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With farmers are being hurt by reduced sales and loss of markets during the COVID-19 crisis, the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau (HFB), in partnership with the County of Hawai‘i and generous non-profit entities, has developed a program to purchase produce and meats from commercial farmers and livestock producers on Hawai‘i Island for distribution to families in need. The Food Basket and other channels will distribute the products.
Fighting plant pests is just one of the many ways Nick Yamauchi, Dylan Cunningham, Matt Miyahira, Andrea Kawabata, Elizabeth Whitney, Yoshiaki Higashide, Justin Yeh, and other CTAHR faculty and staff on Hawai‘i Island are working diligently to keep grant-funded projects moving forward, while maintaining social distancing and other precautions.
Community support from volunteer club leaders and engaged parents is key to the survival of our Hawai‘i 4-H program. In return, during the COVID-19 pandemic, East Hawai‘i 4-H members from the Super Stars 4-H Club and Hawai‘i Island 4-H Shooting Sports Club are making the best of shelter-in-place orders by sewing face masks for community members who need them.
The pig farmers had no feed for their pigs. The papaya farmers had no market for their papayas. But CTAHR brought them together. Extension livestock agent Mike DuPonte, a member of the Hawaii Island Pork Association, is coordinating with Hawaii Papaya Industry Association president Eric Weinert to feed surplus papayas to the pigs.
UH Hilo professor Ryan Perroy attached a special pruning saw and gripper claw to a drone to collect samples of ROD-infected ‘ōhi‘a lehua. He won a $70,000 prize for the “Kūkūau,” as he has named the device, in the ‘Ōhi‘a Challenge to develop an innovation to help stop ROD.