Emily Schwing, NNN - Northwest News Network

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Alaska, a farming capitol? It seems far-fetched, but it’s fast becoming a reality. In the last six years, a federal cost chare program through the USDA means giant greenhouses are popping up all over the state. Most of them can be spotted on the Kenai Peninsula. Listen now

in 2011, an Olympic skier started a program to get kids in four Western Arctic villages in Alaska outside and on skis. Five years later, that program, known as NANA Nordic, has expanded to 40 villages statewide, with help from over 100 volunteer cross-country ski coaches.

The small community of Ambler was buzzing all day as dog teams pulled in for a rest roughly 200 miles into the Kobuk 440. The community gave mushers a warm welcome serving up platefuls of French toast, sheefish and all kinds of other treats. But dog teams have roughly 240 miles of travel ahead and it’s still anybody’s race. Download Audio

The last major sled dog race of the season got underway Thursday in Kotzebue. Fifteen mushers drew bib numbers Wednesday night at the start banquet for mid-distance Kobuk 440. Download Audio

Never in Iditarod history have as many teams finished the 1000 mile race in under nine days, but this year, eight of the top ten teams did just that. Some of the mushers who crossed the finish line faced enormous adversity on their way to Nome. But without any major weather events most of the mushing that took place was simply the fastest in the race’s history. Download Audio

It’s not rare to see mushers touting various brands and companies as they drive their dog teams down the Iditarod trail. Sponsorship is a major source of financial support. This year a few mushers have gotten involved in touting political candidates as both the congressional and presidential election season heats up. Download Audio

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race is 1,000 miles long, but for a couple dog teams, the most competitive stretch of trail came down to the final mile.

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Dallas Seavey and his dog team came running down front to claim victory in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and he set a new race record. The younger Seavey finished less than an hour ahead of his father.

The top three teams in this year’s Iditarod have pulled into White Mountain, the final big stop along the trail. But as KNOM’s Emily Schwing reports, it’s not entirely clear who will finish first. Download Audio

A day-long march up the coast and across the sea ice has boiled down to an honest race for Nome as a father-son duo from Seward battle it out on the Iditarod trail against each other and an Interior musher who has trained tirelessly to cross under the burled arch ahead of the pack. This year’s race could come down to a combination of speed and power among dogs and pure grit and desire among mushers. Download Audio

Brent Sass has been hard to catch in this year’s Iditarod. He has camped outside of checkpoints for the majority of the race, stopping only long enough to grab food and supplies, running his team much like he would in Alaska’s other 1,000 mile sled dog race, the Yukon Quest. Download Audio

Unalakleet was buzzing overnight as Iditarod mushers and their dog teams arrived on the Bering Sea Coast. As KNOM’s Emily Schwing reports, their sense of urgency was palpable. Download Audio

When Aliy Zirkle sped through Kaltag, she refused to answer question about an incident that involved a snow machine collision on the Yukon River overnight. After traveling down the trail in the afternoon sun for a few hours, Zirkle decided to camp with her dog team until afternoon temperatures cooled. Download Audio

On Friday, before Aliy Zirkle and her team's run-in with a person riding a snowmachine who, according to an Iditarod press release, deliberately tried to harm her and her team, KNOM's Emily Schwing sat down with her during a Galena during Zirkle's mandatory 8-hour layover.

Shock is the best way to describe the reaction from spectators and mushers alike as news of a rogue snowmachine attack on two well-known mushers broke early Saturday morning.

Mushers and their teams are making their runs down the Yukon River. KNOM’s Emily Schwing caught up with two mushers who have roots in Western Alaska mushers to find out how their races are going.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Jeff King's dog team was attacked by a reckless snowmachiner.  One of his dogs was killed, two are seriously injured. KNOM's Emily Schwing caught up with King in the Nulato checkpoint to find out what happened.

Dog teams moved swiftly down the Yukon River all Friday afternoon. Many came off an eight-hour rest, but some mushers chose to push their teams before taking the mandatory break on the river. KNOM’s Emily Schwing reports. Download Audio

When he came into Ruby Friday morning, race officials informed Ken Anderson that they would add two hours to his mandatory eight-hour layover. The penalty comes after Anderson violated rule 38 and ran more than two dogs abreast.

Halfway to Nome, the real racing has begun as Iditarod dog teams make their way to Ruby, the first stop along the Yukon River. Somewhere in the next 134 miles, teams must take a mandatory eight-hour layover, but gaps are starting to open up in the field. The challenge for mushers now is how and when they will decide to make their big moves.