SUPPORTING AN AGRICULTURAL, FORESTRY & ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE CENTER
(Sponsored by the Northland Pioneer Grange No.1)
WHEREAS, the Alaska Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (AFES) is administered by the University of Alaska Fairbanks; and
WHEREAS, the station includes the Fairbanks Experiment Farm and the Matanuska Experiment Farm; and
WHEREAS, the Fairbanks Experiment Farm is adjacent to the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus with several large auditoriums and meeting halls; and
WHEREAS, the Matanuska Experiment Farm is adjacent to the Matanuska-Susitna College both of which lack a large conference center; and
WHEREAS, the Matanuska Experiment Farm encompasses approximately 1000 acres, and is at the heart of Alaska’s population center with the cities of Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla and Houston within a 35 mile radius; and
WHEREAS, many annual agricultural, forestry and environmental conferences and conventions that originate in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley must be held in Anchorage which adds to higher traffic congestion, increased fuel consumption and does not allow for field trips to view crops, dairies, timber, farming techniques and research products; and
WHEREAS, the Grange supports development at the Matanuska Experiment Station that supports agricultural, forestry and environmental study; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Alaska State Grange supports the establishment of an Agricultural, Forestry and Environmental Conference Center at the Matanuska Experiment Farm.
SUPPORTING A STATE OF ALASKA FARM LAND PRESERVATION FUND THROUGH AN ANNUAL ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE MATCH FOR COMMUNITIES THAT ALSO PROVIDE FUNDING
(Sponsored by the Northland Pioneer Grange #1)
WHEREAS, it is Grange policy to promote development of agriculture as an industry throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, the development of agricultural resources is an integral element in the diversification of Alaska’s economic base; and
WHEREAS, the market value of agricultural production in Alaska is approximately $57 Million; and
WHEREAS, there are approximately 686 farms in Alaska on which nearly 2,000 employees work; and
WHEREAS, agricultural land is limited in Alaska to 881,585 acres out of a total 375 Million acres; and
WHEREAS, agricultural land throughout the state is being lost to residential and commercial development at an alarming rate; and
WHEREAS, the cost of clearing and starting new farms is nearly cost prohibitive; and
WHEREAS, Alaska is currently producing only 5-10 percent of its own food; and
WHEREAS, Alaska’s food supply would last between one week and 10 days if support and supply chains were disrupted; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Alaska State Grange supports the establishment of an Alaska Farmland Preservation Fund that can be used to match federal, borough and city contributions to the same cause; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Alaska State Grange supports capitalizing the Fund by an amount equal to or greater than $500,000 annually which is an amount calculated to meet the current annual match needed in Alaska’s farmland conservation programs.
(Sponsored by the North Pole Grange #6)
This resolution was presented in oral form by the North Pole Grange, and sought to have the National Grange adopt the Emergency Card program they were involved in. The Fairbanks North Star Borough issues a Borough Senior Citizen Appreciation Pass which entitles those 60 and over to reduced fees at Borough Facilities and on the Transit System. The grange got them to add emergency card information on the back. Information includes allergies, doctor’s name, phone numbers for contacts, etc., including if the carrier is diabetic or has heart disease. Most of the information listed was suggested by the fire department as being information they would like to have about someone who is unable to communicate with them.
(Members voted to give the State Executive Committee power to put this resolution in written form and adopt it. We will publish it here at that time.)
From Don and Alice McKee, Fairbanks Published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Saturday, May 9, 2009
May 7, 2009
To the editor:
Grangers from Anchorage, Palmer, North Pole, Two Rivers and Fairbanks met at the North Pole Grange Hall for their annual meeting on May 2, 2009. Ed Luttrell, president of the National Grange, was the speaker.
He challenged the Alaska granges to bring the number of community granges in the state to 15 by the year 2015. A new grange was organized on the Kenai Peninsula in 2008, but was not represented at the annual meeting.
Resolutions passed included the support of the Alaska State Grange for the establishment of an Alaska Farmland Preservation Fund to be used to match federal, borough and city contributions to the same cause.
Another resolution supports the establishment of an Agricultural, Forestry, and Environmental Conference Center at the Matanuska Experiment Farm.
Another resolution encourages the creation of emergency identity and information cards to be carried by people to make such information available in the case of accidents, strokes, heart attacks, and any other emergency. Such cards are now available in the Fairbanks-North Pole area.
Ann Roberts spoke about the Web site she has created for the Alaska granges. This can be found at www.alaskagrange.org.
The next annual meeting will be hosted at the Two Rivers Grange Hall on May 1, 2010. The meeting will coincide with the 50th anniversary celebration of the Two Rivers Grange. More information will be available from time to time.