Business Briefs

■ The Soldotna Chamber of Commerce will host a St. Patrick’s Day social mixer with special guest Mike Sweeney at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Mykel’s Restaurant in Soldotna. RSVP to 262-9814.

■ The Kenai Chamber of Commerce will meet at noon Wednesday at the Kenai Visitors Center. A presentation from Thia Peters and Jessica Crump, CASA Program Coordinator and Assistant, is planned. RSVP to 283-1991.

■ The Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce will host a joint luncheon at noon on March 22 at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. A presentation by Dick Jablonowski of GCI on the real costs of IT is planned. RSVP to 262-9814 or 283-1991.

■ The Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center’s 32nd annual Beer and Wine experience starts at 5:30 p.m. April 16 at the Old Carr’s Mall in Kenai. This year’s theme is “Adventure to Neverland.” The event includes live and silent auctions, the Wall of Guns, and raffles. For more information, call 907-283-1991.

Women farmers from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington will gather at 31 sites including the Kenai River Center on Funny River Road in Soldotna on Saturday, March 19 for the 2016 Women in Agriculture Conference and practical farming advice. The event will run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will include speakers via videoconference and on-site activities.

This year’s event, “Power Up Your Communication, Power Up Your Farm,” covers your communication style and how you use it to manage, motivate and influence people. Keynote speakers will include Wendy Knopp and Michael Stolp with Northwest Farm Credit Services and Shelly Boshart Davis, a third-generation grass seed farmer from Tangent, Oregon, who will talk about how she developed her communication approach to improve her business strategies and increase sales.

The $30 registration fee includes a light breakfast, lunch and conference materials. Scholarships are available for beginning farmers, college agriculture students, and 4-H and FFA members. The scholarship deadline is March 11. Online registration and the scholarship application are available at www.womeninag.wsu.edu. For more information about the event, contact Heidi Chay in Soldotna at 907-283-8732, Ext. 5, or kenaiswcd@gmail.com.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is now accepting applications for non-competitively awarded permits to provide commercial visitor services on certain areas of the Refuge. Applications are available at the Refuge Headquarters on Ski Hill Road in Soldotna, or at www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/CommercialSpecialUsePermitApp_GuideOutfitter.pdf. A special use permit is required for providing commercial visitor services, including but not limited to guiding, outfitting, transporting and shuttle services, on Refuge lands and waters including portions of the Kenai River within Refuge boundaries.

Applications for a first-time non-competitive visitor services permit, or for those wishing to renew an expired permit, must be submitted no later than April 1, 2016. Applications will not be accepted after the April 1 deadline.

Existing non-competitive permit holders whose permits expire later than the 2016 season, need only to update relevant permit requirements, and receive the annual 2016 commercial visitor services decal(s). Existing permit holders must make an appointment to update relevant information before seasonal activities begin, or no later than June 1, 2016.

To make an appointment, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., contact Donna Handley at 907-260-2803. For additional information, please contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge office during regular business hours at 907-262-7021.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will offer three-day training sessions for pesticide applicators in April.

The session will be offered by videoconference April 25-27 in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Soldotna, Palmer, Delta Junction and other communities as requested. Classes will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an exam scheduled after the training. Extension agents and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation personnel will teach the classes.

The state requires certification for anyone who uses or sells restricted pesticides. Certification is also required for anyone who is a pesticide consultant, engages in the commercial or contract use of pesticides or supervises their use at a public location.

The training costs $55 and includes the exam and necessary study materials, which are available at Extension offices or by mail. Register for either class online at http://bit.ly/ces-workshops or at local Extension offices. Participants are encouraged to become familiar with the materials and math needed prior to the training. For more information and to request another training location, contact Janice Chumley at 907-262-5824 or jichumley@alaska.edu.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks will host a series of eight small business workshops by videoconference in Anchorage and Delta Junction, beginning Jan. 28.

The UAF Cooperative Extension Service and the UAF Community and Technical College will host the series, which is also offered by webinar around the state. The workshops provide guidance to small business owners in keeping records, calculating taxes, writing a business plan and using social media. Topics and workshop dates include:

— March 19, Intermediate social media and mobile marketing, 10 a.m. to noon

— March 19, How to develop ideas into businesses, 1-3 p.m.

Each class is $25. Register online at http://bit.ly/ces-workshops. Anyone who wishes to participate via webinar may contact Kathryn Dodge at 907-474-6497 or kdodge@alaska.edu. Instructors will include an accountant, and financial and media experts. See details about the classes at www.uaf.edu/ces/sbd.

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