New Alaska-based local food leader certification training offered

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will host an online training for a local food leader certification. The training begins May 4 and will take place by Zoom every other Tuesday through Aug. 31.

The Iowa State University Cooperative Extension Service developed the program, which is described as an individual skill development program for beginning local food practitioners and supporters. The program teaches skills for successful involvement in community food systems development. Program Coordinator Melissa Clampitt of the Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center, will teach the class with the center’s director, Jodie Anderson. 

Anderson said local food practitioners include everyone who is involved in the food system, including farmers, distributors, organizers of community gardens, participants in farmers markets, even consumers.

“Every human eats,” she said. The course will cover food production, distribution, processing, resource management and food policy.

The training is open to all Alaskans. The Zoom sessions are on every other Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Participants will also study modules for further information on their own time. The cost is $375.

To register, request accommodations or for more information, contact Melissa Clampitt at 745-3551 or mrclampitt@alaska.edu.

• Sitka Spud Walk to take place on Thursday (Aug. 12)

Photo courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service Image Gallery / Photo by Scott Bauer -- The average American eats 142 pounds of potatoes a year, making the tubers the vegetable of choice in this country

Photo courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Service Image Gallery / Photo by Scott Bauer -- The average American eats 142 pounds of potatoes a year, making the tubers the vegetable of choice in this country

Jodie Anderson with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station will host a walking tour of local potato patches on Thursday (Aug. 12).

The one-and-a-half-hour walk starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Crescent Harbor Shelter, near the corner of Lincoln Street and Harbor Drive. The tour will visit several of Sitka’s potato gardens and participants should be prepared to walk about 1 1/2 miles in whatever weather conditions exist at the time.

The UAF Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station conducts potato-growing trials statewide to evaluate various potato varieties and to assess potato plant diseases in Alaska communities. There is no charge for the tour, which is open to the public.

For more information, contact the Sitka office of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service at 747-9413.