News and Events


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Preserving Palapalai

Preserving Palapalai 20 June 2024

Preserving Palapalai

Extension and UGC host expert on native ferns

Palapalai is an indigenous Hawaiian fern – one of the most important plants in hula – and Oʻahu Extension was proud to host a recent talk with Hawaiian fern specialist Kay Lynch. The UH Horticulture graduate (ʻ98), Master Gardener, and founder of Lāʻau Hawaiʻi, a Hawaiian fern propagation research nursery, spoke at CTAHR’s Urban Garden Center

Seeds of Wellbeing

Seeds of Wellbeing 20 June 2024

Seeds of Wellbeing

FCS mental health for Hawaiʻi farmers project wins award

Nearly half of Hawaiʻi farmers under age 46 report depression – which reflects the high-stress environment they must contend with on a daily and seasonal basis, complete with risks and uncertainties, volatile markets, fluctuating weather, invasive species, and the list goes on.

Inaugural Address

Inaugural Address 29 April 2024

Inaugural Address

Dean Grewal charts a path forward for the college

CTAHR’s mission is to secure the future of Hawaiʻi by building local self-sufficiency in food and agricultural products, noted Dean Parwinder Grewal at the first CTAHR Conference April 11. “CTAHR’s inclusive vision is to secure the future of Hawaiʻi through collaborative innovation and merging the Western, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian knowledge systems,” he said.

Excellence in Extension

Excellence in Extension 20 March 2024

Excellence in Extension

Nancy Ooki of FCS is CTAHR’s 2023 recipient

The 2023 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Extension goes to Nancy Ooki of the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Since 2018, Nancy’s “My PI Hawai‘i” has trained Maui youths in fire safety and suppression, search-and-rescue, C.P.R., disaster psychology, and other topics in FEMA’s Teen Community Emergency Response Team. By the final disaster simulation, youths can demonstrate knowledge and skills in first aid, triage, communications, and damage assessment. 

The Manini Farm

The Manini Farm 28 February 2024

The Manini Farm

UGC workforce development project takes root

With one student holding a wireless microphone and another a portable amplifier, the tour of The Manini Farm Project on the grounds of the Urban Garden Center had begun. As students took turns at the mic, presenting their projects and roles and walking participants through the rows of plants, it was apparent that these young adults felt an awful lot of pride in their participation.

Member of the Board

Member of the Board 28 February 2024

Member of the Board

Extension is represented at Society for Range Management

Congrats to Mark Thorne who recently began a two-year term on the Board of Directors of the Society for Range Management. Mark, who has served the society in many capacities for almost 30 years and is currently Section Treasurer, will focus on three key issues throughout his term: recruitment and retention of SRM members, involvement in the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists in 2026, and strengthened national and international partnerships and collaborations.

Kicking Off 2024

Kicking Off 2024 31 January 2024

Kicking Off 2024

UGC starts new plumeria collection and partnership

Ninety percent of flowers used for lei-making are imported to Hawaiʻi, and the decreasing supply of local flowers is having a drastic impact on the lei industry statewide. To address the growing chorus of lament from lei-flower growers, lei makers, and lei vendors, Extension has kicked off 2024 with a new plumeria collection at the Urban Garden Center. 

Impact and Relevance

Impact and Relevance 31 January 2024

Impact and Relevance

UGC and partners deliver food and education to local communities

The good folks at Urban Garden Center, along with Oʻahu high school students, departed for their holiday breaks knowing that fresh produce would make it onto the plates of many Hawaiʻi families in need. 

Ag Day @ the Capitol

Ag Day @ the Capitol 31 January 2024

Ag Day @ the Capitol

Let lawmakers know your accomplishments and needs

It lasts just two hours and happens just once a year, but this is your chance to let members of the Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives know what you’ve been up to, and how our legislators can help you help feed the state.

Ōhiʻa Love

Ōhiʻa Love 31 January 2024

Ōhiʻa Love

Statewide fests bring the community together around ROD

With partners from Maui, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Hilo and Kona, CTAHR’s Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death team hosted the statewide seventh annual ‘Ohia Love fests. This year’s theme was Ka ʻUpena O Ke Ola, a metaphor for how life is interconnected mauka to makai, like a fishing net, and ʻōhiʻa is a keystone species that holds it all together, explains Charlotte Godfrey-Romo.

