug. 13 in the Murie Building auditorium on West Ridge. Topics will include health insurance, assisted living, nutrition strategies, electronic health records, mental health and more. See the full schedule. Extension is co-sponsoring the series with UAF Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning.
  • June 26 is the deadline to sign up for the next round of certified food protection manager training on July 10. Extension will offer the training live in Fairbanks and at the Matanuska Experiment Farm in Palmer and at videoconference sites in Bethel, Haines, Hoonah, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Juneau and Sitka. Alaska regulations require food establishments to have at least one certified food protection manager on staff to ensure that the facility complies with food safety regulations. Register online
  • Individuals affected by Yukon River flooding may find a variety of useful resources on Extension’s flood recovery website.  It provides tips on safety and health, septic systems, cleanup and other general questions. Also, see our publication, What to Do After the Flood: Emergency Flood Information. It addresses finding a safe water supply, disinfecting wells, food safety and sanitizing clothing, and information about what to do about bedding, cars, furniture, basements and more.
  • Calling all Veg Heads. Anchorage horticulture agent Julie Riley is hosting a weekly online Q&A for vegetable gardeners Wednesdays from 9 to 10 p.m., through June 5. Julie will make a short presentation at 9 p.m. and gardeners will be able to get their questions answered and talk to other gardeners. Participants may use Skype or call in at 800-893-8850 and sign in using PIN 5711553. If you wish to use Skype, email beforehand so you can be invited.
  • Learn more about health in a free Tuesday evening lecture series this summer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Healthy Living series will begin June 4 and continue through Aug. 13 in the Murie Building auditorium on West Ridge. Topics will include health insurance, assisted living, nutrition strategies, electronic health records, mental health and more. See the full schedule. Extension is co-sponsoring the series with UAF Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning.
  • Our popular 16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska takes gardeners from planning stages, through cultivation, all the way to harvest. For more in-depth guide to gardening, Extension offers a comprehensive guide, Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual, which is also available on CD and as a spiral-bound version. Order copies of both publications through district offices, online or call our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211.
  • Extension will host a Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning Workshop June 10-11 in Wasilla.  The two-day workshop is designed to help community partners handle agricultural issues during an emergency or disaster, improve networking among stakeholders who plan for and respond to emergencies and to enhance agrosecurity within existing local emergency operation plans. Register online. For more information, see the flyer or contact Palmer agent Steve Brown
 
May 2013
  • Calling all Veg Heads. Anchorage horticulture agent Julie Riley is hosting a Google Hangout for vegetable gardeners Wednesdays from 9 to 10 p.m.  Julie will make a short presentation at 9 p.m. and gardeners will be able to get their questions answered and talk to other gardeners.  Google Hangout can support nine people at one time. so if you can't get through, wait five minutes and try again. Another option is to call 800-893-8850 and sign in using PIN 5711553.
  •  Garden season is running late this year but be ready when it arrives. Our popular 16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska takes gardeners from planning stages, through cultivation, all the way to harvest. For more in-depth guide to gardening, Extension offers a comprehensive guide, Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual, which is also available on CD and as a spiral-bound version. Order copies of both publications through district offices, online or call our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211.
  • Extension will host a Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning Workshop June 10-11 in Wasilla.  The two-day workshop is designed to help community partners handle agricultural issues during an emergency or disaster, improve networking among stakeholders who plan for and respond to emergencies and to enhance agrosecurity within existing local emergency operation plans. Registeronline. For more information, see the flyer or contact Palmer agent Steve Brown
  • The American Youth Horse Council has named Fairbanks volunteer 4-H leader Becky Osimowicz its 2012 Leader of the Year at its annual symposium in Hartford, Conn. Becky was one of the three finalists nationally. The award is given to a volunteer who works with youth and horses and is making a difference. Becky is the co-leader of the Amour de Cheval 4-H club. She has organized many 4-H horse events, from 4-H horse camps to weekly community gymkhana events.
  • Want to learn more about preserving Alaska foods? Extension district offices in several locations are offering classes.  Upcoming classes in Anchorage include drying fruits and vegetables on May 8 and making sausage and jerky on May 22. Palmer Extension will offer a June 4 class on smoking fish and two sessions June 11 on canning fish. Fairbanks classes begin May 1 with pickling and will continue through the summer on a variety of topics. See details and register online.  Check with your district office to see what other classes are planned or try out our online resources.
  • Community Development Agent Mara Bacsujlaky will lead a basic rock and mineral identification workshop May 10-11 at the Tanana District office in Fairbanks. The $20 fee includes a field ID tool kit.  See details or register online.
  • Don’t forget to “purple up” on April 19.  April is month of the Military Child and the Alaska 4-H program invites all Alaskans to wear purple on April 19 to honor children affected by deployments. Purple symbolizes all branches of the military if their representative colors are added together. The 4-H Military Program provides support and activities to military youth, families and communities.
  • The district office in Fairbanks is planning an information fest April 22–26 to celebrate Extension Week.  Thirteen classes will include everything from memory fitness to raising chickens, cooking with whole grains, using a GPS, texting safely, social media and more. All classes are free except for composting with worms, which is $10. See the complete schedule, class descriptions and registration informationonline.
  • If you are interested in learning how to tap birch trees, come to hands-on workshops April 20 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Palmer and 2 and 3:30 p.m. in Fairbanks. The Palmer classes will meet at the Matanuska Experiment Farm. Register online for the Palmer class or contact Rose Meier to register for the Fairbanks class, which will meet at the UAF ski hut. See details about the workshops in Palmer and Fairbanks.
  • This year’s Alaska Rural Energy Conference will be held April 29 to May 1 at the Anchorage Sheraton. The conference offers a variety of technical sessions covering new and ongoing energy projects as well as new technologies and needs for Alaska’s remote communities. See the conference site.
  • Want to learn more about preserving Alaska foods? Extension district offices in several locations are offering classes.  Upcoming classes in Anchorage include drying fruits and vegetables on May 8 and making sausage and jerky on May 22. Palmer Extension will offer a June 4 class on smoking fish and two sessions June 11 on canning fish. Fairbanks classes begin May 1 with pickling and will continue through the summer on a variety of topics. See details and register online.  Check with your district office to see what other classes are planned or try out our online resources.
  • Community Development Agent Mara Bacsujlaky will lead a basic rock and mineral identification workshop May 10-11 at the Tanana District office in Fairbanks. The $20 fee includes a field ID tool kit.  See details or register online.
  • Extension will host a Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning Workshop June 10-11 in Wasilla.  The two-day workshop is designed to help community partners handle agricultural issues during an emergency or disaster, improve networking among stakeholders who plan for and respond to emergencies and to enhance agrosecurity within existing local emergency operation plans. Register online. For more information, see the flyer or contact Palmer agent Steve Brown
April 2013
  • The American Youth Horse Council has named Fairbanks 4-H leader Becky Osimowicz its 2012 Leader of the Year at its annual symposium in Hartford, Conn. Becky was one of the three finalists nationally. The award is given to a volunteer who works with youth and horses and is making a difference. Becky is the co-leader of the Amour de Cheval 4-H club. She has organized many 4-H horse events, from 4-H horse camps to weekly community gymkhana events.
  • The district office in Fairbanks is planning an information fest April 22–26 to celebrate Extension Week.  Thirteen classes will include everything from memory fitness to raising chickens, cooking with whole grains, using a GPS, texting safely, social media and more. All classes are free except for composting with worms, which is $10. See the complete schedule, class descriptions and registration information online.
  • FFA members from across Alaska will gather at the 37th annual state FFA convention April 24-27 in Fairbanks. FFA members involved in agricultural and natural resource education will compete in leadership and career development events, participate in a service project and attend workshops. Participants also will compete in the Canon Envirothon at Chena Lakes.
  • Proposed new federal food safety rules will significantly affect growers, packers and food processors. Charles Breen, director of the Seattle Food and Drug Administration district office, will talk about the proposed rules regarding produce and preventive control for human food from 1 to 5 p.m. April 25 at the Muldoon Library in Anchorage. See live streaming of the presentation at the Homer Library, the Delta Career Advancement Center and the Butrovich Building, Room 108 A and B on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus or online
  • This year’s Alaska Rural Energy Conference will be held April 29 to May 1 at the Anchorage Sheraton. The conference offers a variety of technical sessions covering new and ongoing energy projects as well as new technologies and needs for Alaska’s remote communities. See the conference site.
  • Barbara Hoedel started volunteering for 4-H in Kodiak after her daughter joined the program at 8, and she has continued to stay involved for her grandchildren and other youth in the community. Hoedel recently received one of the two top Western region leader awards for her 34 years as a 4-H volunteer. She was named the 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer during the Western Region Leaders Forum in Hawaii.
  • Host families are needed for Japanese youth who will be visiting Alaska with a 4-H exchange program July 21 to Aug. 19. Families with children ages 10 to 16 and who live on the Alaska road system are invited to host a youth and learn more about the Japanese culture. You don’t need to speak Japanese or be involved with 4-H to host. See details.
  • Come talk turkey about chickens during a day of lectures, panel discussions and tours at the Juneau Chicken Summit April 6. Learn about local regulations from state experts, best practices and join the Tour de Coop to visit local chicken yards and coops. Find out more and register online.
  • Come see what Extension is up to on our YouTube channel. In our latest video, Extension energy specialist Art Nash interviews Dayne Ellanna about the homebuilt wind turbine system that he and his students at the UAF Community and Technical College built to supply camp power. Our channel has everything from the Alaska Center for Energy and Power’s community lectures to information about growing worms in a tote.Extension works with the Farm to School program to increase the use of local foods in school cafeterias. Watch our video to find out more about the collaboration and read about some of Extension's activities in our 2012 Program Highlights.
  • Spring is not too far away. It’s almost time to start planting vegetables and flowers indoors. See our Seed Starting and Transplanting publication for plant dates and tips and also recommended variety lists for the InteriorSouthcentral and Southeast.
  • Backyard food security is the theme for 2013 Alaska Master Gardeners Conference April 6 at the Palmer Depot. Bethel farmer Tim Meyers will be the guest speaker. Click here for more information or to register.  
March 2013
  • Registration is open for the Sustainable Agriculture Conference March 13-14 in Fairbanks. Preconference workshops on March 12th and the conference itself will highlight rain catchment systems and sustainable farming and gardening methods. See the conference site for the agenda and registration links. New Mexico farmer Don Bustos, right, will present a workshop March 12 on low cost sustainable farming methods.
  • The Alaska Certified Pesticide Applicators Conference will be held March 14 at the Coast International Inn in Anchorage. Company representatives and members of Department of Environmental Conservation pesticide program will speak on a variety of topics, including label reading, core manual testing, safety, bed bugs and more. Cost is $50. Register online.  
  • More than 1,200 youth attended Alaska 4-H camps across the state during the past year, learning everything from leadership and bluegrass music to outdoor survival. See some of these activities in our video and read about some of Extension's activities in our 2012 Program Highlights.
  • America Saves Week is February 25 - March 2. It's a great time for you and your loved ones to start taking control of your financial situation. Throughout the next two weeks, Extension will be giving you money saving tips on our Facebook and Twitter. Keep an eye out for a special promotion where you can win great prizes.
February 2013
  • Read about Extension's work in our 2012 Program Highlights (pdf) and see our Program Highlights web page  with links to videos. This year, we’re transitioning to a more visual format with short highlights and video stories about our 4-H camps and our work with the state’s Farm to School program, which brings local foods to schools. You'll read about the various ways we reach Alaskans and our outreach work. We help Alaskans preserve their catch and their garden bounty, and we bring expert information to gardeners and agricultural producers.
  • Extension is saddened to announce the passing of James "Jim" Matthews, who served as Extension director from 1972 to 1987. Matthews worked for Extension in Alaska for 30 years as an agent, assistant and associate director and, finally, as director. After he retired, he continued to embody the spirit of Extension with many volunteer community roles. Read more about his life and his contributions to Extension.
  • This year's Delta Farm Forum Feb. 23 will highlight a variety of topics of interest to area farmers and food producers. Dan Sullivan, Alaska's natural resources commissioner, will welcome participants at 9 a.m. and presentations will run until 3:30 p.m. in the Delta Junction High School small gymnasium. Topics will include the flour mill market, artisan sausage making, gourmet cookies, reducing farm energy costs, the state's Farm to School program, Alaska Farmers Cooperative and agricultural agency updates. Extension and the Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District co-sponor the event. See the agenda .
  • The Alaska Produce Growers Conference Feb. 19–20 at the Palmer Depot will feature the latest research and recommendations for fruit and vegetable growers. Presentations on Feb. 19 will focus on potato certification issues, scab and diseases, but other topics will include marketing with Facebook, farm management, precision farming and a Division of Agriculture update. Speakers Feb. 20 will address farm insurance, bacterial ring rot, weeds, and Farm to School and agency updates. See the full agenda and registration information  here  or register  online.  
  • Sitka Extension will also offer a Master Gardener session from March 7 to April 13. Classes will meet Thursday evenings and Saturdays at the UAS Sitka campus. Register online or contact the Sitka office for more information.
  • Extension and the Yukon River Chapter of the Society of American Foresters will host a firewood workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 16 in Schaible Auditorium on the UAF campus. Topics will include wood stove maintenance, how to dry wood, properties of different firewood, chainsaw maintenance, wood availability and how to get a permit.
  • Come visit with Extension at the Alaska Forum on the Environment Feb. 4–8 at the Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage. Stop by our booth for information on Extension programs and a variety of resources. Agents will give presentations on antioxidants in Alaska’s wild berries, community gardens in rural Alaska, sustainable home heating, bedbugs, rural education and indoor environments. See more information about the forum and the full agenda
  • Individuals who grow or are interested in growing grain, hay and fruit are invited to separate growers meetings at the Tanana District Extension office in Fairbanks. Grain growers will meet Jan. 29, hay growers on Jan. 31 and fruit growers on Feb. 5. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. at the Extension office in the Fairbanks Community Food Bank building.

