Greg Finstad

Farm Name:

Reindeer Research Program, UAF

Please describe yourself and what you do outside of the reindeer industry.

I am Alaskan through and through living the dream. I have a wife, Bev who has allowed me to purchase many toys; boats, ATV’s, snow machines to live the dream. We have two cabins out in remote Alaska and building a third. As a family unit; kids, grandkids, and dogs we spend a great deal of our non-work time in subsistence activities and poking around in the bushes. We have a large garden, many berry patches, beehives, put up 100-150 salmon a year, 5-10 halibut and 2-3 moose. As you can see we also spend a great deal of our time eating very good food.

Please describe your reindeer operation. (How long have you been raising reindeer? Where is your farm located? What are your primary markets? Etc.)

I have professionally worked with reindeer producers and reindeer since 1982. The Reindeer Research Program up until recently had a research herd of up to a hundred reindeer at the University of Alaska campus in Fairbanks. Reindeer are used primarily in food production as they are the only livestock that economically work in Alaska. Alaska has tens of millions of acres of reindeer rangeland. The reindeer at the facility were used in ration development trials, husbandry improvement, meat science experiments and educational outreach. Thousands of people have visited our reindeer.

Describe any roles you have served on for your state and/or national association. (Committee member, officer, etc.)

I am a wanna be runner and the faculty advisor for the UAF Running Club. I am a member of the Range Science Education Council where we are developing a national network of range science education. I am a member of the Alaska Reindeer Council which is an organization of agencies and producers that work together to promote the reindeer industry in Alaska. Also, I am a professor of Range Ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where I develop and teach natural resource management and reindeer production curricula.