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March-April 2016 Newsletter
Food Festival & Conference Recap
The AFPC Governing Board would like to thank everyone who attended the Second Semi-Annual Food Festival & Conference February 28 and 29 at the University of Alaska Anchorage! For those of you who were unable to be there, we had a great event, with over 200 people in attendance for two days of discussion, hands-on workshops, and great food.  And of course, the goats.  We love you baby goats!
Congratulations to the Winners of the AFPC's First Food Hero Awards!
The Alaska Food Policy Council was thrilled to present the first Food Hero awards last Friday.  The awards were presented to Kyra Wagner for her individual contributions to our food system, and to the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District (TTCD) for its Tyonek Grown project and other efforts to strengthen the food system in Tyonek.  The AFPC also presented Governing Board member Diane Peck an award for Outstanding Service to the organization. 
The award was given to one individual and one organization based on work they have conducted over the past 18 months.  Awardees demonstrated a substantial impact on Alaska’s food system, transformed an aspect of their community’s food system, and made a difference for Alaska’s prosperity, health and self-reliance. 

A little more about Kyra: If you are visiting Homer and interested in local food systems, chances are you will connect with Kyra Wagner.  Wagner writes an article weekly on the Homer Farmers Market during the season, organizes high tunnel tours and gatherings of farmers, and writes a weekly Sustainable Homer newsletter that lists activities that build local resilience.  “Kyra is a role model for food advocates around Alaska and has made a huge impact on the local food system in Homer,” according to Governing Board member Nick Moe.  “Her work perfectly exemplifies the Alaska Food Policy Council’s mission of improving our food system in a prosperous, healthy, and self-reliant way.”   

A little more about Tyonek Grown: The TTCD’s Tyonek Grown Program operates a 1.5 acre farm using organic methods, with two high tunnels and solar powered irrigation and ventilation systems in the Native Village of Tyonek.  Youth in the Tyonek community learn about all aspects of farming and learn to enjoy healthy, locally grown foods.  Much of the produce they grow is distributed to Tyonek elders.  AFPC Governing Board member Danny Consenstein praises TTCD’s focus on conservation and community. “Tyonek provides a model for what other villages and conservation districts could do.” 
And last but not least, the wonderful Diane Peck: Peck is a Dietician with the Obesity Prevention Program at the Division of Public Health and helped found the AFPC through that program.  Since the beginning, Diane has been the person who has answered your questions, scheduled your meetings, and kept things going for the AFPC.  We are so proud to honor her with this award.
A few more thanks ...
Special thanks to our keynote speakers.  Mayor Ethan Berkowitz suggested that we build our food production and look to other Arctic countries like Iceland as models for what is possible.  Craig Fleener, arctic policy adviser to Governor Walker, spoke to us about the value and richness of subsistence foods and traditional foodways to Alaska Natives - many of you told us his speech was a highlight of the conference.  Senator Lisa Murkowski recorded a video to share about some of her recent work on federal food policy.  At lunch, Kirsten Dixon of Tutka Bay Lodge told us some hilarious stories about her early years in Alaska over a lunch of Alaskan cod and roasted veggies. 

We learned so much from our presenters and panelists  - from how to make rose hip ketchup to how to fund a business, you made the conference.

Thanks as well to our wonderful vendors and sponsors - we really enjoyed working with you and cannot wait to do it again!

We are so grateful for the fantastic team of volunteers who came out to help us during the conference and festival - we loved having you around for the ride!

And finally, thanks to our own Liz Hodges Snyder for chairing the board committee and devoting so much of herself to making the event a success, and to the amazing Melissa Heuer for her work coordinating the event. 

You can find photos from the event on our facebook page and review the program here - we are working on turning some of the sessions into a webinar, so keep an eye out for that!

We look forward to working with all of you to improve the Alaska food system for many years to come!
Help us see Alaska food through your eyes!
Just like the wonderful people of Alaska, the food system of our state is diverse, resilient, and full of potential. The AFPC would love to showcase the amazing journeys your food takes on its way to your plate.

Share with us by taking a short video that shows some aspect of the food system – your garden, your grocery store, your food pantry, your smokehouse or something totally different – and send it to us by posting on FB or email  by April 16. You don't need to do a fancy voice over unless you want to - just the raw footage is enough! The videos that get the most “likes” will receive a prize! We will also incorporate some of the footage into a compilation that we’ll share on Facebook and use for a grant application – to help AFPC continue advocating for your food system!
Are you interested in volunteering for the AFPC?
We have gotten feedback that some of you would like to see more opportunity to get involved in the AFPC. We hear your interest and we would love to work with you more.  We know we have a lot of talented and passionate people who are interested in working on food issues. Right now, we may have some opportunities for people to help us with making some changes to our website - if you would be interested in working on that, email us at 
Support the AFPC's work to improve our food system for the benefit of all Alaskans by choosing the AFPC to receive a small donation when you shop by using Amazon Smile!
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