January 2013

  • This year’s Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery Conference will take place Jan. 24–25 at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks. Greenhouse and nursery operators, home gardeners and others are invited to this annual education fest and trade show. Look for a full agenda to linked here soon, but presentation topics will include grafted vegetables, marketing, agricultural loans, mycorrhiza, pest management, rhodiola, LED research, hydroponics and more. Discounted lodging is available. See other conference information, including the agenda and registration details here or register online.
  • A Master Gardener session in Fairbanks will begin Feb. 19. See details and register for the popular training. The session will also be offered by distance delivery to Delta Junction residents through facilities at the Delta Career Advancement Center. See this flyer for details.

December 2012

  • All Extension offices will be closed Dec. 22–Jan. 1 for the holidays and will reopen on Jan. 2. Several districts will also be participating in the university's soft closure periods: 
    • Dec. 17-21: Juneau, Mat-Su
    • Dec. 21 and Jan. 2: Delta Junction
    • Jan. 4–6: Fairbanks State Office, Anchorage, Kenai, Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • This year’s Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery Conference will take place Jan. 24–25 at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks. Greenhouse and nursery operators, home gardeners and others are invited to this annual education fest and trade show. Look for a full agenda to linked here soon, but presentation topics will include grafted vegetables, marketing, agricultural loans, mycorrhiza, pest management, rhodiola, LED research, hydroponics and more. Discounted lodging is available. Register online.
  • Other upcoming agricultural conferences and events include:
    • Peony Growers Conference, Feb. 13–15 in Fairbanks 
    • Alaska Produce Growers Conference, Feb. 19–20 in Palmer 
    • Delta Farm Forum, Feb.  23 
    • Sustainable Agriculture Conference, March 12–14 in Fairbanks. Agenda and registration information here.
  • Extension in Delta Junction will host an Agricultural Community Gathering from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Delta Career Advancement Center. Residents are encouraged to come with thoughts and ideas on how the community might stimulate the agriculture industry, improve employment opportunities, enhance Alaska's food security and benefit local businesses. Steve Gallagher of the Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corp., Chad Stovall with USDA Rural Development and local agriculture support agencies will attend the meeting. For more information, contact Delta Extension at 895-4215 or by email.
  • A Master Gardener session in Fairbanks will begin Feb. 19. See details and register for the popular training. The session will also be offered by distance delivery to Delta Junction residents through facilities at the Delta Career Advancement Center. See this flyer for details.
  • Individuals who grow or are interested in growing grain, hay and fruit are invited to separate growers meetings at the Tanana District Extension office in Fairbanks. Grain growers will meet Jan. 29, hay growers on Jan. 31 and fruit growers on Feb. 5. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. at the Extension office in the Fairbanks Community Food Bank building.
  • The deadline for applying for a 4-H summer exchange program to Japan is Jan. 15.  Alaska youth ages 13 to 18 are invited to apply for the July 10 to Aug. 8, 2013 exchange. Ten host families are also sought for Japanese youth who are coming to Alaska with the program the same month. Exchange participants and Alaska host families do not need to speak Japanese. See details about the exchange program and information about hosting a Japanese youth.

November 2012

  •  Master Gardener training is coming to Seward and Kenai in January. See details about the class, and download the registration form here This article about the training appeared in the Seward Phoenix Log.
  • A second Master Gardener session in Fairbanks will begin Feb. 19. See details and register for the popular training.
  • Alaska Legislative Process workshops scheduled Dec. 6–7 and Dec. 10–11 in Anchorage have been cancelled.
  • If you are thinking about developing a backyard poultry flock for meat or as egg layers, consider tuning in to free monthly webinars on eXtension, which is Extension’s online resource for expert information. The webinars will address financial aspects, winter care, raising turkeys and more. See the list of webinars and links to participate.
  •  For Alaska-specific information about keeping egg layers through the winter, Alaska Extension has a  Winter Chickens  DVD available for $5. The DVD has information about housing, feed, bedding and costs, as well as tips for building a coop and a list of supplies. Order online with a mail order form or call 877-520-5211.
  • Several upcoming agricultural and horticultural conferences and the annual Delta Farm Forum have been scheduled. Check back for details about registration and agendas but save these dates:

• Greenhouse and Nursery Conference, Jan. 24-25 in Fairbanks 

• Peony Growers Conference, Feb. 13–15 in Fairbanks 

• Alaska Produce Growers Conference, Feb. 19–20 (tentative) in Palmer 

• Delta Farm Forum, Feb.  23 in Delta 

• Sustainable Agriculture Conference, March 12–14 in Fairbanks

  • As Thanksgiving draws near, read  Serving Turkey Safely  for tips on thawing, cooking and serving your bird while avoiding foodborne illness.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge for families, especially during the holidays with all the extra sweets available. See some creative ideas in  Choosing Healthy Snacks for Children.
  • Congratulations to Fairbanks 4-H leader Becky Osimowicz, who received the 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year Award in Orlando, Fla. The award is one of two national awards given to  4-H leaders. Becky is the longtime leader of the Amour de Cheval horse club and a dedicated 4-H volunteer. More than 1,900 Alaska volunteers helped offer 4-H activities around the state this past year.
  • Making healthy food choices on a limited budget can be tough. Two programs offered through Extension provide basic nutrition and food-budgeting programs targeted to low-income populations and to youth. Nutrition educators with the Alaska Nutrition Education Program coordinate with state and local health organizations, tribal programs and food banks in several Alaska communities. The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program helps low-income families and youth acquire the knowledge and skills to select nutritionally sound diets.

October 2012

  • As the thermometer drops, think about winterizing vehicles to keep them in proper starting and running condition in the colder areas of Alaska. See our do-it-yourself publication, Winterizing Your Car and Camper. To stay warm, read Keeping Your House Operating During a Cold Alaska Winter or Tips on Weatherizing a Mobile Home in Alaska.
  • Check out Extension's new publication, An Alaska Gardener’s Checklist for Fall and Winter, HGA-00429. This publication provides a list of things that need to done to prepare your garden for the winter. Once you’ve put your garden to bed, there is a checklist of winter activities with information and ideas for planning next season’s garden.
  • The Alaska Invasive Species Conference will take place Oct. 30–Nov. 1 in Kodiak. The conference will highlight concerns about plant and animal intruders to the state, and research and prevention efforts. The conference will particularly focus on the Kodiak Archipelago and the economic and subsistence impacts of invasive species. A preconference invasive plants curriculum workshop for teachers and agency educators is scheduled for 12:30–4:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center. See the agenda, registration information for the workshop and conference and online registration here.
  • Alaska youth will become scientists Oct. 10 during the fifth annual 4-H Youth Science Day. This year’s National Science Experiment is the Eco-Bot Challenge. Youth in classrooms and 4-H clubs will be introduced to robotic engineering concepts as they program a robot to clean up a simulated environmental spill. Read more about this event.

September 2012

  • The Alaska Wood Energy Conference Oct. 9-11 in Ketchikan will focus on community use of wood biomass. The conference will highlight the success stories of Alaska communities that have implemented wood biomass projects. Other topics will include the sustainability and environmental impacts of biomass harvest and production, pellet mills, biomass technologies, economic and community impacts and biomass project financing. Registration and more conference information is available here. New online option: The conference may be viewed online for a $50 registration.
  • The 4-H Natural Resource and Youth Development Program will host an in-service for rural teachers Oct. 3–6 in Fairbanks. The training will support a year-long salmon education program for rural Alaska schools. The program uses salmon as a bridge to teach contemporary topics associated with science, math and technology, and cultural and subsistence issues. Co-sponsors include Extension, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fairbanks fisheries office and Alaska COSEE.
  • Cooperatives and communities from six states will participate in the Cultivating NW Co-ops: Celebrating Our Food Community Conference Oct. 5–6 in Seattle. The Alaska Cooperative Development Program, with Extension’s Tony Nakazawa, is one of the sponsors. See details and registration information.

