Alaska’s climate, location and distances to markets create unique challenges to agriculture in the state. Evolving technologies and newly discovered markets are two drivers of this expanding agriculture. The USDA Risk Management Education Division and RightRisk LLC partnered together and successfully completed a two-day workshop for Alaskan producers on March 21 and 22 with local host Alaska Farmland Trust. Workshop topics included:1) an overview of risk, sources of risk, and personal risk preferences;2) goal setting and business planning; 3) transferring risk via crop insurance; 4) understanding risk using a risk simulation model; 5) the feasibility of alternative enterprises; 6) introduction to the strategic risk management process; 7) record keeping; 8) measuring financial performance and benchmarking; 9) tax management; and 10) legacy planning. Another significant activity included two workshops at the 2013 Alaska FFA State Convention (Fairbanks) on April 25th. Forty-three beginning FFA students learned how to strategically utilize crop insurance, forward contracting, crop rotation and diversification as well as general management practices to effectively manage production and market risks.

Pine plantation in winter