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Giant Smiles

Giant Smiles 19 August 2020

Giant Smiles

4-H contest gets keiki excited about agriculture

For eight years and running, Hawaiʻi County 4-H has found a special way to bring out big smiles from its smallest members: a contest of giant fruits and vegetables.

Congrats, Zhiqiang Cheng!

Congrats, Zhiqiang Cheng! 27 July 2020

Congrats, Zhiqiang Cheng!

Turfgrass and landscape pest expert wins arboricultural award

Golf courses, resorts, and homeowner lawns across the Islands rely on Hawai‘i sunshine, good irrigation, and the expert guidance of Zhiqiang Cheng of the Dept. of Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences.

Vegetable Garden Isle

Vegetable Garden Isle 22 July 2020

Vegetable Garden Isle

Extension agents feed the hungry with the fruits of their research

The Kaua‘i community has a long history of helping one another, and CTAHR’s Kaua‘i Cooperative Extension is no exception—agents recently donated 556 pounds of vegetable greens to the Hawai‘i Foodbank there. The vegetables were grown at the Kaua‘i Agricultural Research & Extension Center by assistant Extension agents James Keach and Emilie Kirk, with the help of agricultural technicians Andrew Ehlert and Michael Carle.

Soil Rx

Soil Rx 22 July 2020

Soil Rx

Extension offers conference on soil health

The United Nations has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health, and healthy plants need healthy soil! Find out how to foster and maintain it at the Cooperative Extension Virtual Soil Health and Sustainable IPM mini-conference on Tuesday, August 4, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Mama Cows

Mama Cows 22 July 2020

Mama Cows

Agent offers webinar on choosing heifers for cow/calf producers

Livestock Extension agent for Kaua‘i County Savannah Katulski is offering a webinar, “Selecting Beef Replacement Heifers,” on Thursday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m. This webinar will focus on best management practices for choosing and managing replacement heifers for a cow/calf operation. 

Mahalo, Hawaiian Earth Products

Mahalo, Hawaiian Earth Products 17 July 2020

Mahalo, Hawaiian Earth Products

Compost donation will support SOAP’s turmeric project

Longtime CTAHR supporter Hawaiian Earth Products (HEP) recently donated eight truckloads of compost to the Poamoho Research Station! The compost will be used to support research into the yield and quality of Hawai‘i-grown organic turmeric. 

City Mill Gives Back

City Mill Gives Back 8 July 2020

City Mill Gives Back

Home improvement store supports CTAHR Extension

Mahalo to City Mill for their generous donation of gardening tools and supplies—totaling over $33,000!—to the Urban Garden Center and CTAHR programs. City Mill has been a longtime supporter of CTAHR’s educational programs, and with their generous support, Extension will be able to expand gardening and horticulture offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of backyard and urban gardeners, agricultural producers, small business owners, consumers, youth, and local communities.

AI Is Eye-Opening

AI Is Eye-Opening 6 July 2020

AI Is Eye-Opening

Mealani Station shares an important technique with CTAHR faculty

Ever wonder where your meat comes from? What steps go into raising beef so you can enjoy a delicious hamburger or steak? CTAHR Extension agent Mike DuPonte and farm manager Marla Fergerstrom shared one step in this process with two CTAHR employees at Mealani Experimental Research Station and Farm.

Gifts to the Ali‘i

Gifts to the Ali‘i 1 July 2020

Gifts to the Ali‘i

4-H honors its outstanding community partners

Congratulations to Barry Taniguchi and Derek Kurisu of KTA Superstores, who were recognized by the Hawai‘i State 4-H program at its recent Ali‘i Ceremony.

Ali‘i Barry Taniguchi was the chairman and CEO of KTA Superstores on the Big Island. Ali‘i Derek Kurisu is the executive vice president of KTA Superstores and a CTAHR graduate.

Screenhouse Success Story

Screenhouse Success Story 26 June 2020

Screenhouse Success Story

A new series showcases Hawaiʻi Extension to a national audience

The first Story Lead Contest for eXtension Farm Journal has a winner, and it’s CTAHR! Interim Associate Dean of Extension Jeff Goodwin submitted the winning story last month, about the outstanding success of a Cooperative Extension project on screenhouse technology that leads to much higher yields and reduced insecticide use.