August 2012

  • Livestock owners are invited to an Oct. 18–19 conference on feeding and grazing practices. The Alaska Diversified Livestock Association, Extension and the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences will host the conference in Wasilla and Palmer. A special program for fiber producers will follow on Oct. 20. See detailsaboutboth events and register online.
  • Gregg Switzer, the technology coordinator from Montana Extension, will lead 4-H robotics training for leaders, teens and adults in six communities. He will lead a training in Anchorage Sept. 7–9; Fairbanks, Sept. 10–12; Kenai, Sept. 13–14; Bethel, Sept. 15–17; Nome, Sept. 19–21; and in Juneau Sept. 22–23.   For more information, check with Extension in those communities.
  • Save the date! The 2012 Alaska Wood Energy Conference — Biomass for Sustainable Communities will take place Oct. 9–11 in Ketchikan.The conference will highlight the success stories of Alaska communities that have implemented woody biomass projects. AWEC will showcase new technologies and potential business developments and bring in leading forest industry representatives, forest managers and researchers to discuss biomass harvest and production and new technology appropriate for Alaska. Conference co-sponsors include Extension, the Alaska Energy Authority and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power. Registration and more conference information is available here.
  • Potato growers are invited to an Extension training Aug. 21 in Palmer and Aug. 23 in Delta to learn how to use a new potato pest field guide written in Russian and English. The Palmer training will run from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Alaska Plant Materials Center and a second training will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Delta Career Advancement Center. The University of Idaho Extension published the Alaska Field Guide to Potato Pests and Beneficial Insects in English and Russian, with content help from Alaska Extension and the Alaska Plant Materials Center. A limited number of free guides will be available from district offices in Delta, Palmer, Soldotna and Fairbanks. Additional copies may be ordered from Idaho Extension.
  • Home gardeners and others interested in growing wheat and barley are invited to a field day Aug. 16 at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm. Extension and the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences are hosting the free event at 5:30 p.m. in the wheat and barley fields. Participants will learn about wheat and barley varieties that do well in the Interior and how to plant and care for the grains, as well as harvesting, threshing and making flour. They will also get ideas and recipes for using the flour.
  • Certified food protection manager training will be offered Aug. 27 in Palmer and at videoconference sites in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Soldotna and Sitka. Alaska regulations require food establishments to have at least one certified food protection manager on staff to protect public health and ensure the facility complies with food safety regulations. See the flier for more details and sign up onlineby Aug. 15.

July 2012

  • Dipnetters and anglers with coolers full of fish can look to Extension for help preserving the catch. Extension has online canning lessons, DVDs and free publications on canning, freezing and smoking fish on its website. District offices will also test pressure canner gauges for free to ensure they are adjusted correctly. See your district agent for more details. Listen to a KMXT-FM interview with home economist Roxie Dinstel about our fish preservation resources.
  • Extension will host a mushroom identification walk Aug. 11 with longtime UAF mycologist Gary Laursen at Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks. Participants will meet at the farmhouse at 2 p.m. See the flyer for what to bring and additional information.
  • More on the Morrill Act: NPR recently featured a segment on "Land-Grant Universities and Agriculture's Future." Guest Sandy Rikoon, University of Missouri, and host Neal Conan discuss how Extension agents go beyond agriculture education the public services they provide. Listen to callers highlight the importance of Extension as it faces 21st century challenges.

June 2012

  • The Alaska Peony Growers’ Association will meet Aug. 9–11 in Mat-Su for its 2012 summer conference. The conference will include new and commercial growers’ schools, farm tours and a discussion of exploring cooperatives to sell peonies. Watch for more information at www.alaskapeonies.org.
  • Extension welcomes two new agricultural and horticulture agents, Steve Seefeldt of Tanana District and Lydia Clayton in the Kenai Peninsula District office at Soldotna. Seefeldt served as a research agronomist for the Agricultural Research Service in Fairbanks and Clayton comes to Alaska from Idaho, where she worked as an Extension educator with agriculture, horticulture and small farms. Stop by and meet our newest agents and follow Lydia’s district horticulture page on Facebook.
  • Extension has two new publications to help Alaskans establish and maintain great lawns this summer. One focuses on conditions in Interior and Southcentral and the other on lawns in Southeast. We’ll help you choose the right grass variety and prepare the site and also provide helpful tips on watering, mowing, fertilizing and disease prevention.
  • UAF Summer Sessions is hosting a weekly lecture series with Extension and Alaska Sea Grant agents this summer. Topics range from gardening and raising chickens to whale research. The lectures begin at 7 p.m. Tuesdays in 201 O’Neill on the UAF campus. See the full schedule.
  • Our popular 16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska takes gardeners from planning stages, through cultivation, all the way to harvest. For more in-depth guide to gardening, Extension offers a comprehensive guide, Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual, which is also available on CD and as a spiral-bound version. Order copies of both publications through district offices, online or call our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211.
  • Habanero garlic sauce, anyone? Extension works with entrepreneurs interested in starting a food-based business. Read about our services in the 2011 Program Highlights.Find out more about our work around the state, our local foods outreach, classroom programs and GPS/GIS training in rural Alaska.

May 2012

  • Spirit of Alaska Women tells the history of Alaska through the adventures of members of the Alaska Association for Family and Community Education. This readable collection covers homesteading, the Good Friday earthquake, encounters with moose, bears and more. The association grew out of homemaker clubs organized by Extension in the 1930s — and is dedicated to strengthening individuals, families and communities. Read more about the association.Copies of its new book are available for$16 plus shipping. Buy the book from members or orderby mail.
  • Organizations working with and in rural Alaska will benefit from an Alaska Cultural Host certification workshop May 17–18 at Extension’s district office in Anchorage. The 10-hour training is designed to provide participants with an increased awareness of remote rural Alaska and cultural knowledge of the indigenous people and the pioneer history of Alaska. It is designed to assist employees of the hospitality/tourism industry, local, state and federal governments, school districts and other organizations. Register online or see other information on the training.
  • Extension will host a Rhodiola Growers School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 5 at the Matanuska Experiment Farm in Palmer. The school is free for members of the Alaska Rhodiola Growers Cooperative or is $35 for nonmembers. The school will cover the fundamentals of growing Rhodiola, a high-value medicinal herb. Participants will gain hands-on experience by planting a public demonstration plot. Register online. For more information, contact Steve Brown at 745-3639 or by e-mail.
  • Find out more about raising chickens at the Juneau Chicken Summit, which will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 5 at the UAS campus Egan Lecture Hall. Participants will hear tips from local chicken owners and from experts. After lunch, join us for the Tour de Coop, a tour of local chicken yards and coops. Lunch is included with the $20 registration. Class is full.

April 2012

  • For the third time in four years, an Alaska 4-H leader has been named the 4-H National Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year — one of two national awards given to 4-H leaders. Becky Osimowicz of Fairbanks was chosen from four regional winners for the award, which 4-H presents to one volunteer with less than 10 years of service. Osimowicz is co-leader of the Amour de Cheval 4-H Club, which focuses on raising and showing horses. She will receive the award in Orlando, Fla., this fall. Previous winners of this prestigious award include two other Fairbanks leaders, Priscilla Rice and Nancy Graff.
  • Get to know your rocks. UAF Mining Extension is offered a workshop about field identification of rocks and minerals from 9 a.m. to 4:30 April 28 at the Tanana District office. The workshop will focus on the primary rock-forming minerals and some of the more common metallic minerals that are of economic or collecting interest. The workshop is geared to adults but youth middle-school age and older may participate with an adult. The class fee of $15 will pay for a field ID tool kit. Sign up onlineat http://bit.ly/ak-rock-id or call Bacsujlaky at 474-5741. Class is full.
  • Win an iPad! See geocache and word puzzle information and trivia hints on our Morrill celebration page. Puzzles may also be downloaded from the site. Each completed entry will be entered in our April 21 drawing for two iPads. We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, the legislation that authorized land-grant colleges such as the University of Alaska. In addition to the contests, activities April 16–21 in Fairbanks will include Extension classes and an April 16 lecture by UAF historian Terrence Cole about the legislation that created colleges dedicated to the “liberal and practical education” of the people. A Wood Center celebration from noon to 4 p.m. April 21 will offer family activities from Extension and the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, and Chancellor Rogers will speak at 3:30 p.m. Check out the full schedule of activities and sign up for free classes.
  • Entrepreneurs who are considering a specialty food business will learn how to get started and business plan basics during an April 21 workshop with Quentin Fong the Marine Advisory Program and Extension’s Kate Idzorek. The Introduction to Specialty Food Business workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Tanana District office and will be videoconferenced to sites in Sitka, Delta, Soldotna and Anchorage. Register online.
  • The Anchorage Master Gardeners are proud to host this year's statewide Master Gardener conference April 14 at the Anchorage Senior Center. All gardeners are invited. Keynote speakers include Linda Chalker-Scott, Extension urban horticulturist at Washington State University; and Marion Owen, photographer, garden writer, entrepreneur, chief cook and bottle washer aboard the Sea Breeze and Kodiak Master Gardener. Additional experts from around the state will share their knowledge. See registration information online.
  • Alaska 4-H Operation: Military Kids invites all Alaskans to “purple up” April 13 to honor children affected by deployments. Program director Candi Dierenfield encourages Alaskans to wear purple on that day as a visible way to thank military youth for their strength and sacrifices. Purple symbolizes all branches of the military if their representative colors are added together. April marks the “Month of the Military Child.”

March 2012

  • Extension is still looking for host families for Japanese youth participating in the summer 2012 LABO Japan-Alaska youth exchange. The youth will be in the Anchorage, Kenai and Mat-Su areas July 21-Aug. 19. Each family must have a child ages 10-16 who is willing to be the host brother or sister. Contact your local 4-H office or Tony Nakazawa at atnakazawa@alaska.edu or Marianne Kerr at mlkerr@alaska.edu for an application form.
  • Come meet the candidates for the Tanana District Agriculture and Horticulture agent position. The finalists and their presentation dates are Steven Seefeldt, March 1; Toby Day, March 6; Heidi Rader, March 7; and Mike Emers, March 8. Presentations will begin at 10 a.m. at the Tanana District office at 724 27th Ave., and a question-and-answer session will follow. Individuals may also participate at videoconference sites at UAF and at the Delta Career Advancement Center. Audio conference is also available. Call 800-893-8850 and use the PIN 5711553.
  • Rich Seifert's popular cold climate homebuilding techniques workshop is now available online on iTunes University. Seifert, Extension's community sustainability coordinator, presents information, by chapter, about the science of energy-efficient buildings, options for foundation, wall and roof construction, as well as sections on windows, heating and ventilation, vapor barriers, indoor air quality and radon.

