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Gene-ius Day

Gene-ius Day 31 August 2023

Gene-ius Day

Oʻahu and Big Island keiki participate in our summer program

The Genius Day Program holds its STEM program for Hawaiʻi public middle schools every summer. It all started in 2006 by Dr. Ania Wieczorek. For the month of June, middle school students participated in a week-long course filled with lots of educational and hands-on science related activities. The overall significance of this program is to educate middle school students on the field of science, and interest them in a STEM-related career.  The all-day program ran from June 5-30, Monday-Friday. 

LICH Conference

LICH Conference 31 August 2023

LICH Conference

Sign up now for the September event

After a four-year hiatus, the landscapers are back. Thatʻs right, the 2023 Green Industry Annual Conference is set for Sept. 14-15 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Hosted by the Landscape Industry Council of Hawaiʻi, the event will be jam-packed with learning opportunities, including can’t-miss presentations by CTAHR faculty. 

Next Gen Agents?

Next Gen Agents? 10 August 2023

Next Gen Agents?

Extension holds a popular field day at Waimānalo R.S.

A throng of landscapers, farmers, and residents showed up for Sterile Landscape Tree Field Day at the Waimānalo Research Station, hosted by Ken Leonhardt and Alberto Ricordi of the Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences. Since then, CTAHR has fielded multiple requests for an encore performance.

Smart Tech

Smart Tech 10 August 2023

Smart Tech

Extension shows growers how to leverage devices and apps

Technology is impacting industries big and small, and agriculture is no exception. But it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing. With many growers reporting they don’t own a computer or smart phone, while others report they have such devices but don’t know how to use them, Extension’s Amjad Ahmad organized an educational workshop for local growers on harnessing the latest technologies that impact ag. 

Carrots for Hawaiʻi

Carrots for Hawaiʻi 10 August 2023

Carrots for Hawaiʻi

Extension’s field day sows plenty of public interest

With more than 50 varieties of carrots out there, choosing the right one to grow successfully in Hawaiʻi can be a daunting task. The need for hands-on guidance – and the public’s interest for learning more – was apparent Aug. 5 as Extension’s Jensen Uyeda and Koon-Hui Wang of the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences held a Field Day at the Poamoho Experiment Station.

Island Hopping

Island Hopping 6 July 2023

Island Hopping

New Extension dean visits Ag Fests on Maui and Kauaʻi

Jeremy Elliott-Engel, CTAHR’s new Associate Dean & Associate Director for Cooperative Extension, hit the ground running with flights to Maui for the Maui Ag Fest & 4-H Livestock Show and Kauaʻi for the Kauaʻi County Farm Bureau Agricultural Festival.

Building an Ag Workforce

Building an Ag Workforce 6 July 2023

Building an Ag Workforce

UGC partners with Waipahu H.S. on workforce development

In line with CTAHR’s grand challenge to advance workforce and economic development, Extensionʻs Urban Garden Center is proud to partner with Waipahu High School and its ʻOhana of Excellence Academy (OEA), a pilot program funded by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR). 

Language-Appropriate Outreach

Language-Appropriate Outreach 6 July 2023

Language-Appropriate Outreach

Extension will use USDA grant to help immigrant farmers

Immigrant farmers in Hawaiʻi whose native tongues include Thai, Lao, Ilocano, Chinese and other languages often find it difficult to access new safety guidelines and other important agricultural information.

Fast Forward

Fast Forward 12 May 2023

Fast Forward

Youths aren’t forgotten in Urban Garden Center’s many interactions with the public

As more than 250 students from 24 high schools across the state gathered to participate in this year’s Future Farmers of America convention on Oʻahu, the Urban Garden Center proved a key resource in the event. The youths visited UGC and took part in fast-paced educational activities around the facility. With their teachers, the students got their hands dirty restarting a static hydroponic system, harvesting locally grown fruits and veggies in raised beds, and transplanting succulents.

