The James Beard Foundation announced Tuesday that the KTVA series “Harvesting Alaska” won the prestigious award for “Best Television Segment”.

KTVA’s Heather Hintze and Lauren Maxwell, along with producer Gina Romero, former KTVA web editor Jessica Stugelmayer, and former photographer Carolyn Hall earned the accolade for their stories on yak farming in Delta Junction, how a program is cultivating young farmers and why berry picking is an integral way of life in Unalakleet.

“Harvesting Alaska” was announced as a semifinalist in March in the television segment category, competing against CBS This Morning and ABC 7 Chicago.

Backyard homestead havens are more than just a hobby, they are part of a growing trend toward a healthier life. Food security is a prominent issue in Alaska. With a majority of people in the state depending on outside shipments of critical supplies to live, an increasing number of Alaskans are finding their own ways to become more sustainable.

In 2016, a team from KTVA 11 News set out across Alaska to tell these stories through a series called Harvesting Alaska. We explored how a woman was able to offer organic goods at her store in the Bristol Bay community of Aleknagik, discovered that Homer, Alaska is the high tunnel capital of the nation and found there is a high demand for fresh yak meat.

The mission of the James Beard Foundation is to celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and others that are making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable. The awards are among one of the highest honors among food experts.

Congratulations to all in the newsroom who were part of the Harvesting Alaska series. KTVA is proud to bring the stories of Alaska to the plates of the nation.

See the entire Harvesting Alaska series. 

Gina Romero is the executive producer of Frontiers w/ Rhonda McBride, a lifelong Alaskan and producer of the Harvesting Alaska series on KTVA. 

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