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Alaska Division of Agriculture to host ‘Agricultural Education Day’ in Nenana

Published: Jun. 3, 2021 at 3:43 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 3:44 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Division of Agriculture will be hosting an Agricultural Education Day near Nenana in June.

According to Erik Johnson, a Natural Resource Specialist for the Division of Agriculture, the event was born from a project that had been in the works for decades. Johnson said, “We’re having a large agricultural project that’s being developed west of Nenana. It’s been planned for the past 30 years. But last year in 2020 the federal government finally had funding for the Native Association to finish the bridge so they can have access to their lands, but it also provided access to the large agricultural unit.”

As part of the agricultural project, several different experts would need to conduct studies on the land, and that gave Johnson an idea. He explained, “In June, the National Resource Conservation Service is having a team of soil scientists do a detailed soil survey, and when I knew they were going to be in the area, I asked if they could possibly do some public education and outreach. They agreed to it, and it kind of snowballed from there from just soil information to all sorts of natural resource education. Agriculture is kind of a focus, but we’re also inviting some Tribal partners. The Alaska Village Initiatives, the Inter Tribal Agricultural Council, and the Nenana Native Association are going to have some information there.”

Johnson also said the event will have many educational activities planned for those who attend. “We’re going to have the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) bring a soil tunnel, which is an inflatable tunnel that has all sorts of soil information about Alaska on it. They’re going to have a rainfall demonstration [where] they have tilled land, untilled land, land that was directly seeded - just different types - and then put water on it for a certain amount of time. That clear water comes out of the natural land, but the more it’s disturbed, the cloudier and muddier the water is because there are possibilities of soil erosion the more you use the land. So that’s going to be an interesting project.”

The Agricultural Education Day will take place on June 11th at the Nenana 10th Street boat launch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and anyone can participate.

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