Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget significantly affects Alaska’s blossoming attempts at food security. Food that isn’t grown in Alaska is imported primarily via Anchorage’s port (mired in a struggling project to provide critical upgrades) and only one highway. We are one major earthquake, port emergency, or missed barge away from significant impacts to our food supply.
The governor’s proposed budget would effectively eliminate the state’s dairy industry and important loans to our state’s farmers. Not only is Alaska’s food security significantly strengthened when we have a robust network of local farmers providing us with food from our own “backyard,” but our economy is also strengthened because our food dollars remain in the state rather than going to large corporations outside of Alaska. Alaska Grown food is truly the freshest, tastiest, healthiest food I can possibly provide for my family.
These farmers need only a modest investment from their local government, an investment that has been paid back over generations as the specialized knowledge about growing food in Alaska is passed down and preserved. Every Alaskan benefits from this investment which ensures we have a steady supply of local food available to us all year long. Contact your legislator and ask them to preserve support for the Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund and the Department of Environmental Conservation’s dairy inspector!
— Kristi Wood
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