We need your help
by 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 24, 2016
The current House University of Alaska Budget Subcommittee has moved to eliminate all university research and outreach funds from the State operating budget. UA outreach funds are 49% ($4,273,300) of the Extension budget and, if eliminated, would result in the loss of an additional 22% ($1,954,436) in Federal funds to Extension. This funding cut of 71% would shut down Extension programming throughout Alaska.
Because 75% of the current Extension budget pays for Agents (like Sarah and Darren in Juneau) and Assistants (like Susie in Juneau and Jasmine in Sitka), the Juneau and Sitka District offices would not survive this cut.
Voice your support of Extension to the Legislature! Follow the links below to find out how.
If you support revenue increases to support university funding, through use of the Permanent Fund or State taxes, please let them know.
Please support the Governor's proposed budget as a reasonable alternative to the current House budget.
Extension's Reach: Extension worked with 68,227 Alaskans in 2014, in every region of the state. For a copy of the current Extension quick info report, including much of the information below, please click here.
Food Security: Alaska imports an estimated 90% of the food residents need and our food supply lines are tenuous. Extension helps meet this challenge in the following ways:
Providing support to farmers and gardeners throughout the cycle of planting, harvesting, and processing, including pest problems, agricultural economics, season extension and sustainability.
Research into new varieties of barley and wheat that are winter-hardy.
Research into the use of LEDs in greenhouses to extend/increase harvests.
Teaching greenhouse and soils management, horticulture, sustainable agriculture and animal science.
Agents provide gardening training for the public. Volunteer Master Gardeners fulfill a 40-hour commitment to extend that knowledge to others.
Food Safety and Local Foods Resources: Many Alaskans rely on the preservation of their wild harvests to make ends meet. If this is not done safely, families and communities are at risk. Extension Agents offer research-based training for the public in the following areas:
Hands-on food preservation classes reach more than 800 Alaskans each year, in about 30 communities (10-15 in Southeast Alaska alone!).
Classes in food safety and food entrepreneurship and food testing for sales meeting the DEC Cottage Foods requirements.
Classes in best wild harvest practices for hunting and foraging.
Free testing of pressure canner gauges, required annually to ensure safe home preservation of fish, meat, and vegetables.
Alaska's Youth: 4-H and Future Farmers of America provide classes, camps, and club activities that promote leadership, education, and life skills.
Agents worked with 8,420 4-H members in 2014 and activities involved more than 11,000 Alaska youth.
The 4-H program is led by agents and volunteers who develop hands-on activities and promote the national goal of inspiring youth interest in science. Youth learn everything from nutrition and social skills to robotics and GPS use.
Extending the State's Capacity: Outreach programs provided by Extension supports Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation programs.
Agents offer Certified Food Protection Manager training and exams throughout the state, by distance delivery. The State DEC requires staff at all food establishments to have the certification.
The State requires certification for anyone who uses or sells pesticides or is a consultant. The 3-day pesticide applicator training and exams are offered by Extension throughout the state.
The Extension foods research technician developed food safety guidelines with DEC for Cottage Foods businesses and is training Alaska food entrpreneurs.
Contact the House and Senate UA Budget Subcommittees before 4 pm 2/24
Our office is at 450 Whittier,across from the State Museum in Juneau. Come visit us between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. any weekday. We're in Suite 128 and would love to see you. Or call us at one of the numbers below: