The Ka Lei Hano Award is CTAHR’s highest recognition, and the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has been an outstanding collaborator, partner, and benefactor of our college. This award recognizes the close relationship and productive collaboration that CTAHR has with HDOA. With it, we recognize that HDOA’s “commitment and service greatly enhances the college’s effort to support a diverse economy, healthy environment, and strong communities.”
The college receives significant grant dollars each year from HDOA in support of the state’s research and Extension needs. But more than that, HDOA also collaborates with virtually every academic department in CTAHR. It is a strong sponsor of the GoFarm Hawaiʻi program. It is working with the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences to document the anxiety and depression epidemic in farming families. It is working with the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences and the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences on agriculture production issues. It is working with the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering on the use of nanobubbles in hydroponics. And there are many more examples.
As Hawaiʻi is beset by invasive diseases, insects and plants, HDOA and CTAHR are together addressing red ginger diseases, coffee berry borer, and coffee leaf rust. We will engage to a greater extent in the future to combat the two-lined spittle bug and search for biocontrol mechanisms.
“HDOA is a critical component for maintaining and enhancing agriculture productivity in Hawaiʻi, and just as critical to keeping CTAHR engaged in local problems,” says Nick Comerford, Dean of CTAHR. “Our college couldn’t ask for a better partner in these efforts.”