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Pages with translated information in the 17 languages are currently under construction. 

Thank you for your patience. Please check back often for updates.


Welcome to the Local and Immigrant Farmer Education (LIFE) Website

The goal of the LIFE program is to: 1) increase the viability and sustainability of commercial farms in Hawaii, 2) integrate more farmers into mainstream agriculture, and 3) help drive Hawaii’s diversified industry forward.

LIFE expanded its reach in serving Hawaii’s local and socially disadvantaged producers, which now includes limited resource growers, women, native Hawaiians, and farm workers entering Hawaii for the first time. This program targets both past participants seeking to reinforce and advance their abilities, and new growers.

LIFE’s success is largely due to its team based and grass roots approach to providing extension education through collaborative partnerships with CTAHR programs (Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program, Ag Incubator Program, Honeybee Program, Basil Swat Team, CRATE, Go Farms Hawaii, etc.), statewide Extension agents, agricultural agencies such as USDA (FSA, NRCS, etc.), HDOA, county agencies, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Pacific Gateway, Oahu RC&D, Ag Foundation and other public and private organizations.

Our long term goal is to assist growers in becoming self directed, active information seekers and adopters of new research based advances. LIFE has a reputation for useful, quality recommendations and a proven ability to work respectfully and successfully with local and immigrant farmers. Partnerships enable LIFE to educate growers about a wide spectrum of priority agricultural topics while providing opportunities for growers to meet and take advantage of available government programs in a safe and conducive learning environment.

Funding 


For many years, LIFE was a grant funded collaborative project between the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), USDA, Risk Management Agency, USDA Farm Service Agency and the CTAHR Risk Management Hawaii Program.

 

During gaps in program funding, we continued to service growers in field on an as needed basis and by way of UH CTAHR Extension Agents.

 

In 2022, funding from the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) 2501 Program has allowed us to once again expand our coordinated efforts to service the ever changing needs of socially disadvantaged growers around the state.

 


 

For more information, please contact:

Emilie Kirk

Kauaʻi Extension Office

3060 ʻEiwa Street, Suite 210

Līhuʻe, HI 96766

Phone: (808) 274-3471

Email: erkirk@hawaii.edu

Program Outputs


Farm Doctor Program:

The Farm Doctor program is the flagship program of  the LIFE program. Field visitations to commercial agricultural operations are conducted on an as needed basis to provide crop production consultation support. Through farm visitations, LIFE  works with growers in conducting a "farm check up" to ensure their farms are in good diagnostic order. We strive to develop strong working relationships with growers to address their priority issues and develop appropriate solutions to meet their needs. Bi-lingual material filled with color photographs and terminology in lay-terms are used to support field visits.

 


 

Field Day demonstrations:

Previously, LIFE educational training opportunities were offered in both formal meeting halls and via on farm demonstrations. In 2009, we conducted a needs assessment to determine growers‟ learning preferences. Overall, growers reinforced their preference to face to face interaction and indicated a willingness to see more hands on, field day opportunities. LIFE extends the successful model used in ongoing programs to provide risk management training opportunities through on farm visitations and demonstrations.

 


 

Cooperator field trials (based on fund availability):

To promote the development of empowered learners and active information seekers, LIFE incorporates “Grower Inspired Field Trials” based on growers needs and interest. Advanced level socially disadvantaged, limited resource, full time farmers were encouraged to develop an on farm trial addressing some aspect of crop production and/or agribusiness. Participants were active LIFE participants. The program encouraged growers to conduct an on farm demonstration for all growers to visit and learn. The CTAHR training team served as a resource for the growers and helps to collect and summarize data.

 

 


 

Bi-lingual training materials:

Translated handout materials are preferred by immigrant participants (Swift and Brennan, 2003). Written materials in two languages have been found to better inform users and are more acceptable to the farmers than either language alone.  LIFE is continuing to expand appropriate educational materials into the many languages spoken by farmers, ranchers, and workers based on needs and resources available. Interpreters are used at the team’s discretion.

 


 

Articles about LIFE