ALASKA! FOOD SECURITY

ALASKA FOOD SECURITY is a crisis compounded since 200 farming families from the midwestern US were brought to the fertile Matanuska Valley to try and eek out a living during the Great Depression. Later, during WWII between 5,000-6,000 head of cattle provided sustenance for our troops on Kodiak Island. Today we don’t have enough cattle statewide to feed Alaskans for more than a month or two. Commercial ag land is limited to 450-acre plots and mostly hobby farms supply produce for Farmer’s Markets.

Can a Ready Veteran Workforce Assure Food Security?

To Dream the Impossible Dream… Let’s imagine our elected State of Alaska officials–who like to blow smoke about Alaska Food Security–suddenly made land available for Commercial Agriculture… IMAGINE 10,000-acre parcels dedicated to serious farming endeavors instead of current 460-acre parcels where farmers do each other’s laundry. Such fantasy SOA Ag offerings would require successful bidders …

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Seeking Local Alaskan Food: Mariculture Options for Food Security

Alaska food security means different things to people in various regions of Alaska. When this writer lived in Southeast Alaska my freezer was filled every summer with fish and deer, but I was not so keen on spending a lot of time foraging for berries. In speaking recently with a food security advocate who lives …

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Bill Borden: The Man, the Legend, the Publicity Stunt… Iditarod Teaches Lessons in Georgia

Iditarod Teaches Lessons in Georgia This story first appeared in Echo Magazine and was copied onto this blogspot, which was built by Bill Borden for my company. Borden set up DONN LISTON COMPANY with the State of Alaska, along with my Facebook Company page, emails and even my home security system–in a good old fashioned confidence scheme. …

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Year-end review

Seeking Alaskan Truths in 2021 (2021©donnliston.co)   Living the Alaskan Lifestyle is by definition active. Sitting at a computer screen or looking at a phone are not active pursuits. So, having lived the Alaskan Lifestyle 60 years means I have mostly found my groove in dealing with demands of Alaskan Life—I’ve done enough Alaskan stuff …

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An Eagle River Institution: Mike’s Meats Aspires to Provide Alaska Food Security

Cattle lagging behind are urged down from the upper deck of the trailer at Rocket Ranch by Greg Giannulis at 3 am..   The herd of cattle moved toward the far end of their enclosure after a long haul from Delta. An immigrant from Greece, as a youth Greg Giannulis had worked in the fields picking grapes …

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Steps to Food Security for Alaska

Palmer Slaughterhouse Gains new Owners (2021©donnliston.co) Mt McKinley Meat & Sausage owner, Greg Giannulis hands keys off to Todd Elsberry, new owner of the Palmer slaughterhouse, upon its recent sale. The slaughterhouse formerly known as Mt. McKinley Meats and Sausages (MMMS) has been purchased by a North Pole Farming family and will return to processing red meat for Alaskans …

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Feeding Alaskans in Mat-Su

MatSu Food Bank Builds Community (2021©donnliston.co)   MatSu Food Bank Executive Director, Eddie Ezelle, took me for a tour of the organization’s new facility on Blue Lupine Rd. in Wasilla. At any given time there are as many as 18 Food Pantries in the Matanuska Susitna Valley providing nutritious food to local residents, some supplied by …

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Let’s talk about Fertilizer

How Agriculture Works in Alaska (2021©donnliston.co)   The theme of the long-time Spenard bar fits many, but not all, Alaska farmers.   Alaska gardeners are familiar with the work of Jeff Lowenfels, a local authority on plants and gardening, who together with Wayne Lewis wrote a book called Teaming with Microbes for those who want …

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Steps to Food Security for Alaska: Are Alaska Agriculture Efforts Working?

  Do more farms mean more production for Alaskans? In his self-satisfied memoir—written after serving two terms as Alaska’s fifth governor–Jay Hammond, in his book Tales of Alaska’s Bushrat Governor, reflects on …major disappointments in my second term. One, deemed by many the biggest blunder of my administration, was an attempt to promote Alaska agriculture. …

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The Sorry State of Alaska Agriculture: Kodiak Island Area Beef Production

Opportunity Lost The State of Alaska has a high opinion of the value of Agriculture Land, which includes Agricultural Homesteads with Agricultural Rights Only, and Fee Simple land with Agricultural Covenants. Perhaps that is why so little ag land is in production in Alaska. It is just too valuable to allow much of it to …

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