February 2012

  • Three Fairbanks energy experts will offer a workshop on sustainable homes March 3 at UAF. Extension will host  “A 21st Century Sustainable Home: What Does it Take?” in Boyd Hall, Room 201 of the Reichardt Building. Presenters Rich Seifert, Greg Egan and Karl Kassel will talk about superinsulated homes, solar technologies, photovoltaic systems and net zero energy homes. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a lunch break. Register online or at 474-7201.
  • Read about how Extension has put education to work in your community in our 2011 Program Highlights! The 2011 annual report spotlights our efforts to increase food production in rural communities and a video about the Alaskan Growers School. The issue also covers our new partnership with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) and includes news about 4-H youth exchange programs, GPS/GIS training in Quinhagak, our classroom outreach and more.
  • Extension will host the 2012 Alaska Certified Pesticide Applicator Conference March 13 at the Coast International Inn in Anchorage. Participants may receive continuing education credits. See our conference page for more information including registration and payment links.

January 2012

  • Mark your calendars for the 2012 Alaska Produce Growers Conference, Feb. 21–22 at the Palmer Community Center (train depot). Presenters will provide research and practical information for vegetable and fruit farmers. Topics will include potatoes, integrated pest management, pesticides, Rhodiola rosea and the Alaska Farmers Market Food Stamp Pilot Project. Register onlineor download the registration form. View theagenda here.
  • This year’s Delta Farm Forum will take place Feb. 25 in the Delta High School small gymnasium. Experts will talk about the barley biofuel project, potato late blight, food processing regulations, heritage hogs and the marketability of peonies. Representatives from several agricultural agencies will also provide updates. See thisflyerfor details.
  • More than 200 Fairbanks-area teachers participated in a mock deployment Jan. 6 at Eielson Air Force Base. Candi Dierenfield, director of Alaska 4-H Operation Military Kids, said the idea was to show them what military families go through and give them tools that they can use in their classrooms to help with military children. Teachers participated in multiple deployment stations. They spoke with military members, tasted MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and practiced moving medical litters while wearing chemical gear. See the news story and video, which has been shared worldwide on the Air Force Network.
  • Fairbanks 4-H leader Becky Osimowicz has been named the Western Region 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year. The award honors the top 4-H volunteer in the Western United States with less than 10 years of service. Osimowicz will be recognized Jan. 15 during a regional leaders forum in Cheyenne, Wyo. She is a co-leader of the Amour de Cheval horse club.
  • Registration is now open for the annual Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery and Alaska Peony Growers conferences, which will meet back-to-back, Jan. 25–27, 2012 at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. The greenhouse and nursery conference is geared to commercial growers, but gardeners are welcomed. The peony growers conference includes presentations by peony growers, marketing experts and researchers. View the agenda and download registration information or register online.
  • Save the date! The eighth annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference March 13–14 will take place at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. Preconference workshops on business planning for farmers and cultivating mushrooms are scheduled for March 13. Conference topics will include farm planning, funding opportunities, business strategies, the Sustainable Livestock conference and more. See the agenda, download the registration or register online.

December 2011

  • Happy holidays. All Extension offices will be closed Dec. 26–30 for the holidays. The following Extension offices will not be open during the university’s optional closure periods:
    • Dec. 22-23: Anchorage
    • Dec. 19-23: Delta Junction, Mat-Su/Copper River, Nome, Kodiak, Sitka, Tanana Chiefs Conference and Eielson AFB
    • Jan. 4–6: Kenai, Kodiak, Sitka and Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Individuals who want to become familiar with how the Legislature operates or more effective at promoting their cause may be interested in Extension’s Understanding the Alaska Legislative Process Workshop 2012. The workshop is scheduled in Anchorage, January 9–10 and in Bethel January 12–13. It will offer insights into public officials, the Legislature’s budget process, lobbyists and the press. See the brochure and registration for details.
  • Save the date!The annual Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery Conference and the Alaska Peony Growers Conference will meet back-to-back, Jan. 25–27, 2012 at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. The greenhouse and nursery conference is geared to commercial growers, but gardeners are welcomed. The peony growers conference includes presentations by peony growers, marketing experts and researchers. View the agenda online and download the registration information.
  • If you’re contemplating keeping a laying flock through the winter, check out Extension’s new DVD, Winter Chickens, with Community Development Agent Mara Bacsujlaky. Mara, who has raised chickens in the Interior for 10 years, describes the DVD as “the down and dirty of keeping laying hens through an Alaska winter,” with information on housing and equipment, feed and costs. Copies are $5 and may be ordered at 1-877-520-5211.
  • Alaska youth who are interested in Japanese culture may participate in a 4-H exchange to Japan this coming July or host a Japanese teen in their home. The 4-H youth program is accepting applications for its July 11 - Aug. 9 exchange program to Japan and is also seeking host families for Japanese youth who are coming to Alaska with the program July 21 - Aug. 19. See more details about the inbound and outbound exchange programs.

November 2011

  • The annual Harvest Wrap-up Dec. 1 in Delta Junction will bring farmers and researchers together to discuss the past growing season and to share information on current research trials and future research needs. Topics will include research on potassium and phosphorous nutrient studies, weed control, burn piles and peonies. The wrap-up will run from 6:30–8:30 p.m. in the Delta Career Advancement Center.
  • It is important to winterize vehicles to keep them in proper starting and running condition in the colder areas of Alaska. See our do-it-yourself publication, Winterizing your Car and Camper. To stay warm, read Keeping Your House Operating During a Cold Alaskan Winter or Tips on Weatherizing a Mobile Home in Alaska.Our new publication, Dairy Goat Records, will help producers keep track of important dates and details of a dairy goat’s life, such as vaccinations, breeding history, weight, feed, hoof trimming and more.
  • Kate Idzorek’s research using Alaska-grown barley for Farm-to-School projects is described in a blog post on “Beyond Breakfast,” the School Nutrition Foundation blog. Kate, who is Extension’s food research technician, has been working on a hamburger bun/dinner roll made out of barley and wheat and a chocolate chip cookie that uses about 15 percent barley flour.
  • Check out Food Sense, our bimonthly newsletter on eating healthy and saving money. The most recent issue gives tips on how to eat well using the new USDA MyPlate method and buy fruits and vegetables for less. There’s also a recipe for Cabbage and White Bean Soup. 

October 2011

  • We recently conducted website maintenance and made changes to many of our pages. If you are having trouble accessing any documents or pages, please send us an e-mail at cesweb@uaf.edu. We are also seeking feedback on the new organization of the site, so please send us your comments!
  • Extension sustainability coordinator Rich Seifert will teach his cold climate homebuilding class Oct. 29 at Schaible Auditorium on the UAF campus. The free workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes a manual and a CD. It will focus on insulating homes and will cover options for retrofit, ventilation, indoor air quality and permafrost and foundations. Call 474-7201 to register or sign up online.
  • The 2011 Alaska Invasive Species Conference will take place at the Millennium Anchorage Hotel on Oct. 19–20 and nearby Coast International Inn on Oct. 21. The conference will include the 12th annual CNIPM Workshop and sixth annual Alaska Invasive Species Working Group Workshop. The agenda and registration form can be found in the conference brochure.
  • Extension is challenging Alaskans to live off the weekly food stamp budget Oct. 9–15. The food stamp challenge aims to raise awareness of the difficulty of eating well on the food stamp budget. Organizer Helen Idzorek coordinates two nutrition education programs for Extension that work with low income Alaskans. She hopes that participants will e-mail her their week’s food diary, recipes and strategies, to be used anonymously as part of an Oct. 24 celebration of national Food Day on the UAF campus.
  • A workshop on cooperative development in Alaska will run from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 13 at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Topics will include online cooperatives, community-supported fisheries and the Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market. For more information, contact Tony Nakazawa at 907-460-0825 or by e-mail.

September 2011

  • Red meat production will be the focus of the Oct. 13–14 Sustainable Livestock Conference at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. The conference, sponsored by the UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and Extension, is expected to draw producers, researchers, retailers, policymakers and students interested in increasing agricultural production in Alaska. See the agendaand registration information
  • 4-H agents and volunteer leaders around the state will participate in the 2011 Science Experiment, Wired for Wind, on Oct. 5. The experiment is an in-depth look at renewable energy technologies in the form of wind power.
  • This year’s Alaska Rural Energy Conference will be held in Southeast for the first time, from Sept. 27–29. Alaska Energy Authority, Extension and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power are among numerous sponsors for the seventh- annual conference in Juneau’s Centennial Hall. The conference will offer 24 technical sessions and many additional breakout sessions. See registration information and an agenda.
  • Nineteen rural teachers from across Alaska will attend an in-service in Fairbanks designed around a salmon theme. The Sept. 28-Oct. 1 training supports a classroom incubation project coordinated by Extension’s 4-H Natural Resource and Youth Development Program. Other co-sponsors include Alaska Sea Grant and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The training will show teachers how to use salmon to provide a culturally relevant math and science education program.
  • Late blight has shown up in the fields of two potato producers, in Mat-Su and Delta Junction. Wet and cold conditions favor the development of this fungus-like disease that can kill plants in the field or cause
  • It’s hunting season in some areas of the state and Extension has resources to help preserve game. DVDs on sausage and jerky making and processing game meat may be ordered at 877-520-5211. We also have publications on making sausage, making jerkyand canning moose and caribou.

August 2011

  • As the garden season winds down, think about getting your garden ready for winter and preparing for the next growing season. See An Alaska Gardener’s Fall Checklist for suggestions. Other recommended fall chores include making sure the woodstove and oil furnace are in good working order
  • Eleven people from throughout the state are in Fairbanks participating in the Alaskan Growers School. The goal is to teach participants how to grow enough food for themselves and 10 other families. The school includes classroom time as well as a hands-on program this week at Calypso Farm and Ecology Center. The target audience for the school is Alaska Natives who live in remote, rural locations. Read more about this schooland the program, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.
  • Congratulations to Anchorage horticulture agent Julie Riley, who received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
  • The Kenai Peninsula is hosting the Peony Growers Summer Conference Aug. 19–21. The conference will include an update about university peony trials and information about growing, handling and marketing peonies. Farm tours are planned in Kasilof, Nikiski and Soldotna. See the agenda and registration information on the Alaska Peony Growers Association website.
  • Got fish? Extension has a variety of resources to help preserve the catch. We have online lessons and DVDs on canning basics and canning meat and fish in jars and cans. Free publications may be downloaded on most of these topics from our online publications catalog, including Home Freezing of Fishand Smoking Fish at Home. Order DVDs by calling 1-877-520-5211.
  • Don’t forget to bring your pressure canner gauge into an Extension office and we’ll check to see if it’s working correctly and make adjustments if necessary. Stop by our district offices in Anchorage, Bethel, Juneau, Kenai, Fairbanks, Delta Junction and Palmer.
  • Ag Day at the Matanuska Experiment Farm will run from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 11. Ag Day features vendors, exhibits and old-timey games. There will be live animals, milking demonstrations, activities for kids, prize giveaways, tours of research labs and fields, hay wagon rides and live music. The UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and Extension are co-sponsors.

