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Old 02-18-2010, 06:00 PM
 
2,839 posts, read 3,925,754 times
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Senator Lisa Murkowski has spoken out about the unspoken ugly truth of Alaska's economy: it has to diversify, and cannot await a natural gas pipeline. Whether you love her or hate her, you have to listen to the truth. Alaska depends too much upon oil revenue AND government services for state income and employment, respectively.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Sen Murkowski Alaska must do soul searching on economy

So, let's have some ideas. Here are a few of mine:

1) Stop subsidising milk producers in the Lower 48. The federal gov't spends a ton of money supporting milk suppliers; thus, consumers benefit from cheap milk, but that makes Alaskan milk producers over-priced.
2) Develop the Alaskan milk industry. As milk prices rise due to a withdrawal of federal price supports in the Lower 48, then Alaskan milk producers can compete price-wise with the now more expensive Lower 48 milk imports. As more cows are raised in Alaska, the barley farmers will have a larger market for their barley.
3) Go with the newer type of nuclear power plants (highlighted in the Wall Street Journal yesterday) in Alaska; these are smaller and produce less waste material. Get away from using coal. Export the coal, rather, to China and South Korea.

Not everyone can work for the federal government and state government. If you are a government employee, stop resisting the development of Alaskan resources. Alaska needs a more diversified economy.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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Just out of curiosity....why milk, of all things? What makes Alaska suited to "milk development"?
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
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Just stop drinking milk!
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whyfor View Post
Just out of curiosity....why milk, of all things? What makes Alaska suited to "milk development"?
There was a time when certain parts of Alaska (Fairbanks, Mat-Su Valley) were self-sufficient in food production. Dairies were a large part of this because you can produce a variety of products in addition to milk. (E.g., cheese is a way to store milk for a long period of time.) Why can't we go back to that?? Why does food have to be imported from thousands of miles away, when it could just as well be produced locally?? Peoples living in cold climates all over the world have a tradition of keeping either cows or goats for their milk and meat.

Milk production is just one idea, BTW. Have you got any??
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:10 PM
 
289 posts, read 268,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
There was a time when certain parts of Alaska (Fairbanks, Mat-Su Valley) were self-sufficient in food production. Dairies were a large part of this because you can produce a variety of products in addition to milk. (E.g., cheese is a way to store milk for a long period of time.) Why can't we go back to that?? Why does food have to be imported from thousands of miles away, when it could just as well be produced locally?? Peoples living in cold climates all over the world have a tradition of keeping either cows or goats for their milk and meat.

Milk production is just one idea, BTW. Have you got any??
I'm not trying to dismiss the idea out of hand or anything like that. The idea of being self-sufficient isn't a bad thing.

I was just wondering about milk specifically based on the state's previous experience(s) with Mat Maid and/or Valley Dairy.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
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I agree that Alaska needs to be more self-sufficient. The town where I grew up has a dairy-the Northern Lights Dairy, and they used to buy their milk containers from Matanuska Maid. They also produce ice cream, possibly more.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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My understanding of the reasons that Creamer's Dairy in Fairbanks and the dairies in the Mat-Su Valley went out of business was because the transportation of milk products from the Lower 48 was cheaper than producing the milk/cheese locally. Too bad. There is a surge of interest in eating locally these days because people have been made aware of the fuel costs in shipping stuff long distances, and eating out-of-season.

There are a few places in the Fairbanks area that produce goat-milk cheese and sell it in small batches. This is an industry suited for the sub-Arctic. Goats do better with cold climates than milk cows.

Think of the other possibilities. Reindeer meat production. Why not? People can change their tastes if it is cheaper than beef from Argentina or Texas.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Palmer
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Alaska has resources...but the Federal Government won't allow us to use them.

The only way a dairy industry would work here is to put high taxes on imported milk...that doesn't seem logical. You aren't going to get the feds to change their ag subsidies without changing who is in power.

There really isn't much to diversify with other than natural resources. And with the current administration there is not much hope of that.

I'm all for nuclear plants, but clean coal technology makes better sense economically. And we have enough coal in Alaska for centuries.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Palmer
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I love this business...I wish I had thought of it first.

Alaska Gold Panning Paydirt! Investments! Discount Gold! Pay Dirt
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:46 PM
 
289 posts, read 268,788 times
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Quote:
The only way a dairy industry would work here is to put high taxes on imported milk...that doesn't seem logical.
Indeed, although I doubt it would pass constitutional muster in any case.

Quote:
You aren't going to get the feds to change their ag subsidies without changing who is in power.
Sadly, it doesn't seem to matter which side is in power, from my perspective.
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