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Alaska Allocates $1 Million for Grain Reserve | Local News


Alaska Invests $1M in Animal Grain Reserve with Farmers Cooperative

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has announced a $1 million investment in partnership with the Alaska Farmers’ Cooperative to create an animal grain reserve. The reserve will store and sell feed grain, primarily barley, grown in the state to address the recent grain shortage and improve food security.

State leaders, including Governor Mike Dunleavy, have recognized the need for increased agriculture infrastructure in the state. Governor Dunleavy stated that the partnership with the cooperative and others in the agriculture industry will support reliable locally grown livestock feed, ensuring that Alaska families have access to a consistent source of healthy, local food.

The grain shortage in 2021 and 2022 had a significant impact on livestock farmers, resulting in higher costs to import grain. To mitigate this, the DNR provided state and federal grants to farmers to cover transportation costs, and the Division of Agriculture made funds available to livestock farmers through a USDA micro-grant program.

The President of the Alaska Farm Bureau, Scott Mugrage, has long advocated for an animal grain reserve, recognizing the importance of securing a stable grain supply for animals. He highlighted the potentially devastating impact of a grain shortage, emphasizing the need for a reserve to protect against unforeseen events such as drought or late frost.

Mugrage also pointed out that the reserve will provide new opportunities for producers, as it will create a market for grain in Alaska. However, he acknowledged that the $1 million investment is just the first step in addressing the state’s food security needs, and it will take several years of good growing to fill the reserve.

The importance of food security has become even more evident in recent years, leading to the decision to finally bring the vision of a grain reserve to fruition. With the new animal grain reserve, Alaska is taking a positive step towards securing a stable and reliable grain supply for its agriculture industry.