July 2011

  • The Southeast Alaska State Fair in Haines will usher in the 2011 fair season. If you would like to exhibit preserved foods at a fair or need help with judging a fair, check out our Attractive & Safe Food Preservation Exhibits publication, which has sample scorecards. Come show off your giant zucchinis, enjoy fair food and visit with Extension at the following fairs:
  • Extension and Sea Grant are co-sponsoring the Alaska’s Land and Sea Lecture every Tuesday evening through August 2 (except July 5) at 7 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium on the UAF campus. Come join us for talks about oysters, sustainability, commercial fishing, climate change, fermentation and more, by Extension and Sea Grant employees.
  • Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will collaborate on a new project aimed at developing childhood obesity-prevention strategies. A $2.9 million subaward to Extension will involve three UAF units: Extension, the Center for Alaska Native Health Research and the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. Researchers will partner with communities to inventory resources, identify barriers to healthy lifestyles and design and evaluate programs.
  • Extension and Sea Grant are co-sponsoring the Alaska’s Land and Sea Lecture every Tuesday evening through August 2 (except July 5) at 7 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium on the UAF campus. Come join us for talks about oysters, sustainability, commercial fishing, climate change, fermentation and more, by Extension and Sea Grant employees.
  • "Cocktails and Cyanide" is a new Summer Sessions lecture being presented with support from Extension. Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor who will be talking to the public about the history of poisons on July 20 at 7 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium.
  • June 2011
  • Extension has several new publications to aid home gardeners and farmers. Managing Alaska’s Soils provides an understanding of soil basics, including soil components, texture, structure, soil fertility and plant nutrients. Growing Rhubarb in the Alaska Garden provides information on one of the most popular cultivated plants as well as recipes. Small-Scale Irrigation Options describes water systems ranging from a simple garden home with attachments to mechanized irrigation equipment.
  • Fairbanks Extension is hosting a summertime lunchtime brown-bag lecture series on gardening topics. The sessions meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. in the University Park Building, through July 20. See the schedule for details and information on how to register.
  • Are you considering putting in a new lawn or does your existing lawn need help? Extension has several how-to publications with advice, Lawn Establishment, Moss Control in Lawns and Lawn Maintenance.
  • Several Extension agents work with rural Alaskans. Their assistance includes gardening help, technical assistance to villages and energy education. Read more about what Extension is doing in rural Alaska in the 2010 Program Highlights.

May 2011

  • Extension promotes local food production and food security through a variety of programs, including our popular Master Gardener program, classes and assistance for producers. Find out more about Extension and how we are helping Alaska become more food secure in the 2010 Program Highlights.
  • Our popular 16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska takes gardeners from planning stages, through cultivation, all the way to harvest. For more in-depth guide to gardening, Extension offers a comprehensive guide, Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual, which is also available on CD and as a spiral-bound version. Order copies of both publications through district offices, online or call our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211.
  • The Really Free Market takes place May 21 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Center parking lot. Organizers promise no selling, bartering and swapping. Items may be dropped off from 8–10 a.m. The late summer edition will be Aug. 10.
  • We’ve reorganized our website to make it easier to search by subject area for information about our programs and publications. It’s also easier to find out about activities offered by agents in various communities. Tabs at the top of our home page now link to individual districts.

April 2011

  • Winter conditions persist in many areas of our state, but it’s not too early to think about gardening. Our how-to publication, Seed Starting and Transplanting, provides information on the process and recommends plant dates for flower and vegetable varieties. Recommended vegetable and fruit variety lists for the Interiorand for Southcentral have been updated. The DVD Seed Starting with Mara Bacsujlaky covers all aspects of seed starting for the home gardener from planning and equipment purchase to planting, thinning and transplanting. Order a copy through district offices, online or call our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211.
  • Our youth program is helping to create new scientists by introducing youth to science through GPS sessions, experiments and dozens of other activities. At left: Kenai youth get acquainted with a GPS unit during a 4-H meeting. See the story about  and find out more about Extension in the 2010 Program Highlights
  • The 2011 Wood Energy Conference will take place April 25–27 at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. The theme is “Making Wood Work – Local Energy Solutions.” The Alaska Energy Authority is hosting the event, and sponsors include Extension, Alaska Housing Finance Corp. and others. The conference will include technical sessions on various wood energy topics. In addition, there will be a resource fair April 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the hotel. See the agenda and registration information.
  • The Tanana District office will celebrate its new location with eight days of community classes that begin April 11 and an April 20 open house from 2 to 6 p.m. Come see our new offices in the Fairbanks Community Food Bank building and choose from 20 classes, an information fest.
  • Nine new online how-to food preservation lessons have been added to Extension’s Preserving Alaska’s Bounty series. The additions include Freezing Overview, Freezing Vegetables, Freezing Fruits, Drying Overview, Drying Vegetables, Drying Fruits, Drying Herbs, Fruit Leather and Collecting and Using Alaska's Wild Berries.

March 2011

  • Extension’s 2011 Publications and Media Catalog is now available online and at district offices. Choose from hundreds of publications and DVDs, including many new publications on berries, food preservation, composting and gardening. The catalog lists publications by subject area. You may also search for Extension publications by subject, title or author using the online publications index. Most may be downloaded for free.
  • The three latest DVDs in Extension’s Preserving Alaska’s Bounty series are Cold Storage, Processing Game Meat and Roses and Fireweed. Cold Storage demonstrates how to preserve fruits and vegetables by freezing or by storing in root cellars. Processing Game Meat offers information on the slaughter and processing of reindeer, and Roses and Fireweed explains how and when to harvest and use fireweed sprouts, fireweed and rosehip blossoms and rosehips. Order these DVDs by calling our toll-free number at 877-520-5211.
  • The seventh annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference will take place March 23–24 at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. Growers, researchers and representatives from agricultural agencies will make presentations on a variety of topics, including community support agriculture (CSAs), root cellars, funding programs, livestock, composting and potato research, and the rhubarb industry. Preconference workshops on March 22 will cover goats, sheep and farmstead cheesemaking. See the full schedule and registration form here.
  • Read about what Extension is doing in our 2010 Program Highlights! The 2010 annual report spotlights Nome agent Kari van Delden and includes news about 4-H youth science activities, our efforts to increase Alaska’s food security, rural Extension, a hands-on nutrition program that helps low-income Alaskans and more.
  • Extension’s Tanana District office in Fairbanks is open for business at its new location on the second floor of the Fairbanks Community Food Bank building. Stop by and visit at 724 27th Ave. The office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the entrance is behind the building.

February 2011

  • The annual Delta Farm Forum Feb. 26 will bring researchers, farmers and representatives of agricultural agencies together. Interested farmers and the public are invited to this daylong event and potluck in the small gymnasium at Delta High School. Speakers will talk about research trials, lab-tested, disease-free seed potato exports, canola production and Environmental Protection Agency fuel regulations. Extension’s Kate Idzorek will make a presentation on the flavor of barley flour and Franci Havemeister, director of the Division of Agriculture, will provide an update on the division. See the complete agenda.
  • The Tanana District office will move to a new home, 724 27th Ave., upstairs at the Fairbanks Community Food Bank building. The office, which is housed in the University Park Building, will close Friday, Feb. 18, and reopen Feb. 22 in the new location. The leased space will have a large classroom with videoconferencing capabilities. Extension has offered programs at the food bank for years.
  • Mark your calendars for the Alaska Produce Growers Conference occurring Feb. 15–16 in Palmer. This conference will provide an opportunity for vegetable and fruit growers to become better farmers. Topics will include potato and weed research, irrigation and fertilizing, farm cooperatives, commercialization of Rhodiola rosea, vegetable processing, small fruits and agricultural agency updates. Please download the agenda.
  • Hay farmers are invited to the third and final session of the Alaska Forage Growers School, from noon to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Matanuska Experiment Farm. Topics will include haylage and marketing. Contact Palmer agent Steve Brown for more information or to register for this free workshop.
  • Come visit with Extension Feb. 7–10 at the Alaska Forum on the Environment at the Anchorage Dena’ina Convention Center. Faculty and staff will be available to talk about our services, including some of our newest outreach and educational tools for public engagement in large resource extractions, community gardening and food systems, as well as youth development programs and activities in rural communities. We’ll have information about our wood heating website and efficient wood burning.

January 2011

  • Join us for the 30th annual Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery Conference Jan. 26–27 at the Hilton Anchorage. The conference is geared to commercial operations, but home gardeners are welcomed. Topics will include heating greenhouses with a solar panel hot water system, a comparison of mowers, greenhouse production of hanging plants, small fruits, greenhouse research and agricultural agency updates.
  • The Greenhouse conference will be followed immediately by the Alaska Peony Growers Conference Jan. 27–28, also at the Hilton. The program will include information from growers, tips and strategies, soil and tissue testing, peony field maintenance, 2010 trials and varieties, variety selections and more. For details on both conferences and trade shows, see the agendas and registration form.
  • Host families in the Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su areas are sought for the summer 2011 Japan-Alaska 4-H youth exchange. Each family must have a child ages 10 to 16 who is willing to host a Japanese youth from July 21 to Aug. 19. The host brother or sister will be matched with a Japanese youth of the same gender and similar age and interests. Applications are available through 4-H offices at Extension offices in Anchorage, Soldotna and Palmer, or by contacting Tony Nakazawa at 907-786-6300 or by e-mail.
  • Science Saturdays are back. Anchorage 4-H and the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center are again offering their popular hands-on series. The monthly sessions target 9- to 13-year-olds and focus on science and the natural world. Upcoming topics will include science fair boot camp, avalanche and arctic survival, tracking and snowshoeing, climate change and stream studies. Check this flyer for details. For more information, contact Marianne Kerr at 786-6300 or by e-mail.

