Heidi Rader has served as the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Agent and Director for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service (UAF CES) and Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) since July of 2007. Serving remote, Alaska Native villages in Interior Alaska has been rewarding and challenging. Rader’s District is nearly the size of Texas, but much more remote, as most of these villages don’t have road access. Various modes of travel to these villages are small-aircraft, snow machine, boat, or even skiing! Although the goals of this program are mostly educational and technical service oriented, it has also been a learning experience. Workshops have been offered on Subsistence Gardening, Canning Salmon, Composting, Vermicomposting, Making Homemade Sausage, Extending the short growing season, and Soils.
Rader’s Master’s research focused on evaluating the efficacy
of High Tunnels at High Latitudes. High Tunnels have continued to increase in
their popularity in Alaska and are an important component of Sustainable
Agriculture in Alaska—both for rural and urban areas. Ms. Rader holds an M.S.
in Natural Resource Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a
B.A. in biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Ms. Rader has received a number of awards, including a National Communication Award from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) for a PowerPoint on Soil Fertility and Composting, and the NACAA Achievement Award recognizing early career excellence in Extension Professionals.
Ms. Rader is a third generation Alaskan and enjoys every
season in the North—gardening and fishing in the summer, berry picking and
hunting in the fall, mountaineering in the spring, and skiing in the winter.