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Delta Farm Forum Saturday

State Veterinarian Bob Gerlach talked about maintaining health livestock during the 2018 Delta Farm Forum.
UAC File Photo
UAC File Photo
State Veterinarian Bob Gerlach talked about maintaining health livestock during the 2018 Delta Farm Forum.

Annual Agriculture meeting talks include helping farmers deal with hungry bison, Nenana-Totchaket Ag Project.

Much has been written this year about how deep snow with a thick icy crust has severely stressed animals in the wild. And on Saturday, a state wildlife biologist will talk about how the Delta Bison Herd has coped with that difficulty by in turn making life difficult for area farmers.

“Much of the herd was surviving by getting into farmers’ feedyards, haysheds, which was creating tremendous amount of stress on landowners,” says Phil Kaspari is an agricultural agent with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service office in Delta. And he’s the organizer of this year’s Farm Forum, which will include two presentations on plans to help farmers recover from the impact of heavy snowfall.

“Winter came early, and there were hundreds of acres of straw and hay that were not able to be bailed this last fall,” he said in an interview Thursday. “So, in anticipation of having to burn off much of that acreage, there’s going to be a presentation from the Alaska Division of Forestry.”

Also on the agenda is a report on development of the Nenana-Tokchaket Agricultural Project. Kaspari says after decades of planning, the state now intends to begin selling parcels within the more than 100-thousand-acre project, located just west of Nenana.

“We’re finally going to get some land sales,” he said. “They hope to do this release in mid-summer.”

And an official with the Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation will give an overview of its agricultural lending program.

“So those people who are looking at purchasing some state agricultural land will likely be interested in financing options.”

Kaspari says the forum will again be held in the Delta High School small gymnasium, as it was before the pandemic required last year’s event to be held virtually. But he says this year’s “hybrid forum,” which begins at 9 a.m., also will again be presented online, over the Zoom platform, for people who’d prefer to skip the drive and instead watch the event online.

Information on how to register for the Farm Forum is available in the events calendar at the bottom of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service web page.

You can find the original KUAC story here.

Tim Ellis has been working as a KUAC reporter/producer since 2010. He has more than 30 years experience in broadcast, print and online journalism.