December 2010

  • Holiday Closures - Some Extension districts, offices and units have elected to close during soft closures and others will remain open, except for the required Dec. 23–Jan. 2 university closure.
  • UAF Summer Sessions presents Wintermester Jan. 3–14. Register now as classes are filling fast. Wintermester offers an opportunity to complete three-credit classes in two week or to take noncredit classes, such as fly tying, understanding the aurora, or creating a nine-section leather journal.
  • Hay farmers are invited to attend the first session of Extension’s three-part Alaska Forage School, from noon to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Matanuska Experiment Farm. The workshop is free and includes a lunch. The program will focus on fundamentals and improving the quality, quantity and profitability of growing hay in Alaska. Register by contacting Penney Prickett or Steve Brown or the Palmer Extension office at 745-3360.
  • Extension council meetings, like many other meetings held by sub units of the university, are open meetings. Our next CES State Advisory Council meeting is an audio meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 5:15 p.m. Interested parties should call 907-474-7246 for information on how to connect to the meeting.
  • Host families in the Anchorage, Kenai and Mat-Su areas are sought for the summer 2011 LABO Japan-Alaska youth exchange. Each family must have a child age 10-16 who is willing to be the host brother or sister for the Japanese youth from July 21-Aug. 19, 2011. Also, youth ages 13-18 who are interested in Japan and its culture may request an application to participate in the Alaska 4-H exchange program trip to Japan July 6–Aug. 4, 2011. Each participant will stay in the home of a member of the LABO International Exchange Foundation youth group, living as a member of their family. Applicants do not need to be current 4-H members or to be able to speak Japanese. All outbound delegates will be enrolled in 4-H prior to going to Japan. Applications must be received by the first week of January. E-mail questions to japanalaska@gmail.com or call Jill Holmgren at 455-6987 for more details.
  • The community is invited to an open house at our new Anchorage district office, from 3:30-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29. Come see our new facility at 16th Avenue and C Street and meet with faculty, staff, UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers and Extension Director Fred Schlutt. The Anchorage 4-H Japanese drumming club, Tomodachi Daiko, will perform at 5:30 p.m. and a ribbon cutting is planned at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. The new facility offers a larger classroom and better access for our clients.
  • Extension will host the annual Delta Harvest Wrap-up from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Delta Career Advancement Center. Area farmers are encouraged to share observations of the past growing season and thoughts about research needs, and researchers will present information on current and future research projects. Topics will include contamination in grass seed, crop seed and bird seed; canola trials; and the grasshopper outlook for 2012.

November 2010

  • Operation: Military Kids, a collaboration between the Army and Extension's 4-H youth development program, has been highlighted in Fort Wainwright's paper, Alaska Post. The story has since been posted on the official home pageof the U.S. Army and by CNN's iReport. The Operation: Military Kids program supports children and youth in Alaska and around the country as they cope with deployments. The article quotes Candi Dierenfield, a 4-H agent who is the director of Alaska Operation: Military Kids.
  • Our Anchorage district office is now located at 1675 C St, at 16th Avenue and C Street. The new location has a larger classroom and videoconferencing capabilities for distance-delivery programs, as well as better parking and access to our customers. Come to our Nov. 29 open house.
  • A mystery moth has been spotted swarming around homes and businesses in Southcentral, and Extension is working to identify the invaders. Watch a KTUU-TV report on the moth infestation.

October 2010

  • Scientists and citizens concerned about invasive plants and animals will gather in Fairbanks Oct. 26–28 for the 2010 Alaska Invasive Species Conference. The event features the 11th annual Committee for Noxious and Invasive Plants Management Workshop and the 5th annual Alaska Invasive Species Working Group Workshop. The first two days of the conference will highlight invasive plants in Alaska, while the Oct. 28 presentations are devoted to other groups of organisms, especially those threatening the aquatic systems. See the agenda for information on the program and download the registration form here.Check the agenda also for information on the preconference Invasive Plants of Alaska Educators Workshop on Oct. 25.
  • The public is invited to a preconference lecture with John Peter Thompson from 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 25 on the UAF campus. Thompson, of the National Agricultural Research Alliance, will talk about “Invasive Plants and Interactions with the Human and Natural Landscapes” in the Pearl Berry Boyd lecture hall, room 201 in the Reichardt Building.
  • Extension’s new Sustainable Gardening: the Alaska Master Gardener Manual is now available on CD for $10. Call us toll-free at 877-520-5211 to order a copy.
  • For the second year in a row, an Alaska 4-H leader will receive one of two national awards given to 4-H leaders. Nancy Graff of North Pole will receive the 2010 National 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year award Oct. 8 in Chevy Chase, Md. She was chosen from four regional winners for the award, which 4-H presents to one volunteer with less than 10 years of service. In addition to being the main leader of the North Pole Ptarmigans, Nancy runs after-school clubs at a North Pole elementary and middle school.
  • Retired Juneau 4-H agent Jim Douglas will also receive recognition at the Oct. 8 ceremony. He and 15 others will be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame. Douglas served 30 years in Extension, including 20 in Alaska.
  • Our Anchorage district office is moving to a new location at 1675 C St. The office will close at its current location Sept. 30 and will open Oct. 5 on the first floor of the Kaloa Building. The new location will have a larger classroom and videoconferencing capabilities for distance-delivery programs, as well as better parking and access to our customers. We will announce an open house soon.
  • Twenty-four rural teachers attended an in-service training in Fairbanks Sept. 22-25 designed to increase science literacy through participation in a salmon incubation project. Co-sponsors included Extension, Alaska Sea Grant and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

September 2010

  • As the garden season draws to a close, it’s a good time to think about how to get your garden ready for winter and begin preparing for the next growing season. See An Alaska Gardener’s Fall Checklist. Other recommended fall chores include making sure the woodstove and oilfurnace are in good working order, and that your carand camper are winterized.
  • Extension has published a new comprehensive gardening manual. Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual was adapted for Alaska from Sustainable Gardening: The Oregon-Washington Master Gardener Handbook. The 490-page manual is a basic gardening text. It also offers information on soils and fertilizers, propagation, berry crops, pruning, composting, flowers, greenhouses and season extenders, lawns, plant diseases, pesticides and integrated pest management. Contributors include current and former Extension faculty. Listen to an Alaska Public Radio Network interview about the manual with Fairbanks agent Michele Hebert.
  • Also new is the fourth edition of A Solar Design Manual for Alaska, which was revised and updated by author Rich Seifert, Extension’s energy and housing specialist
  • Extension’s food product development staff has created 13 Alaska barley recipes for edibles, such as cornbread, brownies, banana bread, pancakes, carrot cake, chocolate chip cookies, honey crackers, muffins, noodles, tart crust and barley soup. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the research with a goal of developing a market for Alaska hulless barley, which has a mild, nutty flavor. Regular barley flour may be substituted in these recipes. The recipes, FNH-00400–FNH-00412, may be downloaded from our searchable publications catalog.

August 2010

  • Blueberry bushes are dripping with berries in many areas of the state. See Alaska Blueberries for tips on cleaning and storage and recipes for this rich source of antioxidants. Collecting and Using Alaska’s Wild Berries and Other Wild Products also contains many recipes and can be ordered online.
  • When dipnetters and anglers arrive home with their catch, consider using Extension’s resources to preserve the bounty. We have online lessons and DVDs on canning basics, and canning meat and fish in jars and cans. Free publications may be downloaded on most of these topics from our publications catalog, including Home Freezing of Fishand Smoking Fish at Home. Other DVDs and online lessons cover pickling, drying foods, making jams and jellies, and sausage and jerky.
  • Don’t forget to get your pressure canner gauges checked for free. Representatives at our district offices in Anchorage, Kenai, Fairbanks, Delta Junction, Juneau and Palmer will test gauges to make sure they are adjusted correctly.
  • Come help us celebrate agriculture Aug. 17 at the Matanuska Experiment Farm in Palmer. Games, informational displays and demonstrations for families will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a farm fun run at 6:30 p.m. Events will include hay wagon rides, milking demonstrations, a GPS scavenger hunt, an Air Force band, potato sack races and bunch of kids games. Informational booths will feature displays of the Matanuska Colony, potato varieties and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
  • Extension will present information on using firewood for residential heating at two upcoming renewable energy fairs — in Anchorage Aug. 7 and at Chena Hot Springs Aug. 15. Stop by for tips on using firewood safely and efficiently and reducing emissions.
  • Do you know your mushrooms? Mycologist Gary Laursen will teach a weekend course on identifying and using Alaska mushrooms and fungi Aug. 20–22 in Palmer. Registration is $100 for the course. Preregistration is requested by Aug. 13. Call Palmer Extension at 745-3360 for more information.

July 2010

  • This year’s fair season kicks off in July with the Southeast Alaska State Fair in Haines. Come show off your handiwork, enjoy the elephant ears and visit with Extension at several of the following fairs.

    Southeast Alaska State Fair in Haines, July 29–Aug. 1

    Deltana Fair , July 30–Aug. 1

    Tanana Valley State Fair in Fairbanks, August 6–14

    • Kenny Lake Fair , August 14

    Kenai Peninsula State Fair, August 20–22

    Alaska State Fair in Palmer, August 26–September 6

    Kodiak State Fair, September 4–5

  • Extension is working with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power to help get valuable energy information out to consumers. See three recent publications from ACEP: Wood Pellets in Rural Alaska: A Potential Fuel for Communities, Greenhouse Energy,and Biomass.
  • Tanana District agent Michele Hebert has begun her ninth season of weekly gardening tips. The television spots air at 6 and 11 p.m. Fridays on KTVF Channel 11 in Fairbanks and are also posted on the station’s website.
  • UAF Georgeson Botanical Garden and the Alaska Peony Growers Association invite producers and other interested parties to attend the Summer Peony Growers Conference July 21–22 in Fairbanks. The conference includes an all-day tour of the botanical garden and Fairbanks area farms on July 21 and presentations July 22 from peony researchers, soil scientists, nursery owners and cut flower industry representatives. Topics will include marketing, production, soils, pest management, breeding and more. The deadline for registering is July 12. See the brochure for more details and registration information.

June 2010

  • Extension is looking for volunteers to serve on its State Advisory Council. Nominations are sought by June 30 for the council’s Interior, Southcentral, and Southwest seats and an at-large seat. The council advises Extension on program direction, priorities and stakeholder needs, and advocates for the agency.Members include eight representatives from specific geographic regions, three-at large seats and two non-voting Extension representatives. Please look over the position description and send us your application. All nominations should be forwarded to the Director’s Office e-mail, faxed to 907-474-6971 or mailed to Extension at P.O. 756180 Fairbanks 99775-6180.
  • The seventh biennial Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) national conference will meet June 27–30 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. See registration information and an agenda at this website. The conference will recognize UAF Extension forester Bob Wheeler, who worked to bring the conference to Fairbanks. The Bob Wheeler 5K Memorial Race is scheduled for 8:30-10 a.m. June 27 and will begin in the Lola Tilly Commons parking lot. 
  • Extension's Kendra Calhoun recently spoke to several people who will be presenters at the ANREP conference about the importance of the conference and how Alaska is different. Listen to her conversations with Fred Schlutt, UAF's Vice Provost of Outreach and Director, Cooperative Extension Service, Larry Hinzman, Director of UAF's International Arctic Research Center, and Oscar Kawagley, Professor Emeritus of Education at UAF.
  • Extension thanks all who contributed ideas for our strategic plan, which will guide our work for the next five years. We’d also like to hear your thoughts about our DRAFT 2010 Strategic Plan, which outlines goals, objectives and strategies in six areas: energy, health, food safety and security, economic development, climate change and  youth, family and community. All comments are welcomed.
  • Already feeling hammered by yellow jackets this spring? Extension has information that can help! Please listen to our News You Can Use audio on yellow jackets and hornets. Extension also has a downloadable publication on Stinging Insects. Information includes identification of wasps and hornets and understanding their behavior, including nest defense and stings. Tips on baiting and nest destruction are given.
  • If you're thinking about putting in a new lawn or the old one needs improvement, Extension has several publications that can help. Lawn Establishment provides tips on starting lawns, Lawn Maintenance offers suggestions on how to keep lawns healthy, and Moss Control in Lawnswill show you how to avoid moss and treat it if you have it.

