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FAIRBANKS - A University of Alaska student is trying to find out how much local food people in the Tanana Valley eat and hopes it turns into a statewide gauge. He's doing it as a thesis project.
Charles Caster is conducting a survey this month to try to gauge how much food is grown commercially in the region.
Others in Alaska may participate at www.surveymonkey.com/s/agproducersurvey.
The project is being funded with a $10,000 grant from the Pacific Land Grant Alliance, a federally funded partnership.
Carol Lewis, the dean of the UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, was among those who came up with an estimate in the 1980s that put the in-state food supply at 5 percent.
Lewis says the estimate still lingers, but adds that it's an outdated figure that wasn't especially solid to begin with.