2018 University of Alaska PDP Project

Final report for WSP17-001

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $39,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Alaska
Region: Western
State: Alaska
State Coordinator:
Dr. Casey Matney
University of Alaska Fairbanks
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Project Information

Abstract:

Alaska farms are diverse and spread widely across the state. Alaska is one-fifth the size of the contiguous United States (365 million acres) and is home to roughly 800 farm operations. Fifteen million acres of soil have been designated as suitable for farming, but only about one million acres are currently farmed. While not all acreages are yet being utilized for farming, there is a great potential for agriculture growth within the state, and residents are eager for knowledge. Currently, there are only seven cooperative extension service agents with full or partial agriculture/horticulture appointments to reach all of the communities across the state. In order to be effective, extension agents rely on partnership, collaboration, and cooperation with other agencies and agricultural groups to disperse information across the state. Our goal was to provide an educational conference and workshops/webinars/newsletter to support agricultural professionals and farmers within the state as well as have our WSARE state coordinator attend the annual WSARE PDP summer meeting. In agreement with our goals, we hosted the 14th Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Anchorage, Alaska during November of 2018. The conference provided 83 presentations over three days, as well as a pre-conference produce safety workshop and a post-conference Ag in the Classroom workshop. Participants attended from areas spanning the state.  Speakers presented on agriculture happening across the state from Juneau to Fairbanks and from Kotzebue to Kodiak on all topics agriculture, including mariculture.  A remote and rural agriculture session was featured as a webinar for those who could not attend in person but could call-in or attend online.  The conference and workshops had a combined total of approximately 200 participants. Additionally, we provided five livestock workshops during the summer of 2018, with a combined total of 144 attendees across two locations: Palmer and Soldotna. One of the livestock workshops was also provided as a webinar.

Project Objectives:

• Host the Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference
• Provide workshops focused on sustainable agriculture
• Provide webinars/newsletter focused on sustainable agriculture
• Host and provide access online to conference/workshop presentations and recorded webinars

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand

Education

Educational approach:

The Alaska SARE PDP is part of the Agriculture and Horticulture Department of the School of Natural Resources and Extension at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Along with SARE, we include programs in commercial agriculture/horticulture, integrated pest management, pesticide safety, and plant diagnostics. Other partners include the USDA NRCS, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Alaska Division of Agriculture.

 

Due to the long distances between communities and limited number of extension agents in Alaska, the SARE program is used to build partnerships, collaborations, and linkages with other agricultural groups as well as educate agriculture professionals.  We frequently do this by using SARE funds to cosponsor existing agricultural conferences and workshops.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Objective:

Host the Annual Alaska Host the Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Description:

Provide a 3-day Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants will gain or increase knowledge, skills, awareness about sustainable ag topics, systems, principles, technologies, practices and resources.

Participants will gain or increase motivations and skills to effectively educate farmers and ranchers about sustainable agriculture.

Participants use information learned to conduct educational programs about sustainable agriculture topics, systems, principles, practices, technologies, and resources.

Participants use information learned to incorporate information into products and educational tools.

Participants use information learned to share project materials and/or SARE and other sustainable ag resources with farmers and others.

Participants use information learned to develop and/or strengthen professional collaborations and involvement in teaching, research and demonstration of sustainable agriculture topics, systems, principles, and practices.

Participants adopt sustainable systems, approaches and practices.

Workshops
Objective:

Provide workshops focused on sustainable agriculture

Description:

Will provide workshops focused on sustainable agriculture.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants will gain or increase knowledge, skills, awareness about sustainable ag topics, systems, principles, technologies, practices and resources.

Participants will gain or increase motivations and skills to effectively educate farmers and ranchers about sustainable agriculture.

Participants use information learned to conduct educational programs about sustainable agriculture topics, systems, principles, practices, technologies, and resources.

Participants use information learned to incorporate information into products and educational tools.

Participants use information learned to share project materials and/or SARE and other sustainable ag resources with farmers and others.

Participants use information learned to develop and/or strengthen professional collaborations and involvement in teaching, research and demonstration of sustainable agriculture topics, systems, principles, and practices.

Participants adopt sustainable systems, approaches and practices.

Webinars/Newsletter
Objective:

Provide webinars/newsletter focused on sustainable agriculture.

Description:

Will provide webinars/newsletter focused on sustainable agriculture.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants will gain or increase knowledge, skills, awareness about sustainable ag topics, systems, principles, technologies, practices and resources.

Participants will gain or increase motivations and skills to effectively educate farmers and ranchers about sustainable agriculture.

Participants use information learned to conduct educational programs about sustainable agriculture topics, systems, principles, practices, technologies, and resources.

Participants use information learned to incorporate information into products and educational tools.

Participants use information learned to share project materials and/or SARE and other sustainable ag resources with farmers and others.

Participants use information learned to develop and/or strengthen professional collaborations and involvement in teaching, research and demonstration of sustainable agriculture topics, systems, principles, and practices.

Participants adopt sustainable systems, approaches and practices.

Online Access to Materials
Objective:

Host and provide access online to conference/workshop presentations and recorded webinars.

Description:

Will host and provide access online to conference/workshop presentations and recorded webinars.

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants will gain or increase knowledge, skills, awareness about sustainable ag topics, systems, principles, technologies, practices and resources.

Participants will gain or increase motivations and skills to effectively educate farmers and ranchers about sustainable agriculture.

Participants use information learned to conduct educational programs about sustainable agriculture topics, systems, principles, practices, technologies, and resources.

Participants use information learned to incorporate information into products and educational tools.

Participants use information learned to share project materials and/or SARE and other sustainable ag resources with farmers and others.

Participants use information learned to develop and/or strengthen professional collaborations and involvement in teaching, research and demonstration of sustainable agriculture topics, systems, principles, and practices.

Participants adopt sustainable systems, approaches and practices.

Educational & Outreach Activities

1 Published press articles, newsletters
1 Travel Scholarships
2 Webinars / talks / presentations
7 Workshop field days
1 Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Participation Summary

23 Extension
2 NRCS
13 Researchers
2 Nonprofit
31 Agency
6 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
234 Farmers/ranchers
29 Others

Learning Outcomes

241 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
59 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

4 New working collaborations
34 Agricultural service provider participants who used knowledge and skills learned through this project (or incorporated project materials) in their educational activities, services, information products and/or tools for farmers
234 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

Outreach is coordinated through our University Website as well as Cooperative Extension Service Offices and Statewide Agency Offices.  We also release information through our list serves, websites, and social media pages across state agency and University offices.

400 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
60 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.