Agriculture

Agriculture

  • Alaska has abundant farm land, innovative and committed farmers
  • We need to foster growth in this sector by increasing the ability to expand their markets
  • This can be done by providing cheaper power and heat through a comprehensive and practical energy development policy
  • My administration will work to restore military local purchase for our agricultural products

Alaska has abundant farm land, innovative and committed farmers. What is needed to foster growth in this sector is the ability to expand their markets. This can be done by providing cheaper power and heat through a coherent and practical energy development policy. With cheaper power comes the economics for the private sector to provide the refrigeration facilities, canning plants and meat processing facilities needed to provide a market for Alaska’s farmers, thereby enabling them to expand production to feed Alaska year round, and to give the ability to ship excess production to other markets.

To accomplish this, my administration will work to restore military local purchase for our agricultural products that once made Alaska’s agriculture the prominent industry in the Matanuska and Tanana valleys. This can be justified because of Alaska’s distance from the Lower 48.

Cheap power and heat will provide the catalysts for refrigeration plants and canning plants for long term storage of grains, peas, beans and meat products. This private sector growth will provide new markets for our agricultural products.

Because of Alaska’s separation from the lower-48 by Canada, access to Alaska is by boat, aircraft or via highway through Canada. This geography places Alaska in the unenviable status of facing the prospect of having our supply lines to the United States and through Canada interrupted by war or natural disaster. Alaska would be affected by any major disaster event impacting the western United States. Much of our agricultural products come from the west.

One of my desires is to see that “Grown in Alaska” products are on the shelves and in the meat sections of our grocery stores in quantity. Alaska must develop its agricultural base to be able to weather a serious catastrophe that interrupts the supply lines from the lower-48. It is estimated that Alaska has 3 days of food on the shelf – we import 95% of our food. This is a threat to Alaskan security, stability and prosperity. Food Security can become a reality in Alaska through a training program for small business entrepreneurs in the development of small farms. The University system should play a key role in this economic development initiative. Cheap power and heat are obviously a key component to success in Agriculture in Alaska.