What’s All the Buzz About?

What’s All the Buzz About? 12 May 2023

What’s All the Buzz About?

Maui 4-H bee house reopens after pandemic

The Bee House at the CTAHR Maui Extension Office is making a triumphant return after a three-year-long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Led by 4-H Youth Development Agent Nancy Ooki and Master Gardener Coordinator and Beekeeper Eric Demaria, the project seeks to teach youths about the importance of bees to Hawaiʻi’s ecosystems. 

The Potential for Sweet Onions

The Potential for Sweet Onions 21 April 2023

The Potential for Sweet Onions

Extension’s field day draws a large, interested crowd

The length of the day plays a large role in the development of sweet onion bulbs, thus farmers in Hawaiʻi have historically been limited to growing only “short-day” onions, especially during the winter when days are shorter. However, there are options for growing intermediate-day varieties in the summer months, and this potential opportunity drew more than 30 growers and community members to Extension’s recent field day at Poamoho Experiment Station.

CTAHR & City Mill

CTAHR & City Mill 21 April 2023

CTAHR & City Mill

Extension’s garden education is a hit with the community

“Basic Planting Guidelines” was anything but academic for the packed house of community members at City Mill’s recent garden education program. Led by Extension’s Tina Lau and the Master Gardeners, it encouraged home gardeners to be plant detectives, able to observe and diagnose their plant problems and to introduce the Oahu Master Gardener Helpline as a resource online, via the telephone, or in-person. It was the latest example of CTAHR and City Mill working together to promote more food production in the state, as well as raise awareness and heighten the availability of garden products locally. 

Honorary Outstanding Alumnus

Honorary Outstanding Alumnus 29 March 2023

Honorary Outstanding Alumnus

The Dean’s Award goes to Fred Lau

After graduating from Kalani High School in 1972 and matriculating to CTAHR, Fred Lau couldn’t wait to start his own business. So in his last year of college, he and a friend left UH to start their own business. Their plan was to look through the Yellow Pages for a nursery-related business with the least amount of competition. The plant rental section had only two businesses listed, so the partners walked into hotels and businesses in Waikiki offering these services to any manager who would meet with them. 

Gone to the Birds

Gone to the Birds 29 March 2023

Gone to the Birds

Extension on the Ground focuses on rose-ringed parakeets

Commercial and backyard gardeners alike will tell you the same thing: fruit is on the tree one day, and gone the next. The culprit? In addition to the local bulbul, doves, cardinals, and myna birds, the rose-ringed parakeet is now a known culprit. These beautiful but voracious invasive pests have been on Oʻahu since the 1930’s, but are quickly growing in population numbers. 

Excellence in Extension

Excellence in Extension 17 March 2023

Excellence in Extension

The Dean’s Award goes to the Banana Bunchy Top Virus Team

The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Extension distinguishes an exceptional Extension faculty member or team whose work has demonstrated outstanding performance and significant results. This year, the award goes to the team who have worked to revitalize the Hawaiʻi banana industry with clean, virus-free planting materials in a statewide Extension outreach program.

Outstanding Volunteer

Outstanding Volunteer 17 March 2023

Outstanding Volunteer

The Dean’s Award goes to Beatrice Sailer

Volunteers are the lifeblood for Extension programs such as 4-H and Master Gardener. The recipient of the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Extension Volunteer goes to Beatrice Sailer, Master Gardener volunteer.

CTAHR Represents

CTAHR Represents 17 March 2023

CTAHR Represents

Grow Hawaiian Festival at Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden makes a return

On the misty morning of Saturday, February 25th, hundreds of people gathered at the Amy B.H Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden to celebrate Hawaiian culture and natural history at the 2023 Grow Hawaiian Festival. Hosted by the Friends of Amy B.H Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, the festival was the garden’s first event in over 3 years.