The Care and Feeding of Your Lawn

The Care and Feeding of Your Lawn 22 June 2020

The Care and Feeding of Your Lawn

Turfgrass expert explains how to keep your lawn green and happy

“I fought the lawn, and the lawn won…” If that’s your theme song, it doesn’t have to be. By sticking to a few simple principles, you can create, maintain, and manage a beautiful green lawn on your property.

How Can We Help?

How Can We Help? 19 June 2020

How Can We Help?

Human Development and Family Sciences develops a quick guide to coping

The stress from COVID-19’s impact on our health, finances, and way of life is affecting many Hawaiʻi individuals and families. So the question for Human Development and Family Sciences is, “How can we help?”

4-H Ali‘i

4-H Ali‘i 19 June 2020

4-H Ali‘i

Join the June 25th online ceremony for 4-H supporters

Since 1947, the 4-H Ahaolelo (“gathering for a meeting”) has brought together 4-H’ers from throughout Hawai‘i, as well as Canada, Guam, California, Micronesia, and Japan. As the Ahaolelo website explains, “The 4-H Ahaolelo is rich in tradition. The week of ‘coming together’ has played an important part in the development of 4-H in Hawaii. The 4-H Ahaolelo provides opportunities to make friends and exchange ideas.”

Plant Guardian

Plant Guardian 19 June 2020

Plant Guardian

Extension’s Amjad Ahmad will represent Hawai‘i for national germplasm collection

Extension agent in sustainable and organic agriculture Amjad Ahmad has been selected as the Hawai‘i representative for the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), as well as secretary for the national chapter.

Food for Grandfamilies

Food for Grandfamilies 17 June 2020

Food for Grandfamilies

Maui Extension pairs elders and food trucks for meals and education

Grandfamilies, or grandparents who are primary caregivers for their grandchildren, are especially vulnerable during COVID-19. They’re a high-risk group, often living on fixed incomes. At the same time, food truck owners, like all restaurateurs, have been hit hard by the shutdown. But on Maui, CTAHR’s Intergenerational Extension has found a way to bring the two groups together to help each other

Get It Covered

Get It Covered 17 June 2020

Get It Covered

Western SARE is conducting a cover crop survey

The newly created Western Cover Crops Council aims to promote the successful use of cover crops in diverse agricultural systems. To help improve outreach and inform cover crop incentive programs to better serve stakeholders, it’s asking farmers and ranchers to share their perspectives. Whether they plant cover crops now, planted them in the past, or never planted them, every perspective is important!

No Fire on the Farm

No Fire on the Farm 12 June 2020

No Fire on the Farm

Learn how to assess and reduce the risk of wildfire on agricultural lands

Dry season is here, and the risk of wildfire is ramping up. How can producers protect their farms? Clay Trauernicht, Extension specialist in wildfire science and management in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, is partnering with O‘ahu Cooperative Extension to offer a webinar on “Assessing and Reducing Wildfire Risk on Your Farm.”

Get Your CFAP On

Get Your CFAP On 8 June 2020

Get Your CFAP On

USDA provides financial assistance to agriculture

Growers and agricultural producers have been hit hard by COVID-19. Fortunately, a number of resources out there can help. Check this out: USDA is providing critical support to farmers and ranchers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which offers vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities that can give them the ability to absorb sales declines and increased marketing costs associated with the pandemic.

Rabbitfish in the Pacific

Rabbitfish in the Pacific 8 June 2020

Rabbitfish in the Pacific

CTSA will conduct virtual training on aquaculture methods

Want to know more about sustainably raising rabbitfish, a popular food throughout the Western Pacific region? Farmers, researchers, and stakeholders of the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture are invited to a three-day virtual training workshop on the hatchery, nursery, and grow-out protocols for farming rabbitfish.

The Roots of Farming

The Roots of Farming 5 June 2020

The Roots of Farming

Cooperative Extension offers a virtual potato production workshop

Proponents of food sustainability in the Islands are always looking for more locally grown starches…so what about potatoes? Cooperative Extension is offering a virtual potato production workshop on Wednesday, June 17, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

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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.