Friday, August 31, 2012

Livestock conference set for Oct. 18-20

Livestock can be successfully raised in Alaska.
In an effort to help increase agricultural production in Alaska, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is hosting two livestock workshops Oct. 18-20 in Wasilla and Palmer.

Producers, researchers, retailers, policymakers and students will gather to examine the problems and prospects of feeding and grazing practices for multiple species in Alaska Oct. 18 at the Grand View Inn in Wasilla. On Oct. 19 there will be a mini-workshop at the Palmer Center for Sustainable Living. Keynote speaker is Ben Bartlett, recently retired from Michigan State University where he was an extension veterinarian. Bartlett now farms 640 acres of grass and raises sheep and cattle.

The workshop will focus on the practical considerations and logistics required for implementing the principles of holistic grazing management models for multiple species on Alaska farms and ranches. The workshop will be interactive, and participants are encouraged be prepared to work on the problems and issues specific to their own farms, including grazing system design and management issues. The broader agenda is to provide an interactive forum and the opportunity to pose questions that focus on issues specific to Alaska.

On Oct. 20, the focus will shift to production of animal fiber with the topic “from agriculture to art.” This portion will be held at the Palmer Center for Sustainable Living. Lyle McNeal, sheep, wool and range specialist and a Carnegie professor at Utah State University, is the guest speaker.

Alaska is positioned to design and develop a sustainable agricultural system unique to our situation, incorporating practices and attitudes different than those used elsewhere in the U.S.,” said Jan Rowell, one of the conference organizers. “Developing sustainable food systems is the first step on the path to food security and demonstrates a significant investment in Alaskans.”

The workshops are hosted by the UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The registration fee is $90 for all three days or $60 for the first two days and $30 for the last.

To register, visit or contact Assistant Professor Jan Rowell at 907-474-6009.

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