Hosting the Lawmakers

State senators and representatives take a field trip to Magoon 

  • 13 December 2019
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 728
Hosting the Lawmakers

What is CTAHR’s impact on Hawai‘i? Is our research relevant to the state’s needs and sustainability? Does our outreach benefit the local economy, environment, and food supply?

A sizable contingent of state senators, representatives, and staff got their chance to learn the answers on November 21 when they visited the Magoon Research and Instructional Facility during CTAHR’s 2019 Legislative Visit.

The Thursday before Thanksgiving was also an opportunity for CTAHR faculty to interact with lawmakers prior to the 2020 legislative session. Six scientists presented new studies, financial data, and stories to raise awareness of CTAHR’s role in Hawai‘i’s economic growth and overall health.

  • A Sustainable Nutrition Program Benefits the Community, Rachel Novotny
  • Turfgrass and Landscape Pest Management in Hawai‘i, Zhiqiang Cheng
  • Ecological Economics for Better Decision Making, Kirsten Oleson
  • Agricultural Economics for Research and Outreach, Catherine Chan
  • A Healthy Hawai‘i Starts with Healthy Families, Sarah Yuan
  • Mindfulness for Healthy Hawai‘i Youths, Thao Le

“We often talk about CTAHR and agriculture, but we wanted to show how diverse CTAHR is and how agriculture can intersect with families and communities,” said Nick Comerford, CTAHR’s Dean and Director for Research and Cooperative Extension.

Lawmakers were treated to a guided tour of Magoon’s greenhouses and outdoor gardens, courtesy of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences’ Tessie Amore and Orville Baldos, and Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences’ Mike Melzer. They even got a sneak peek of new anthurium varieties not yet released to commercial growers.

And finally, what’s the point of developing better turfgrass if you can’t enjoy a game of bocce ball? While legislators stayed to talk story, have refreshments, and investigate their goody bags filled with fruits, vegetables, honey, and other treats donated by CTAHR research stations and friends, Joe DeFrank led guests in a friendly game of bocce ball (CTAHR won!). 

Mahalo to all faculty, staff, students, and volunteers who presented a very positive image of CTAHR for the state lawmakers. View the photos and watch the video.


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