May 2010

  • Experienced builders Mike Musick and his son, Richard, will teach a May 22–23 workshop on energy-efficient log home construction. The workshop will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. both days at the Palmer Center for Sustainable Living. For more information or to register, call Sasha Zemanek at 322-5669 or e-mail. The Musicks also will teach a May 24­–June 5 log home building workshop at the same location. The longer workshop will be led by Robert W. Chambers of New Zealand, an authority on handcrafted log home construction. For details, check here. Both workshops are co-sponsored by Extension and the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Three high school seniors who are longtime 4-H’ers will receive a year’s free tuition at University of Alaska campuses this fall. Recipients of the Senior 4-H University of Alaska Scholarship include Angelica Balaam of Sitka, University of Alaska Anchorage; Megan Hansen of Nikiski, University of Alaska Fairbanks; and Christa Von Bergen of Wasilla, University of Alaska Southeast.
  • Anchorage 4-H and the BLM Campbell Creek Science Center are offering monthly Science Saturday programsthat focus on science and the natural world. The programs targets youth ages 8-13 and their parents, and will meet from 1­–4 p.m. May 8, June 12 and July 12.   Upcoming topics include creeks and water, birds and salmon stories.
  • Find out about the latest Extension activities on our new Anchorageand Mat-Su district pages, which will be linked from our home page soon.

April 2010

  • The Alaska Rural Energy Conference will be held April 27–29 at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. The theme is “New Energy for Sustainable Communities,” and presentations will cover wind, solar, propane, natural gas, biomass and hydropower energy options.   Other sessions will address innovation and energy use in rural Alaska, energy policy, planning and more. Conference sponsors include Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Extension, Alaska Energy Authority, Chena Power, University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Denali Commission. Check out the agenda and register here.
  • Find out about the latest Extension activities on our new Anchorageand Mat-Su district pages, which will be linked from our home page soon.
  • It won’t be long before the garden season begins. Our how-to publication, Seed Starting and Transplanting, provides information on the process and recommends plant dates for flower and vegetable varieties. If you only have small space to work with, considerRaising Vegetables in Minigardensor Raised Bed Gardening in Alaska. For general information, check out our popular guide, 16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska. We also have a variety of publications on greenhouses and greenhouse management. Search Extension’s online catalog. Most of our publications may be downloaded for free, ordered online or by calling our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211. District offices also carry publications.
  • Extension celebrates North Pole 4-H leader Nancy Graff, who received the Western Region 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year Award. The award recognizes the top 4-H volunteer with less than 10 years of service. Graff received her award during the Western Regional Leaders’ Forum March 11-14 in Albuquerque, N.M. She is one of four regional winners who will be considered for the national award. Graff leads the North Pole Ptarmigan 4-H Club and two after-school clubs in North Pole. This is the second year that a leader from Alaska received this award.
  • Snow remains on the ground in many areas of the state, but it’s not too early to think about gardening. Our how-to publication, Seed Starting and Transplanting, provides information on the process and recommends plant dates for flower and vegetable varieties. A DVD, Seed Starting with Mara Bacsujlaky, covers all aspects of seed starting for the home gardener from planning and equipment purchase to planting, thinning and transplanting. Order a copy through district offices, online or call our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211.
  • Thanks to all who completed Extension's strategic planning survey. We appreciate your responses and creative ideas. A draft of our five-year plan will be available for public comment within the next two months.

March 2010

  • Read about what Extension is doing in our 2009 Program Highlights. The annual report spotlights our new director and includes news about Extension’s work with community gardens and eating local, 4-H activities, StrongWomen groups, renewable energy and more.
  • Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program offers workshops and self-paced training materials for individuals seeking Department of Environmental Conservation pesticide applicator certification and recertification. Initial certification requires a two-day workshop. A variety of classes are coming up in March and April in Palmer, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Delta Junction. See the complete schedule and registration information, as well as information about the annual Alaska Certified Pesticide Applicator Conference March 26 in Anchorage.
  • Registration is open for the sixth annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and Organic Growers School March 17 in Fairbanks. The conference draws speakers and participants from across Alaska. Topics will include energy-efficient greenhouses, wind machines, season extensions, soil fertility, weed suppression and more. Special guest Chris Blanchard of Iowa will talk about community supported agriculture. Check out the agenda and registration form.
  • Extension is charting its course for the next five years and we’d like to hear your ideas. Please fill out our short online survey by March 15 and let us know how we can best serve you. Your response will help us focus our efforts in the areas of health, energy, youth and families, food security and with economic and community development. Fill out the survey and we will enter you in a drawing for $50 gift certificates for Extension publications. 
  • February 2010
  • Come to the 29th annual  Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery ConferenceFeb. 25-26 in Juneau. The conference is geared to commercial operations, but home gardeners are welcomed. Topics will include slugs and snails, sustainable and low maintenance landscape design, native plant propagation, high tunnels, topsoil and business funding opportunities. A Southeast gardening workshop will follow on Feb. 27. For details, see the agenda and registration form.
  • The annual Delta Farm Forum Feb. 27 will bring producers, researchers and agricultural agencies together. Speakers will talk about cereals research, barley flour, sustainable community agriculture, wind machines and other topics. See this flyer for more information and a schedule.
  • The 2010 Alaska Produce Growers Conference Feb. 16-17 in Palmer will provide an opportunity for potato, vegetable and fruit growers to become better farmers. Experts from the university and state and federal agencies will lead workshops on weed management, herbicides, soil nutrient modeling, agricultural grant writing for farmers and more. Check out the agenda and registration form.

January 2010

  • Join the Alaska Peony Growers Association in Anchorage Feb. 19–20 for its fourth annual conference. Speakers include experienced growers, faculty from Extension and the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Jesse de la Garza of Miami, who will address Alaska’s position in the worldwide peony market. Check the association’s website for more conference information as it becomes available.
  • Four Fairbanks high school students are riding high after winning first place in 4-H Western Roundup Horse Bowl in Denver, Colo. The intense national competition tested equestrian knowledge in a “Jeopardy” style format. The girls are Molly Callahan, Elly Blake, Hanna Sfraga and Kira Freeman, all members of the Starlight Flyers 4-H club. The girls competed at nationals after winning the Alaska competition. They answered questions ranging from veterinary care and anatomy to horsemanship. Way to go girls!
  • Two new DVDs in our award-winning Preserving Alaska’s Bounty series are now available — Jams and Jellies and Collecting and Using Alaska’s Wild Berries. The how-to series demonstrates how to preserve foods native to Alaska. Other DVDs cover canning basics, canning meat and fish in jars, pickling, drying foods and making sausage and jerky. Order copies through district offices or call our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211.

December 2009

  • All Extension offices will close Dec. 24–Jan. 1 for the holidays and will reopen on Jan. 4. Juneau, Mat-Su and Kenai district offices also will close Dec. 21-23. Happy holidays!
  • Nothing compares to the look, feel and smell of a real Christmas tree. For advice on which trees retain their needles the longest, see Selecting and Caring for a Christmas Tree. The publication also has information about how to make trees stay fresher longer and about tree safety. And if you’re cooking a turkey for a holiday meal, see Serving Turkey Safelyfor cooking and food safety tips.
  • Extension welcomes Deb Jones as our new state 4-H program leader. Jones has worked as a 4-H agent in Fairbanks, New Hampshire and Virginia, and as 4-H state specialist for the past eight years in Utah. She will coordinate 4-H programs in Alaska with the help of our dedicated agents and volunteers. She welcomes your thoughts and ideas about the 4-H program and hopes to hear from 4-H alumni, too, about their experiences. Call her at 907-474-6356 or e-mail her atdeb.jones@alaska.edu.
  • Holiday sale: If you’re thinking about buying a unique gift, consider Extension’s “Berry Book,” Collecting and Using Alaska's Wild Berries and Other Wild Products, which will sell for $7 from Nov. 15–Dec. 15. The guide helps identify berries, gives tips on picking and storing berries, and provides a host of recipes.
  • Sausage and Jerky, the sixth DVD in its Preserving Alaska’s Bounty series, has been released. Tanana District Agent Roxie Dinstel guides would-be sausage and jerky makers through the process in this DVD. Order a copy through district offices, online or call our toll-free number at 1-877-520-5211.
  • Also just released are six new interactive online food preservation lessons in the series, which require a Flash player. Check out our new lessons on pickling vegetables, making sauerkraut, infusing vinegar, making sausage, making jerky and assembling a can sealer.

November 2009

  • Our federal sponsoring agency has been renamed the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Previously, it was known as Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. 
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a colorful new website about the food pyramid, which offers personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan and assess your food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Eighteen rural teachers from across the state participated in an Oct. 21-24 in-service training in Fairbanks hosted by Extension. During the training, teachers learned how to run a classroom salmon incubation project and how to tie it into science curriculum. The teacher training was co-sponsored by the 4-H Natural Resource and Youth Development Program, Extension, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Sea Grant. Participants traveled from Unalaska, Sleetmute, Nome, Quinhagak, Yakutat, Elim, Unalakleet and variety of other communities.

October 2009

  • Concerns about plant and animal invaders in Alaska will bring scientists, experts and concerned citizens together in Ketchikan Oct. 27-29 for back-to-back invasive species conferences. Register and see the agendas for the 10th Annual  Committee for Noxious and Invasive Plants Management Workshop Oct. 27-28 and the 4th Annual Alaska Invasive Species Working Group Conference Oct. 29. Extension will host both conferences at the Cape Fox Lodge Hotel. A variety of speakers will talk about the invasive species’ response to climate change in Alaska and other research and prevention efforts. Register by Oct. 10 for a discount.
  • With  the leaves falling off the trees and winter approaching, it’s a good time to think about preparing your house mobile home for the cold weather. Consider sealing leaky windows and door casings. Make sure your woodstove or oil furnace is in good working order. Fall is also a good indicator that it’s time to winterize your car or camper. Throughout the winter, refer back to Extension for tips on keeping your house operating during a cold winter.
  • 4-H National Youth Science Day will be celebrated Oct. 7 with a “Biofuel Blast.” Young people across the country will be invited to explore alternative fuels through the Biofuel Blast national science experiment. Many Alaska 4-H districts have planned their own Bioblast activities that are open to all youth. Experiment kits are also available to classroom teachers and others. Youth will make their own biofuels by converting organic materials to fuel to supply energy. Check with your 4-H district office to see what activities are planned and how you can participate. The Biofuel Blast is part of the Oct. 4-10 National 4-H Week.

