Conference training and educational topics are developed with the input of an active and interested advisory committee. This SARE PDP grant will enable the cosponsoring of additional conferences and workshops/trainings with partners and collaborators. Additionally, funds will be used to maintain an Alaska SARE listserv, printed materials, Zoom meeting platform, and Alaska webinar/newsletter which is integral for connecting hundreds of Alaskans with innovations and information regarding sustainable agriculture. The Alaska SARE webinar and newsletter platform is dedicated towards sustainable farming operations, research, and projects occurring around the state and abroad. Lastly, the PDP grant funds will also support the state WSARE state coordinator to travel to the annual WSARE PDP summer meeting.
The topics that will be highlighted at the Annual Alaska Sustainable Agriculture Conferences and Alaska PDP Trainings/Workshops include: 1) sustainable soil and crop management, 2) sustainable poultry and livestock management, 3) integrated pest management, plant disease, and crop nutritional deficiencies, 4) water quality, crop irrigation, natural resources, and fish/wildlife habitat, 5) composting and fertilizer management, and 6) agricultural business management. Farm health and safety, farm business diversification, integrated pest management, as well as agricultural business management and economics will be emphasized, since this information is crucial for beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as maintaining agriculture businesses across Alaska. Since interest in the production and management of reindeer has been increasing within the state, livestock management aspects of the conference will be aimed at further developing the reindeer industry within Alaska.
Project objectives from proposal:
1) Increase the knowledge of agricultural professionals about sustainable agriculture practices and achievable goals that they can adapt and implement in Alaska,
2) Increase the emphasis on sustainable agriculture practices that agricultural
professionals incorporate into educational programs and publications,
3) Facilitate the transmission of knowledge of sustainable agriculture principles from agricultural professionals to agricultural producers, and
4) Promote the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by agricultural producers and assist them in developing the skills necessary to make these practices successful.