On the Air

On the Air 28 February 2023

On the Air

Extension’s Amjad Ahmad is interviewed on Hawai'i Public Radio

Rotting and leafless avocado trees are spreading nationwide due to lace bugs. With the trees in jeopardy, Extension agents in the Dept. Of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences are doing extensive research to determine the most effective courses of action to get rid of these pests. Their research thus far has determined some strategies that could help avocado tree owners decrease their chances of attaining lace bugs and even exterminating them.

Taking on Atlanta

Taking on Atlanta 28 February 2023

Taking on Atlanta

12 Maui 4-H youths attended the national 4-H congress

For many 4-H youths, the National 4-H Congress is a highly anticipated annual event that celebrates the culmination of a year’s worth of personal growth, hard work, and service-learning. Hundreds of 4-H delegates gather every year in Atlanta, Georgia to network with other 4-H peers from around the nation, participate in community service events, and attend workshops about leadership, volunteering, global awareness, and inclusion.

Irrigation Systems

Irrigation Systems 28 February 2023

Irrigation Systems

Extension hosts a workshop for the community

With seasonal rains coming down seemingly nonstop, the topic of irrigation was front and center as Oʻahu County Extension hosted a workshop for backyard and Master Gardeners. Guests welcomed the opportunity to get out of the rains to attend the educational workshop as Extension agents explained measures that CTAHR has taken to reduce potable water use at the Urban Garden Center, and the role of Cooperative Extension in fulfilling CTAHR’s land grant college mission.

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8 April 2020

Pigs and Papaya

CTAHR Extension is helping two industries save each other

Pigs and Papaya

The pig farmers had no feed for their pigs. The papaya farmers had no market for their papayas. But CTAHR brought them together.

Both local industries have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 75% of swine producers’ feed comes from food waste generated by schools, restaurants, and hotels. But this supply has dwindled radically since Hawai‘i residents began sheltering in place. Papaya growers have found their markets slashed since US Mainland distributors stopped buying papaya during the crisis, as consumers focus on canned and other long-keeping items they can stockpile.

Faced with the shortage, pig farmers quickly switched to purchasing Mainland grain. But this caused a shortage of pig pellets at local feed stores, leaving the Islands without feed until the next boat. It’s not a sustainable solution, either. Pig pellets are more costly and require more fossil fuel to transport, and local farmers have to rely on a supply chain that may break down at any stage. Transporting large amounts of feed might also strain a shipping industry struggling to keep Hawai‘i supplied with essentials for humans.

At the same time, papaya growers were in danger of going under. Approximately 50 families, independent growers and members of the non-profit Hawaii Papaya Industry Association (HIPA) are in desperate need of immediate assistance. They have no other income than selling papayas, and their market has crashed, yet they do not qualify for unemployment. 

CTAHR’s Role

CTAHR Extension livestock agent Mike DuPonte, a member of the Hawaii Island Pork Association, began coordinating with HIPA president Eric Weinert of the large Hilo packing plant and exporter Calavo Growers.

Together, they’ve created a short-term means to protect both industries and Hawai‘i’s precious food supply. Pigs readily eat papaya, and there’s plenty to be had. Mike is coordinating with the animal farmers needing a food source by providing an estimate of need. Papaya farmers will pick and supply the papaya to be used as feed. Eric Weinert will open the packing plant as a marshalling yard to receive and distribute the papaya. HPIA will provide forklifts, scales, and recordkeeping.

It’s not a complete solution—papaya doesn’t provide all the nutrients that pigs need over the long term, and swine producers can’t afford to pay the prices that papaya farmers usually command from human consumers. So CTAHR agents are also helping members of both organizations get financial funding and other emergency aid from the federal government and large corporations like Land O’ Lakes, which runs a feed and shipping program and will work with farmers to subsidize them.

But for now, this locally grown partnership is keeping both industries afloat while they explore other solutions, ensuring that essential elements of our Islands’ food sufficiency can survive.