News from Alaska Farm Bureau
March 2019
Alaska Farm Bureau News

It's starting to feel a lot like spring - warm sun and melting snow!!
While we're all wanting to spend more time outside - Legislators are busy down in Juneau working on the budget. If you haven't heard, agriculture programs had huge cuts (many programs eliminated) in the proposed budget - most Division of Ag programs were cut and the Dairy Sanitation inspector in DEC was cut. 

I'd like to send a huge THANK YOU to all those who sent in comments opposing these cuts! We were heard! The Dept of Natural Resources and Dept of Environmental Conservation budget subcommittees are recommending continuing funding Division of Agriculture and the Dairy Sanitation inspector. This is great news!
We do need to continue to let legislators know how important these programs are as the budget continues through the process. There are upcoming opportunities for providing public comment to the House Finance Committee - you can find the schedule in the newsletter.
Representative Tarr is continuing to collect emails regarding the importance of these agriculture programs, if you didn't get an email sent to her earlier this week there's still time! In your email, please explain your concerns with the governor's proposed budget for the Division of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Conservation (dairy program) and how the cuts could impact your business.
In this newsletter you'll also find information on the 2019 Bruce Willard Scholarship and Agriculture Education Mini-Grant.

Amy Seitz, Executive Director

Alaska Farm Bureau

37075 Nicholas View Lane
Soldotna, AK 99669 

House Finance members held community meetings to take public comment on the proposed budget -  HB 39. We want to let House Finance committee members know they should accept DNR and DEC budget subcommittee recommendations of continuing to fund Division of Agriculture (DNR) and the Dairy Sanitation inspector (DEC).
If you we unable to attend one of these meetings, they will be continuing public comments by teleconference - you can participate at your local Legislative Information Office based on the below schedule.
Public testimony will be limited to 2 minutes.

March 25th
  • 5:30-7:30pm - Kodiak, Seward, Utqiagvik, Dillingham, Petersburg, Unalaska, Cordova, Kotzebue, Nome, Wrangell
  • 7:30-8:30pm - Mat-Su, Kenai, Juneau (available for individuals unable to attend community meeting)
  • 5:30-8:30 - Off Net 
March 26th
  • 5:30-7:30pm - Homer, Delta Junction, Glenallen, Tok, Valdez, Whittier, Healy
  • 7:30-8:30pm - Fairbanks, Anchorage, Ketchikan, Sitka (available for individuals unable to attend community meeting)
  • 5:30-8:30pm - Off Net
You can submit written testimony to by 1:00pm on March 27th also.

Other agriculture related bills:
            ***Public Testimony Friday March 29 - 1:00pm
HJR 12 NORTHERN RAIL EXTENSION                                       REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO


  Alaska Farm Bureau will award up to two $2,000 scholarships to students pursuing an agricultural or natural resource field through college, trade school or vocational training.  The program is available to students already enrolled in a college, trade school or in vocational training, as well as graduating high school seniors. 
Applications are due by April 26, 2019 and can be submitted by mail to Alaska Farm Bureau, Inc. 37075 Nicholas View Lane, Soldotna,
 AK 99669 or email
You can print an application here.


The Alaska Farm Bureau is accepting applications for the Agriculture Education Mini-Grant. This program is open to individuals and organizations with the purpose of increasing agriculture awareness, knowledge and appreciation to youth around the state.
Application deadline is May 15, 2019 and can be submitted by mail to Alaska Farm Bureau 37075 Nicholas View Lane, Soldotna, AK 99669 or email

Upcoming Events

April 5, 2019: Fairbanks New Farmer Expo.  More info here. 

April 8, 2019: Anchorage New Farmer Expo. More info here.

April 26th, 2019: Bruce Willard Scholarship Deadline. More info here.

May 15, 2019:  Alaska Farm Bureau Agriculture Education Mini-Grant Deadline

Do You Need a Will?
I believe that every person, especially those with minor children, should have a proper and enforceable will or other appropriate legal documents. A person who makes a will must be at least 18 years of age, of sound mind, and must know what assets he or she has, his/her immediate family members, and to whom the assets and liabilities should be given.
All people, regardless of financial status, will have an estate when they die. Generally, an estate is a person's net worth in the eyes of the law. Assets of an estate include bank accounts, home, vehicles, investments, licenses, social media accounts, businesses, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other items owned by the person. An estate may also include mortgages and other debts.
Simply put, an estate plan is an organized manner to distribute one's assets and liabilities after a person dies. It often consists of several documents indicating how a person wants to distribute his or her estate, future operations of a business, and instructions for health care and end-of-life decision making. The documents commonly include a Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Financial Power of Attorney, and Trust.
A Last Will and Testament is a set of instructions for the personal representative to follow when settling the estate of a person who has died (called a decedent). A Will should identify when, how, and to whom one's assets should be disposed of and how one's business affairs should be addressed, if applicable. In addition, a might also name a guardian for minor or adult dependents. One's right to dispose of property as he or she chooses may be subject to laws that prevent the person from disinheriting a spouse and, in some cases, children.
A Will does not govern the disposition of property controlled by beneficiary designations or by titling - property titled in joint names with rights of survivorship, payable on death accounts, life insurance, retirement plans and accounts, and employee death benefits.  These assets pass automatically at death to another person, and the person's will is not applicable to them unless they are payable to his or her estate by the terms of the beneficiary designations.
A Will commonly does not dispose of a person's personal property, such as jewelry, furniture, collections, and guns. A separate list, called a Personal Property Memorandum, can be used to direct to whom specific items should be given. It can be written and rewritten at any time and does need to be signed, dated, nor witnessed and notarized.
If a person dies without a Will (called intestate), the laws of some states essentially write the person's Will. Typically, the distribution would be to the person's spouse and children or other family members. State law may or may not reflect the person's actual wishes, and some of the built-in protections may cause family disagreements. Further, administering an intestate estate can be complicated, may require significant court involvement, may be more costly than probate, and may not achieve the objectives you want from your estate.
I encourage people wanting to create a Will to consult with an attorney with knowledge of estate laws in their states. Yes, you can use readily available software to create a Will - or any of the other documents of a good estate plan - but those programs may not include all the specifics of a particular state's laws or have the flexibility to fit a person's unique circumstances. Further, legal counsel can help you think through the variety of strategies for designing a will to be most effective and easy for your family and to achieve the objectives you have for your estate.

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