Building Leadership Capacity with Rural Alaskan Youth

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2016: $49,355.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2018
Region: Western
State: Alaska
Principal Investigator:
Greg Finstad
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Annual Reports

Information Products

Media publication (Article/Newsletter/Blog)


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, free-range, grazing management, livestock breeding, grazing - multispecies, range improvement, grazing - rotational, stocking rate
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, decision support system, demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking, study circle, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Sustainable Communities: community planning, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, leadership development, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, analysis of personal/family life, community services, employment opportunities, social capital, social networks, social psychological indicators, sustainability measures


    Our goal is to use the 4-H model coupled with reindeer herding in our sponsored events to develop the practical skills, leadership and business acumen in youth to expand agricultural (economic) production in underserved rural Alaskan communities. We anticipate giving youth the opportunity to develop a connection with the local landscape, livestock and a unique lifestyle that provides food and employment for local communities and overall food security for the state. We believe if the youth are not just exposed, but immersed in the unique activities of a reindeer producer they will develop the practical and leadership skills and passion for developing a reindeer business.

    Project objectives:

    To engage youth of rural Alaskan communities to build leadership and life skills. 4-H sponsored camps were conducted during the summer of 2017 with youth from geographically isolated villages in Alaska. The theme of each camp was designed to fit the local environmental and cultural context of each location.

    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.