September 2009

  • How do you save money bartering, buying car insurance or doing your laundry? Extension can help you with information posted on its new Family Economics web page. The site includes news columns written by Alaska agents on money management, energy and conservation, home and family issues and holiday tips.
  • Extension Agents Darren Snyder and Peter Stortz led the first 4-H Sustainable Harvest Camp Aug. 19-21 in Juneau, which focused on harvest (cultivated and wild), community building and sustainability activities, outdoor skills building and food processing.  Ninteen youth,   ages 7 to 17, were supported by a team of Alaska Department of Fish and Game specialists, 4-H volunteer leaders, youth leaders, parents and local business people. This slide show by the Juneau Empire is from Juneau's arboretum, where the youth harvested and ate the historical “Maria's” Potato in our harvest feast celebration!

August 2009

  • Got fish? Extension’s Preserving Alaska’s Bounty series includes detailed online lessons as well as DVDs on canning fish in cans and jars. The DVDs may be ordered from our DVD and video catalog or are available from district offices.
  • Flying rocks from gravel airstrips often dent propellers and cause other damage to small planes. With a goal of improving aviation safety, Extension will offer its first workshop on establishing and maintaining grass airstrips in Alaska. Stephen Brown, an agriculture and horticulture agent from Palmer, will lead the free workshop from 2-4 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Mat-Su/Copper River District office. His recommendations are based on aviation turf research from the Matanuska Experiment Farm and a demonstration runway developed in Talkeetna. For more information, call Brown at 745-3639 or e-mail scbrown4@alaska.edu.
  • For the first time, 4-H’ers from Tanana District will show and sell reindeer at the Tanana Valley State Fair livestock auction. 4-H’ers raised the reindeer with the guidance of Reindeer Research Program research coordinator George Aguiar at UAF. Plans are already under way to distribute four reindeer to 4-H’ers for next year’s fair.
  • Blueberries abound in many areas of the state this year. For tips on how to clean and freeze berries as well as a varieties of recipes for jams, muffins, coffee cakes and desserts, get a copy of Extension’sCollecting and Using Alaska’s Wild Berries and Other Wild Products, which is available for $10 from district offices, or may be ordered onlineor by using our toll-free number, 877-520-5211. The cookbook also contains information and recipes on chokecherries, crowberries, currants, fireweed, highbush and lowbush cranberries, raspberries and salmonberries.

July 2009

  • Extension regrets to announce the passing of Dr. Robert "Bob" Wheeler, our forestry specialist since 1997. Wheeler, 57, died June 29 in Fairbanks, following a short battle with cancer. He taught at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and advised landowners, businesses, and a variety of agencies on forestry issues. He provided assistance to Extension agents statewide and worked with school forest education programs, including a birch syrup program at a Fairbanks elementary school. Donations are being accepted at the Georgeson Botanical Garden for a memorial apple tree to be planted in Wheeler's name. Send donations to Georgeson Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 757200, Fairbanks, AK 99775-700. 
  • Just in time for berry season, Extension offers Making Jams and Jelliesan online resource that combines written and video instructions. The new Flash module will lead you through the process, from choosing fruit to canning and storing the final product. Others modules in the Preserving Alaska’s Bounty series cover canning basics and canning fish and game meat in cans and jars. The modules require Adobe Flash Player, which may be downloaded from the site.
  • Drying Foods is the latest food preservation DVD in the Preserving Alaska’s Bounty series. The DVD provides an overview and information on drying fruits, vegetables and herbs and making fruit leather. Get a copy from your local Extension office or order one online by clicking here. Copies cost $5. 

June 2009

  • Extension is proud to announce that Priscilla Rice, a 4-H leader with Tanana District, will be recognized as the 2009 National 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year. Rice was chosen from four regional winners for the award, which 4-H presents to one volunteer with less than 10 years of service. She will be recognized Oct. 9 in the National 4-H Hall of Fame Ceremony in Chevy Chase, Md.. A news release from national 4-H says that Rice is being recognized for her exceptional contributions.

    She has served as the main leader of the Forget-Me-Not 4-H Club in Fairbanks for seven years and president of the Tanana District 4-H Leaders Council. She led several successful activities this year, including sending hundreds of care packages to U.S. troops in Iraq, growing potted plants and planting them around the community and conducting several information sessions on livestock and animal husbandry. She also served as the main organizer for the 4-H State Leaders Forum. Her husband, Steve, a 4-H project leader, confirms, “Priscilla breathes, eats and sleeps 4-H; her blood truly runs green.”
     
  • Want to save money and become a more savvy consumer? Check out Extension’s new online resource on family economics, with articles on money management, energy and conservation, home and family and holiday tips. Useful websites for other resources are also included.
  • Extension’s State Advisory Council will meet in Homer June 4-5 at the Best Western Bidarka Inn. Area residents are invited to meet the 11-member council. Public comments will be taken from 11 a.m.-noon June 4 in the Chinook Conference Room B. The council advises and advocates for Extension.

May 2009

  • As spring floodwaters subside in some Alaska communities and others prepare for potential flooding, many residents have questions. Check out our flood recovery website, which offers information from a variety of agencies and links to free and inexpensive Extension publications designed to help you prepare for and recover from flooding — everything from an emergency supply checklist to instructions on disinfecting your well and replacing valuable papers.
  • Volcano watchers can check out the latest Redoubt monitoring information and emergency preparedness information on the Alaska Volcano Observatory website.
  • Find answers to your questions about swine flu on our Extension Disaster Education Network or on the state of Alaska's pandemic flu site. Learn about how swine flu is transmitted, symptoms and how to best protect you and your family. For general information, contact your local public health center. Follow these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
    •  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
    •  Stay home when you are sick.  
    •  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough.  
    •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.   
    •  Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Rich Seifert, who has served as Extension’s “energy guy” for 27 years, was honored this month as one of three recipients of the 2009 Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Public Service awards. Seifert received the service award. A UAF news release notes that Seifert’s work “touched thousands of people throughout the state via workshops and instructional publications.” Seifert has tirelessly promoted energy conservation and savings with numerous homebuilding techniques, retrofit and solar workshops.
  • Now is a good time to plan for the garden season. Think about what you want to grow this year and be sure to check out Extension’s Recommended Variety List for Southcentral Alaska or vegetable and fruit varieties for Interior Alaska. Our popular guide, 16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska, is available at local Extension offices or may be ordered from our publications catalog. And if you have wet, cold or poorly drained soil, raised bed gardening may be the way to go.

March 2009

  • Alaskans active in the specialty food business and currently producing a product are invited to Extension's Specialty and Gourmet Food Conference: Packaging Your Product, the Next Level. The conference will meet in Anchorage, March 20 - 21. Two guest speakers will address participants. Melody Stiller-Hamilton is a Pacific Northwest-based designer who specializes in developing packaging solutions and Nate Root is responsible for Alaska sales marketing and advertising for Raven's Brew Coffee of Ketchikan and Anchorage. For more information and a registration form, email conference organizer Coral Howe at coral.howe@uaf.edu.
  • Extension will host the fifth annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and Organic Growers School March 17 - 18 at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. Presenters from around Alaska will share information on topics such as university research on fruit and berry production and fish waste, composting; soil fertility; weed suppression; year-round Alaska CSAs; and egg and poultry production for local market. Panels will discuss composting and value-added agricultural products. Keynote speaker and Pennsylvania organic farmer George DeVault will talk about season extension, mainly through the use of high tunnels, floating row covers and crop rotation. He also will address the importance of saving seeds and how to go about it. Check here for a conference schedule and registration form.

February 2009

  • Finding the right Extension publication and answers to Alaskans’ questions just got easier with the launch of the our new online publications database. The database is searchable by key word, subject area and author. Publications may also be located by program area.
  • Come listen to the latest in agricultural developments at the 2009 Delta Farm Forum on Feb. 28. Representatives from Extension and a variety of state and federal agencies will provide information about the 2008 farm bill and loan program opportunities, berm row removal, Alaska Division of Agriculture grants and activities, and an update on fertilizer availability and price. Franci Havemeister, director of the Division of Agriculture, will talk about building a sustainable agriculture industry in the state.

Extension and the Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District are co-sponsoring the forum, which will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Delta High School small gym and will include a lunchtime potluck. Check here for a link to the full schedule.

  • Read about what Extension is doing — from Chicken University to home energy advice. The 2008 Program Highlights is available now with news about Extension’s work with food preservation and families, agriculture and horticulture, natural resources, community development and youth.
  • Farmers are invited to Palmer Feb. 10-11 for the annual Alaska Potato, Vegetable and Fruit Growers Conference hosted by Extension. Speakers on Feb. 10 will highlight the latest potato research, fertilizer recommendations and pest management. Vegetable and fruit topics will be covered the following day, including small fruit breeding and production, agricultural inspection programs and marketing. The featured speakers are Sujaya Rao, an associate professor of entomology from Oregon State University, and Chaim Kempler, a research leader from the Pacific Agri-Food Research Center in Agassiz, B.C. The conference will be hosted at the Palmer Community Center (depot) at 610 S. Valley Way in downtown Palmer. Download the schedule and registration form here.  For more information, call Palmer Extension at 745-3360. Registration forms may be faxed to 907-745-5479.

January 2009

  • Look to the 28th annual Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery Conference for tips on growing turf, designing gardens or doing business with rural Alaska. Sponsored by Extension, the Jan. 27-28 conference at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown Hotel will focus on landscaping, but will provide information on a variety of horticultural topics, including trees and shrubs, pests, invasive plants, parks and marketing opportunities. The featured speaker, John Peter Thompson, is the vice chair of the National Invasive Species Council, a sustainable agriculture advocate and an environmental issues consultant.
  • The conference will be directly preceded by the Alaska Peony Growers Conference, Jan. 26-27, also at the Marriott. The Alaska Division of Agriculture is sponsoring the peony conference. Check here for a complete schedule to both conferences and a link to the combined registration form. Registration is requested by Friday, Jan. 23.
  • Alaska 4-H is proud to announce the Alaska Youth in Government Conference March 15-19. Twenty teens from around the state will be chosen to attend the conference in Juneau, with all costs covered during the program. For more information and to find out how to apply, go to the Alaska 4-H home page.
  • America's financial crisis continues to be on the minds of people everywhere. Cooperative Extension, as always, is ready to help. Our searchable online site, www.eXtension.org, provides a variety of financial resources that Cooperative Extension clients across the country will find helpful during these troubled times. The information is organized into five categories: business, families, farms and ranches, individuals and youth. eXtension, coupled with publications from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, provide information consumers want and need to help them understand what they can do to weather this crisis.
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