Rebuilding Maui

Rebuilding Maui 31 January 2024

Rebuilding Maui

Extension workshops on disaster training may also facilitate healing

“The recent disasters of COVID-19 and wildfires have caused forced disruptions in activity, limited information about the future, and economic instability,” says Nancy Ooki of Maui Extension. “The combination has placed the Maui community in a position of feeling a sense of loss of control, decision-making ability, and uncertainty of the future. 

Ag and ʻAina

Ag and ʻAina 13 December 2023

Ag and ʻAina

UGC hosts Agriculture and Environmental Awareness Day

The school bus doors swung open and in the blink of an eye, pastoral serenity was replaced by organized chaos as the army of chatting, laughing, and sometimes screaming 5th graders marched toward the outdoor exhibit booths at the Oʻahu Urban Garden Center.

Temple the Trailblazer

Temple the Trailblazer 13 December 2023

Temple the Trailblazer

Renowned activist in 4H livestock and autism visits Waialeʻe

Back in the day, the Waialeʻe Livestock Research Station was a true community resource for Oahu’s North Shore. The sprawling facility, a stone’s throw from today’s surfing mecca, once provided invaluable services as the area’s primary abattoir and center for livestock feed and harvesting research. 

Glenn Teves, Tribal Advisor

Glenn Teves, Tribal Advisor 13 December 2023

Glenn Teves, Tribal Advisor

Sen. Schatz appoints Extension agent to new committee

There’s a new Tribal Advisory Committee within the USDA, and retired Extension agent Glenn Teves has been appointed to serve by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Schatz, chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, announced his appointment of Glenn last week. The new committee, authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, will provide advice and guidance to the Secretary of Agriculture on Native equities in USDA programs and policies, and develop an annual report to Congress.

With Much Gratitude

With Much Gratitude 13 December 2023

With Much Gratitude

Maui County presents 2023 Administrator Awards

The last year has been an especially challenging one for Maui County, and even more so for Molokaʻi, due to Ag Tech and Secretary shortages, fiscal purchasing barriers, theft of equipment, difficult neighbors, the search and addition of two new faculty, an unsigned lease with DHHL, transitional leadership within CTAHR, and last but not least, the sudden UHMC commitment changes related to the Molokaʻi Farm, which led CTAHR to vacate the farm and consolidate our efforts at our office location. 

Teens in Training

Teens in Training 8 November 2023

Teens in Training

Maui 4-H hosts statewide disaster preparedness

In response to the wildfire disasters in Lahaina and Kula, Maui 4-H quickly organized a statewide disaster response training – Hawai‘i’s first-ever event tailored specifically for teens. With 110 high school students from every Hawaiian island gathering at Baldwin H.S. in Wailuku, and a program based on the national Community Emergency Response Team administered by FEMA, it was a rare and valuable opportunity to both train for emergencies and discuss ways to contribute to the long-term disaster recovery process and future disaster planning.

Mālama the Farmer

Mālama the Farmer 8 November 2023

Mālama the Farmer

“Taking Care of Yourself and Each Other” conference strikes a chord

With so many Hawaiʻi farmers facing challenges that can seem insurmountable, the timing couldnʻt have been better for CTAHR’s Seeds of Wellbeing initiative to host “Mālama the Farmer, Taking Care of Yourself and Each Other” last month.

Kalo and ʻAwa

Kalo and ʻAwa 11 October 2023

Kalo and ʻAwa

Extension marks a decade+ of celebrating Waimea Valley festival

Since 2013, CTAHR has been honored to be invited to Waimea Valley Botanical Garden’s Kalo and ʻAwa Festival on the North Shore of Oʻahu. This year, the Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences and Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences participated once again byproudly hosting an educational booth that focused on educating participants about kalo plant parts, varieties, and groups. 

Open House!

Open House! 11 October 2023

Open House!

Stop by Urban Garden Center THIS Saturday, Oct. 14

CTAHR faculty and staff are excited to host their first Open House at the Oʻahu Urban Garden Center since the pandemic – and public interest is super high – so head over Pearl City this Saturday morning! UGC will combine the event with the popular “Second Saturday at the Garden” to provide a variety of educational exhibits and demonstrations for the general public. 

Invasive Pests

Invasive Pests 11 October 2023

Invasive Pests

CTAHR conference brings together like-minded collaborators

With our beloved island home beset by invasive pests of all shapes and sizes, what is the best way to pool our collective knowledge and resources so we can effectively combat these challenges? A two-day conference on invasive pests is a good start. 

