Educating Alaska Agriculture Professionals on Sustainable High Latitude Horticulture Production Practices

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2010: $50,002.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: Western
State: Alaska
Principal Investigator:
Jeff Smeenk
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dr. Milan Shipka
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: berries (other)
  • Vegetables: beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, greens (leafy), onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), radishes (culinary), turnips, brussel sprouts


  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: extension, networking, workshop
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration
  • Pest Management: mulching - plastic, row covers (for pests)
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: social networks


    Initially this WSARE project was designed to include a workshop for Alaska agricultural professionals focusing on season extension techniques and optimizing horticultural production in cold soils. The individual that was PI on that project left UAF and, through communication with WSARE leadership, the project PI and project scope were changed during 2013. The new scope of the project included educating Alaska agricultural professionals about the opportunities for local food production in Alaska and creating synergism between individuals and agencies that address local food production opportunities in the state of Alaska. Major outputs of this project have been 1) two meetings oriented toward helping Alaska agricultural professional work more closely together and collaborate in reference to the local food movement and 2) the production of five You Tube videos that address pertinent issues related to Alaska agriculture.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives of this project were two-fold; First, this project aimed to improve information and activity output directed at clientele across the state by increasing collaboration and cooperative efforts between the UAF Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the UAF Cooperative Extension Service in programming concerning local food issues - food production in Alaska. Second, this project aimed to provide user friendly information on agriculturally important topics through production and development of You Tube videos suitable for end user consumption in Alaska.

    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.