More Support

  • 25 October 2018
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 7419
More Support

Dean Comerford was interviewed for an article in the Maui News about Rep. Lynn DeCoite’s call for more state support for farmers. Rep. DeCoite, who is a third-generation farmer as well as a representative for East Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lana‘i, is calling for funds to be diverted from tourism to agriculture and for UH to “compile and release agriculture data to help residents looking to start their own farms.” She specifically suggests that the university should provide information about what crops should be grown in what areas, data that is available but, she said, not easily accessible. Dean Comerford, who has spoken with Rep. DeCoite, praises her ideas and says that although the college has thousands of publications online, it “probably hasn’t done the best job in corralling” them all. He explains that with the ten new Extension agent positions that have been funded by the Legislature, the college will be able to provide more outreach in this and in other areas, particularly in ag economics and financing. “We are completely excited about getting economists, and that they can work directly with farmers and help them decide how to make money,” he is quoted as saying. “The first rule of farming is how to make money, and the second rule is do no harm or improve the landscape. … The third rule is that not only you benefit from the farm, but the community benefits.” And there’s no doubt that farmers and the community will benefit from the support that will come when the new agents are hired!