Organic farming specialist Ted Radovich (TPSS) and Waimanalo Research Station’s Native Hawaiian cultural and health practitioner Ilima Ho-Lastimosa, along with public health professor Jane Chung-Do, have been chosen as fellows in the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Their project is entitled MALAMA: Rebuilding Indigenous Food Systems in Rural Native Hawaiian Communities through Backyard Aquaponics. As they explain, they are merging modern agricultural techniques with traditional Hawaiian food practices by bringing together Native Hawaiian families to build and maintain backyard aquaponic systems, which allow plants and fish to grow symbiotically and sustainably. These are goals in line with IRL, a leadership-development opportunity for teams of researchers and community partners that are using the power of applied research to advance health and equity in a Culture of Health that enables everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. Over the course of the three-year program, fellows receive $25,000 per year for each team member and up to $125,000 in funding to support a team research project; develop high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, networking, and an advanced leadership curriculum; work on their project with their team and national program advisers; continue working in their home communities and applying what they learn; receive mentoring from national experts in research, community action, health equity, public policy, and advocacy; and explore annual themes such as “addressing the social and economic determinants to prevent chronic conditions and to promote health, wellbeing, and equity in rural America.” It’s a big opportunity, and it couldn’t come to a better cause or a better team!