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National Agriculture in the Classroom


Summary 2022 — Alaska

State Contact

Ms. Melissa Sikes
Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom
590 University Ave Suite 2
Fairbanks, AK 99709
P: 907.479.1213 x105

Innovative Programming

Using a 2021 Alaska Farm Bureau grant, we implemented a new "Bushel Basket" online agriculture literature reading event that happened March 21-25th , 2022. 4 schools participated, 103 students attended. Lessons for each book read was sent to the teachers as follow up. 6 tote boxes of a variety of accurate ag books were organized and are now available to school teachers to borrow.

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

Working with the local district assistant nutrition program director has helped us to encourage teachers to grow more food in their classrooms. This individual is also ready and willing to help us write more grants to encourage more district schools to get involved in hydroponic growing.

Program Leader Biosketch

Mel Sikes is the state coordinator for Alaska and has worked with the AKAITC program since Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District (FSWCD) was chosen as the coordinator in August of 2013. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Unity College which she received in 1990. She has been an environmental and natural resource educator since 1988. She has developed programs that have trained countless teachers on using interdisciplinary hands-on activities to help students to connect with their world. She has been with FSWCD since the fall of 2010 and her duties there include planning, instructing and overseeing the afterschool program, instructing Project Wild/Project Learning Tree/Project WET educator workshops, managing education/agriculture grants, planning and managing outreach community events, running the local food group as well as sitting on the state Food Policy Council governing board, and developing new natural resource education lessons.