- Fri Aug 18 - Sat Aug 19 • 4:00pm
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Congratulations to the 2023 Farm Family of the Year is Bo Varsano and Marja Smets who own and operate Farragut Farm!
The annual Farm Family of the Year award honors an Alaska farming family and shows appreciation for all the hard-working Alaskans committed to agriculture. The recipients are recognized each year at the Directors Reception held on opening day of the Fair.
Congratulations to Alaska’s 2023 Farm Family of the Year: Bo Varsano and Marja Smets who own and operate Farragut Farm! Bo and Marja started Farragut Farm in 2010 and co-manage the farm together. They farm vegetable crops using organic methods and focus on building rich soils sourcing local amendments such as seaweed, compost, and fish scraps. Farragut Farm is located in the remote Farragut Bay, approximately 35 miles by boat North of Petersburg. Bo and Marja use a 27ft catamaran to bring their produce to market, taking them 4-5 hours to make the trip from Farragut Bay to Petersburg. They sell from their farmstand in Petersburg to local customers as well as wholesale to schools, grocery stores, and value- added food producers in Petersburg, Juneau, and Wrangell. In addition, Bo and Marja are the founders of the Southeast Alaska Farmers Summit and continue to play a key role in the planning and execution of the biennial event.
Bo and Marja love farming in Alaska because they can spend their days outdoors in a beautiful part of the world. They enjoy the freedom to choose the rhythm and flow of their days, making a living from home, and the creative problem- solving that is demanded by challenges inherent in farming. Bo and Marja said they love providing locally- grown vegetables to Southeast Alaska residents because there are not that many farms in their location, so the fresh vegetables are much appreciated. Bo and Marja hope to continue to provide healthy, fresh vegetables to their customers for many years to come. They are currently focusing on expanding their garlic and carrot crops and hope to someday provide fresh carrots to all the school districts in Southeast!
“Bo and Marja being recognized with this award is especially impressive when you consider that they’re first generation farmers who only started Farragut Farm in 2010,” says Division of Agriculture Director Bryan Scoresby. “I’m personally inspired by Bo and Marja’s future goal of providing fresh carrots to all the school districts in Southeast Alaska!”
The Alaska Division of Agriculture and the Alaska State Fair will be celebrating our Farm Family at the Opening Day Reception, Friday, August 18th.