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16 March 2021

Defend Hawaiʻi Ag

PEPS is helping to safeguard from the constant threat of invasive species

Defend Hawaiʻi Ag

by the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences

The most recent example of an invasive threat to our agriculture, urban and natural ecosystems is the Ramie Moth. Last month, the presence of Arcte coerula was confirmed on the east side of the Big Island attacking mamaki, traditional medicinal plants that are endemic to the Hawaiian islands. They’re also indirectly threatening the endemic Kamehameha butterfly by competing for the same native host plant resources.

What gets less media attention is the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, whose researchers and Extension specialists and agents are constantly at the frontlines of pest management, using the latest basic and applied research to protect our ecosystems from these invaders.

In 2018, when the Ramie Moth was first spotted on Maui, PEPS was there with molecular tools to confirm it. Now, PEPS is surveying the moth’s distribution in Hawaiʻi, and searching for potential natural enemies.

 

Diseases and Damaging Insects

It’s important to note, many invasive species are STILL in Hawaiʻi, still threatening our food supply and way of life – even if you haven’t read or heard about them recently. The following is just a fraction of PEPS’ efforts to eradicate or mitigate the dangers:

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles: Since 2013, PEPS’ Agrosecurity and Turf and Landscape Pest Management Labs have coordinated a large, multi-agency response against the spread of CRB. These efforts have largely contained the CRB population on Oʻahu, allowing Hawaiʻi’s palm to continue to thrive. Modern genomic techniques (ddRADseq) were used by PEPS’ Insect Systematics and Biodiversity Lab to trace the regional invasion pathways of CRB.

Coffee Leaf Rust: PEPS is engaged in the state response to CLR, a major threat to the Hawaiʻi coffee industry. PEPS’ Agrosecurity Lab performed the initial diagnostic assays of CLR last October, and is now assisting in the Section 18 Emergency Exemption of a pesticide to manage this pathogen. We obtained a Controlled Import Permit to introduce (under quarantine) varieties with potential resistance to CLR from Central America, are performing molecular characterization of CLR isolates from Hawaiʻi to develop future management approaches, and conducting efficacy and residue trials to provide the required data for new pesticides registration in Hawaiʻi that will protect specialty crops, including coffee.

Meanwhile, we are investigating the potential of parasitoids, insect pathogens, and repellent pheromones to manage coffee berry borer, another invasive species of coffee that can damage >80% of coffee production. The success of these efforts should provide an economical and sustainable alternative to the costly insect-pathogenic fungus applications that currently require intense federal subsidies to keep our state’s coffee industry afloat.

Fruit Fly: Hawaiʻi is under a full federal fruit fly quarantine, which has restricted our fruits from being exported to the Mainland. We’re searching for insecticides, biological control agents, and pheromone traps to overcome pesticide-resistant populations. Along with developing new early detection tools, we are collaborating with the federal Dept. of Agriculture on male annihilation and sterile insect techniques.  

Many, Many More: Invasive species management efforts led by PEPS – and of high significance to Hawaiʻi – include citrus leprosis eradication, resistance against basil downy mildew, Phytophthora blight of papaya, black pod rot of cacao, avocado root rot, banana Fusarium wilt, chemical treatments of quarantine nematode-burrowing nematode on anthurium, coffee root-knot nematode, leaf-roller moths threatening native forest plants (like koa, mamaki and maʻo), bark beetle associated with rapid ʻohia death, Macadamia felted coccid and two-lined spittlebug on pasture, avocado lace bug management for organic farmers, and invasive thrips and other quarantine pests on the floriculture and foliage nursery industry, particularly anthuriums and dendrobiums.

Besides the agro- and natural ecosystems, PEPS is evaluating low-risk pesticides against ficus stem and leaf gall wasps, lobate lac scale, hala scale, oriental flower beetle, rover ant, foliar nematode, root-knot nematode, plumeria rust, mini-ring and take-all disease of turf – all of which are hampering the landscape and turf industry in Hawaiʻi. We are developing environmentally friendly gel bait systems to control invasive ants in urban settings, as well as collaborating with the Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council to improve surveillance efficiency of invasive mosquitoes at ports of entry, using innovative traps.

Our work might never be done, especially as new invasive species continue to pop up, but PEPS is protecting the state from the invasion of pests and diseases. What’s more, we’re teaching the next generation of scientists or workers to protect our shores.

For more information about our contribution to Invasive Species Management, please visit the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences.