Volume 50 April | May | June 2023

Providing science-based information to serve Hawaiʻi's Farming Community


The Food Provider

April | May | June 2023

Aloha Kākou


Welcome to the June 2023 issue of HānaiʻAi! We are thrilled to present our 50th issue. In honor of this milestone, we revisit Kupa'a Farms with Gerry Ross and Janet Simpson. Discover how their production and management practices have evolved over the span of at least a decade, providing invaluable insights and inspiration.


This issue is packed with a wealth of useful information for farmers and gardeners alike. If you're passionate about growing onions in Hawai'i, extension agent Jensen Uyeda has expert recommendations tailored specifically for our unique climate. Additionally, learn about lettuce production under shade cloth, and how researchers gained valuable knowledge from a neglected vegetable trial during the pandemic, where they unearthed resilient, low-input cultivars. Delve into the importance of cover crops for soil health, highlighted in the downloadable Hawai'i cover crops poster, along with a moment to recognize the wellbeing of our farmers with support from Seeds of Wellbeing.


Please take a moment to browse new CTAHR publications, and get caught up with what is happening in the world of organic management at our Organic Corner. 


Make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter, which also feature Upcoming Workshops, Conferences, and Meetings.


You can always stay up to date with our weekly SOAP activities via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, links are below.


Join us in celebrating this significant milestone as we continue to provide you with insightful content, practical tips, and inspiring stories in the world of agriculture.


As always, the mission of HānaiʻAi is to provide a venue for the dissemination of science-based information to serve all of Hawaiʻi's farming community in our quest for agricultural sustainability.


On-line version of newsletter as well as archived issues available at:  Hānai'Ai Archives


Click Here to View as Webpage

Feature Farmer:

Gerry Ross & Janet Simpson

Kupa'a Farms

Kula, Maui

How did you get started in farming? Kupa’a Farms was started by Janet’s father, Jerry, more than 45 years ago on the slopes of Haleakala in Kula, Maui. He farmed conventional sweet corn and asparagus for 20 years and the soil when we arrived 2003 was characterized by low organic matter, low pH (5.5), and high erosion rates (6T/acre/year). We were dedicated to organic management practices and biodiversity right out of the gate (even though we didn’t know what we were doing!) so we worked on diversification (more diverse crops and lots of agroforest and permaculture principles) to build soil health. Both of us came from non-agriculture backgrounds so there was a lot of trial and error. We got started late in life as farmers mostly on the somewhat romantic notion that being a farmer sounded like a great life. It is!


Area Under Production: The total farm area is 4 acres under cultivation and 6 acres in animal production. We eventually settled on a balance of 30% vegetable production, 40% perennial crops like coffee and tropical fruit, and 20% windbreaks and mulch banks that include edible components like banana and sugar cane for the 4 acres and we manage the 6 acres of pasture (too rocky for planting) with seasonal steers. Currently, the area under vegetable production is a little over 1/4 acre mostly comprised of human-managed beds that are 100 ft long and 2.5 feet wide. We have one nursery for the propagation of vegetable starts, (3) 100-foot-long tunnels covered with insect screens and a compost area. We generate all of our own compost from about 50 tons of food waste and animal mortalities a year.


Crops grown and animals raised: Taro, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, brassicas, onions, garlic, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, edible flowers. Perennial: coffee, cacao, vanilla, mango, avocado, citrus. We raise a couple of steers every 12-14 months and that keeps our pastures managed and they are supplemented by spent brewers grain from a local brewery. 


Read the full article here.

Hot Tips: Make sure to take time off for yourself. Work-life balance is important for Hawaii farmers as we farm year-round with no seasonal downtime. Also, make sure to go all in your farming life; 60% dedication won’t cut it.


Mahalo nui loa to Gerry Ross, Kupa'a Farms

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Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawaiʻi's Researchers and Extension Professionals

"Short Short-Day Sweet Onion Variety Evaluation

Jensen Uyeda, Kylie Tavares and Lauren Baligad

University of Hawaii at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences.


Bulb onions (Allium cepa L. var. cepa) have been used worldwide for thousands of years. The development and formation of these bulbs, and successful harvest, are driven by a response to day length after the juvenile stage of leaf growth and other aspects of crop management. Without the minimum number of daylight hours, bulbs will not form. Therefore, it is critical to select bulb onion varieties based on day length requirements. In Hawaiʻi, where the shortest day is 10 hours and the longest day is 13.5 hours, it is recommended to grow short-day onions in the winter and intermediate-day onions in the summer. The objective of this trial was to evaluate and classify commercially available onion varieties as either “short” or “medium” short-day varieties since Hawaiʻi is the only area that classifies short-day onions into two groups. This evaluation included 19 bulb onion varieties based on commercial availability.


Read full Article Article

FMI:Jensen Uyeda


Growing Lettuce Under Shade Conditions

 Pono Chung¹, Christine Hanakawa², Amjad Ahmad3, Jensen Uyeda3, Tina Lau3, Joshua Silva3 and Jari Sugano¹

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

¹Oahu County, ²Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, 3Department of Tropical Plant

and Soil Sciences 


 Historically, growing lettuce in the cool season and at high elevations provides a good harvest. The evaluation of heat tolerant varieties has been extensively evaluated at low elevations sites by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). When heat-tolerant varieties are not available and the growing conditions have changed, some local favorite varieties do not fair as well. An observational trial to determine if 40 selected lettuce varieties can be grown under 40% black shade netting to determine suitability to shade conditions. Of the 40 lettuce varieties only eight grew well under the 40% shade conditions.


Read Full Article Article

FMI: Jari Sugano

A Vegetable Trial of Neglect:

Cultivars producing, while untended, during COVID-19 lockdown

James Keach*, Emilie Kirk

Kauaʻi Extension Office, Department of Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Hawaiʻi - Mānoa


The COVID-19 lockdowns impacted everyone, not excluding the University of Hawai'i and its agricultural research activities. Despite unexpected disruptions, researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa were pleasantly surprised to find that a small handful of cultivars for each crop had survived and reached reproductive maturity. Although quantifiable data was difficult to obtain, researchers did note which cultivars survived and developed to their harvestable stage. With prolonged selective pressures, the observations may inform farmers and gardeners which cultivars might be useful in low-input and low-maintenance conditions.


Read full article

FMI: James Keach

Prescription for Soil Health by Cover Cropping for Hawai'i

Koon-Hui Wang Brent S. Sipes Department of Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences University of Hawaii at Manoa

In the realm of agriculture, Hawaii faces unique challenges that hinder the widespread adoption of conservation tillage and cover cropping practices. The combination of slow rates of soil carbon accumulation, rapid organic materials degradation, continuous reproduction of soil-borne pathogens and nematodes, and persistent weed pressure creates hurdles for farmers seeking to implement these sustainable techniques. However, despite these obstacles, there is hope for improving soil health management through the strategic selection of cover crops that address specific soil issues commonly encountered in Hawaii's annual crop production. This chart serves as a valuable resource, offering guidelines to help farmers choose the most suitable cover crops that target and mitigate these specific challenges, ultimately promoting healthier soils and more sustainable agricultural practices.


Click here to view Soil Health by Cover Cropping Chart

Sustainable Pest Management Laboratory Youtube Channel


FMI: Koon-Hui Wang

Hawaiʻi Residents Perception of Farming, Weekly Purchases & Willingness to Spend More for Local Products

Thao Le

Department of Family and Consumer Sciences University of Hawai'i at Mānoa


Mental health/well-being is not only an individual endeavor and responsibility but also a social and collective synergy that contributes to the quality of life across our communities. The Seeds of Wellbeing project aims to sow appreciation, respect, and care for local agricultural (ag) producers via a social marketing campaign. Ag producers care for the community by providing food – but what about our community efforts to reciprocate and extend care for them in return? This is especially important, given the alarmingly high rates of depression and suicide in this profession (Peterson et al., 2020), including among Hawai‘i farmers (Le et al., 2022). Researchers are the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa randomly surveyed 400 people and asked them what they thought about farming and their support of local agriculture.


Read full article

FMI: Thao Le

Other CTAHR Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 

CTAHR Publications

Organic Transition

Attention Hawai'i growers! We are excited to announce the launch of the Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP) at the University of Hawaii. The University of Hawai’i’s Organic Transition (UHOT) program is designed to assist Hawai'i farmers transitioning to organic practices. As part of these efforts, UHOT will feature quarterly updates and tools in Hānai’ai, so check future newsletters for the latest guidance for transitioning growers.



With a commitment spanning five years, UHOT in partnership with Hawaii Farmers Union, MAO Organic Farms, and other collaborators will provide vital technical assistance and comprehensive support to both transitioning and existing organic farmers. Partnerships will offer mentoring services, technical assistance, community-building opportunities, and even organic workforce development.

Under this program, our partner organizations are dedicated to supporting your journey toward organic farming success. They will connect transitioning farmers with mentors who will provide guidance and support for at least one year after certification. Furthermore, paid mentoring networks will be established to facilitate the sharing of practical insights and advice within the organic farming community. Our aim is to assist producers in overcoming technical, cultural, and financial challenges during and after the certification process.


To learn more about the partner organizations involved in establishing this extensive network for transitioning and existing organic farmers in Hawai'i and across the continental U.S., we invite you to explore our interactive map. Visit this link: https://go.hawaii.edu/kth and discover the exciting opportunities awaiting you on your organic farming journey.

The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Cooperative Extension Service "GET Local" initiative recently celebrated its seventh year of programming and has been steadily growing to incorporate a large variety of applied research projects, practical tools, and other community programs. "GET Local" stands for Grow, Eat, Think Local and was launched in 2016 to strengthen connections within the food system and to support local agriculture.


In addition to videos from the field, local commodity posters, and a calendar listing upcoming events, the website (http://manoa.hawaii.edu/ctahr/getlocal/) now houses programs including Farm2School, the Home Garden Network, ‘Ohana Garden N Grindz, the 4-H Video Cooking Contest, Seed Saving projects, and the Food System Forums. More information about each of these programs is described below.




The Hawai‘i Farm2School Hui is a statewide network established to strengthen Hawaii’s farm-to-school movement. Cooperative Extension faculty in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) work as Farm2School Coordinators on O‘ahu and Moloka‘I to provide communities with curriculum, recipes, and training for educators on the Garden to Cafeteria program as part of the Farm2School Hui.


On the GET Local site, visitors can access the Hawai‘i Farm2School Toolkit, which includes the Harvest of the Month calendar and the Local Crops Library, school garden food safety guides, and leadership and service learning activities for youth.


Click here for more information

Changes at UH CTAHR ADSC

The Agricultural Diagnostic Service Center (ADSC), established in 1984 as a part of the University of Hawai‘i's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), has played a crucial role in overseeing the seed program and offering analytical and diagnostic services. Going forward, the ADSC remains dedicated to serving the public by providing essential services such as Seed Laboratory services and Plant Disease diagnostics. However, a transformation is underway as the Soil and Plant Analysis section of the ADSC undergoes a significant shift. This portion of the center will be restructured into a faculty-led, multi-user laboratory with a primary focus on incorporating cutting-edge science and technology into agricultural practices, catering specifically to the needs of growers and land managers across Hawai‘i. This strategic evolution aims to bring the most advanced tools and knowledge to the forefront, empowering stakeholders as we support and strive for sustainable and efficient agricultural solutions.


Click here for more information

Greetings from the Local Immigrant Farmer Education (LIFE) program!


Information is powerful. This remains true when it comes to cultivating and harvesting food from our farms and growing our businesses. The more information we have, the better equipped we are to grow safe, healthy, and delicious crops, the greater revenue we can obtain, and the smoother our business operations can become. However, when language is a barrier, finding answers to our questions can become frustrating. That’s where LIFE comes in. We are the CTAHR Local and Immigrant Farmer Education program, or better known as LIFE. We’re here to provide growers with practical information in over 15 languages in order to best support Hawaii’s diverse agricultural producers. Our goal is simple: we want to assist growers in becoming self-directed, active information seekers and adopters of research-based best practices for their farms and businesses. We accomplish this through providing language support and training workshops, Farm Doctor technical assistance, field day demonstrations, cooperator field trials, bilingual reference materials, and partnerships with agricultural agencies such as USDA, GoFarm Hawaiʻi, Pacific Gateway Center, Oʻahu Agriculture and Conservation Association, and more!


Click here for more information and to access the translated resource library:



And feel free to give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram @uhm.life to stay tuned for

announcements of upcoming events, photos, and other highlights.

Livestock Wala'au: Livestock Podcast


Livestock Wala'au podcast presented by the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. This podcast serves as a way for the livestock community to connect, talk story, and learn.


Listen to the Podcast

Organic Corner

Hawaii Organic Farming Workshop June 19-20, 2023

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources will present a two-day,

virtual workshop to be held online June 19-20, noon-5:00pm on both days. Presenters

from UH Manoa, NRCS, certification agencies and other partners will inform participants

on the latest information and data related to a range of relevant topics. These topics will

include: organic transition and certification; pest management; fertilizers; plant health

promotion, variety trials and soil health. For more information regarding workshop

content and how to register, please contact Dr. Amjad Ahmad at alobady@hawaii.edu.


Good News For Hawaii’s Certified Organic Growers

This year the Farm Service Agency re-instated the cost share amount under the

Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) to pre-2021 levels. FSA will again

cover up to 75% of costs associated with organic certification, up to $750 for crops, wild

crops, livestock and processing/handling). OCCSP will cover costs incurred from Oct. 1,

2022, through Sept. 30, 2023. Applications are due Oct. 31, 2023. To apply, producers

and handlers should contact the FSA at their local USDA Service Center. FSA is also

accepting applications from state departments of agriculture to administer OCCSP. Find

your local USDA Service Center here: https://go.hawaii.edu/X4X


Transition Webinar available from NRCS

This webinar discusses the USDA’s Organic Transition Initiative and NRCS’s role in

supporting producers in transitioning to organic. The new Organic Management Interim

Conservation Practice Standard (823) is highlighted, including technical and financial

assistance for producers transitioning to organic and wanting to improve soil health,

reduce erosion, improve plant productivity and health, reduce plant pressure, and more.

Check out the webinar here: https://go.hawaii.edu/X4F


New Organic Market Development Grant (OMDG)

AMS will issue up to $75 million in competitive grants to non-profit organizations, tribal

governments, and state and local government entities to fund projects designed to

expand and improve markets for domestically produced organic products. OMDG is

intended to increase the consumption of domestic agricultural commodities by aiding in

the expansion of markets or development of new markets, marketing facilities, and uses

for such commodities. AMS is accepting applications for the program through

www.grants.gov now through 11:59 p.m. ET July 10, 2023 Organic Cost Share Now

Open for 2023. More information on the OMDG and how to apply is here:



New Report on Organic Production, Markets, Consumers and Policy.

Did you know that almost 30% of carrots sold in the U.S. are certified organic?

Consumer demand for organically produced products has driven an expansion in U.S.

organic production since 2000. The premiums paid by consumers provide farmers the

opportunity to recover the costs of production and improve their financial well-being.

This report describes important U.S. organic policy initiatives since 2000 and examines

the importance of investment in research on organic practices. The report also

investigates key components of organic supply chains—including production;

certification; farm-level costs; and returns, wholesale markets, and industry

structure—along with the evolving characteristics of organic food consumers and retail


Read the report here: https://go.hawaii.edu/a4X

For New Farmers

Hawai'i Small Business Fair Sept 2023


Leeward Community College, Pearl City, HI

Date: Saturday, September 16, 2023

Time: 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Venue: Leeward Community College, 96-045 Ala ʻIke Street, Pearl City, HI 96782

Cost: FREE


DBEDT is pleased to once again sponsor the annual Hawaiʻi Small Business Fair, on Saturday, September 16, 2023, from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM. 


More than 20 classes led by professional experts will be offered, from how to start a business, to organizing and strengthening your finances, to expanding your markets beyond Hawaiʻi. 


Over 30 exhibitors from various nonprofit support agencies and banks offering SBA-guaranteed loans will be on hand to speak one-on-one and share important advice with attendees. 

Registration for specific classes will be listed on Eventbrite soon. Please check back on this page for details. 

Grants for Students in Organic


Future Organic Farmers gives $5,000 scholarships to college and vocational students training for careers in organic. 


Future Organic Farmer grants are an investment in our future food system. The more beginning farmers who pursue organic, the more we increase organic acreage and feed our communities organic food. We hear from our Future Organic Farmer grantees that this scholarship helped them pursue organic and gave them the confidence to succeed. 


Grant amount: $5,000

Eligibility Requirements: Future Organic Farmer must:

  • Be enrolled in an educational program in the United States that will benefit their career in organic agriculture, including vocational training/certificate programs or two/four-year degrees
  • Demonstrate financial need 
  • Demonstrate a strong interest and commitment to a career in organic agriculture
  • Submit a final report at the end of the award year


Click here to apply

Grant Assistance


Oahu Agriculture Conservation Association provides assistance with loan/grant applications to help you advance the next step of your business.


1. We provide one-to-one support in applying for grants and loans. We can assist with:

  • Funding research
  • Comprehensive grant writing/application development
  • Review of grant applications prior to submission
  • Connecting to lenders and more


Submit our intake form assistance.

2. We connect producers to help with:

• Conservation Practices


• Branding and Marketing

• Composting

• Farm Loans

• Disaster Assistance

• Infrastructure


3. We host workshops that feature diverse partners with expertise in:

• Grant and Loan Programs

• Business and Strategic Planning

• Farm Planning

• Feasibility Assessments

• Conflict Resolution (often financial)


Click here for more information

FYI & Events





At the meeting, information will be presented about the current conditions of Maui’s natural resources and dominant land uses. Participants will be provided an opportunity to help identify natural resource concerns and goals, examine conservation opportunities, and prioritize areas where conservation efforts are most needed. Your participation will help plan for the protection and proper management of Maui’s natural resources. Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining"!

Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Online Webinar

(webinar opportunity plus 1.0 CEU for RUP licensees)


For farm & ranch owners, managers, their employees and contract workers who work in the field, handle, and/or apply (organic or conventional) pesticides.


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

3:00 to 4:15 PM


Did you know that a farm or ranch worker who enters a field (within 30 days of last pesticide application), who handles, and/or applies pesticides, must be WPS trained annually? Many, if not all farms regardless of organic or non-organic farming methods, use pesticides if applying a product to kill a beetle, bug, fungus, mite, rat, or weed. 


Learn how to keep yourself and your workers safe with the proper use, storage, handling, application, and disposal of pesticides.


This class is open to all employers, owners, managers, and agricultural employees on farms, ranches, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses. The class will cover the current Worker Protection Standard (WPS) provisions and requirements.


​This training can also be used to satisfy Section 18 WPS requirements for the use of Priaxor Xemium on coffee for the management of coffee leaf rust.


Click here to register

AgCurious Online Webinar: September 7 @ 5:30pm


The first step to learn more about our beginning farmer training program and how to apply. Register here. (Attendance is required to apply for AgXposure/AgXcel.)


GoFarm FAQ

Maui Coffee Association: Seed to Cup Coffee Festival

Sunday, July 16, 2023 9 am to 4 pm


A caffeine fun filled, action packed day of learning everything about coffee from soil, seeds, processing, roasting, brewing, tasting, cooking and more.


Click here for more info

Nutrien Ag Solutions 2023 Educational Seminar


Thursday, July 20, 2023

Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Moku’ola Rooms 1 & 2


Registration: 7:00 a.m.

Program: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (pupu session to 6:00 p.m.)

$45.00 Seminar Fee (cost per person, incl. a.m. refreshments, lunch buffet, light pupus following the seminar)


** MUST send in your Registration Forms and Payments by Monday, July 10, 2023.** 


If you would like to pre-register with a credit card, please email form to Ken.ogawa@nutrien.com or aaron.pruett@nutrien.com


If registering by check, make payable to: Nutrien Ag Solutions and mail to:

            Nutrien Ag Solutions

            888 Kalanianaole Avenue

             Hilo, HI 96720 

            Attn: Ken Ogawa/Nutrien Educational Seminar


If you have any questions, please contact me at 808-960-3802 or Aaron at 808-209-6350. E-mail at ken.ogawa@nutrien.com or aaron.pruett@nutrien.com


Again, on behalf of all of us at Nutrien ag Solutions, we would like to thank you in advance for your support and for allowing us to be a partner in your Agricultural/Horticultural operations.

Informational Meeting For The HDOA Pesticide Disposal Program


Starting Tuesday, July 25, 2023, from 9am – 10am, the HDOA will be holding a series of zoom meetings to discuss the HDOA’s PDP. 


The PDP will provide an available, affordable, and environmentally accessible mechanism by which any agricultural entity, licensed pest control operator, landscape professional, pesticide dealer, and other commercial users of pesticides in the State can, for free, dispose of up to 250 lbs of canceled, suspended, unwanted, and unlabeled (“CSUU”) pesticides.  No enforcement action will be taken against participants for disposing of CSUU pesticides.


The goal of the PDP is to promote a cleaner and safer Hawaii by reducing the amount of pesticides that could potentially impact human health or the environment.


  • We will be discussing: Acceptable and unacceptable materials;
  • Who’s eligible to participate;
  • Getting registered;
  • The event date and time; and,
  • Frequently asked questions.


Meeting Information:


Who: The Hawaii Department of Agriculture

What: Informational meeting for the pesticide disposal program

When: every Tuesday from 9am-10am. Starting from Tuesday, July 25, 2023 to Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

Where: Zoom

Why: to provide information on the HDOA’s Pesticide Disposal Program


Tuesday, July 25, 2023 Zoom meeting link:



Or One Tap Mobile:

+13462487799,,82676848354# US (Houston)

+16694449171,,82676848354# US


Or Telephone:

Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)


Webinar ID: 826 7684 8354


Please contact Adam Williams for any further questions. Thank you for your time.



Adam Williams (Environmental Health Specialist)

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Pesticides Branch

1428 South King Street

Honolulu, Hawaii 96814

Telephone number: (808) 973-9408

Pesticide Disposal Program: hdoa.pdp@hawaii.gov

Email address: adam.williams@hawaii.gov

Grafting Workshop with Ken Love

This East Hawaii Chapter Meeting is for dues-paying members only and features a grafting workshop with Ken Love.

If you aren't already a member of HTFG, you can purchase your membership for as little as $50/year by signing up here:


Grafting Workshop Info

East Hawaii Chapter members will meet, discuss the upcoming HTFG conference and other current fruit events, and then learn grafting techniques from HTFG Executive Director Ken Love. Participants will have the opportunity to partake in a hands-on demonstration, and practice cutting and joining scion and rootstocks. Fruit trees and plants will also be available for sale, and we will have a raffle with fabulous prizes!


GoFarm Hawaii and Oahu RC&D: Introduction to Growing Cacao Series Starting August 7


GoFarm Hawai'i and Oahu RC&D are partnering to bring you a 4-part series introducing cacao growing. This series includes visits to a cacao orchard to learn about establishment and cultivation, chocolate production facilities with cacao buyers, and to a cacao aggregator to learn about processing and fermentation. August 7 @ 5:30 pm - Intro Webinar (Zoom) - Learn about current trends in cacao production and meet local growers and experts.


  1. August 12 @ 8:30 am-12:30 pm - Establishing a Cacao Orchard (Kamananui - North Shore Oahu)
  2. September 9 @ 8:30 am-12:30 pm - Cacao Buyers and Chocolate Processing (Lonohana Chocolate - Kaka'ako + Manoa Chocolate - Kailua)
  3. OOctober 20 @ 8:30 am-12:30 pm - Cacao Harvesting and Processing (Mapele Fields - Kaneohe)


Cost: $50 for full series.* Space is limited. Register here.

Invasive Pest Conference

August 9-10, 2023

Pikake Room, Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, HI


Please join for an in-person Invasive Pest Mini-Conference on August 9-10, 2023 at Blaisdell Center, Honolulu. This conference will feature presentations on the diversity of invasive pest ranging from invasive weeds, agricultural and landscape pests, and other topics including climate change, and biological control presented by CTAHR research, extension faculty, and other partner agencies.


Key-note Speaker: Dr. Philip Andreozzi, USDA Invasive Species

Coordinator, Washington D.C.


Click here for more info & Registration

Malama the Farmer, Caring for Yourself and Each Other An AgriABility Regional Workshop in Hawaii


October 17th-18th, 2023

Grand Naniloa Hotel

93 Banyan Drive Hilo, HI 96720


Malama the Farmer: "Caring for Yourself and Each Other" is an AgriAbility regional workshop taking place on October 17th-18th, 2023 at the Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hawaii. The workshop aims to provide guidance and support to farmers, emphasizing the importance of self-care and fostering a sense of community among participants. For more information on attending this workshop please click here.

Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United (HFUU) membership


Why Be A Member of Hawai’i Farmers Union United (HFUU)? HFUU is all about supporting the family farmer and putting Hawai'i back on track to a safe and secure food future. The mission of HFUU is to collectively create food security, food sovereignty, and rebuild our ʻāina for a better future. Visit their website to learn how to become a member.

Mahi ‘Ai Business Loan

Some uses of the loan:

Establish or expand your small agricultural business; working capital for produce and livestock; available for a broad spectrum of farming methods; including in-ground or above-ground farming, greenhouse, hydroponic, and more.


Loan Amounts:

$2,500 – $100,000 (Loan amounts over $50,000 require non-real estate collateral)


Rates & Terms

  • 4.00% APR
  • Up to a 7-year term
  • Up to 6 months loan deferment


Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. Citizen
  • State of Hawai‘i Resident
  • Applicant must be of Native Hawaiian ancestry
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Credit score 600 or higher
  • Debt-to-income ratio is no more than 45%
  • Business must be registered with DCCA and in good standing


Click for more info

Together We Farm courses


West Oahu Soil and Water Conservation District and partners are offering courses on soil health and nutrient management, worker protection standards, and pesticide safety.

Post-course completion:

  • participants are eligible to apply for up to $1,000 of funding to implement lessons that are covered in the course.
  • free soil test,
  • $50 in soil amendments/fertilizers or pesticides
  • CEUs are also available.


To start the courses, go to Together We Farm and create an account. For questions about the courses, grants, awards, or help signing up, email Andreanna Kaluhiokalani at oacaoutreach@gmail.com or call (808) 673-8670.

Organic Market Development Grants


Eligible applicants for Organic Market Development grants include business entities (regardless of legal structure) who produce or handle organic foods. Producer and handler applicants must either be certified to the USDA organic standards or in transition to organic certification, consistent with 7 C.F.R. §205. Such applicants must be registered in the Organic INTEGRITY Database before the date of the Notice of Award.  


This program will support the development of new and expanded organic markets by providing additional resources for businesses transitioning to organic or initiating new organic production and processing capacity. These investments in certified organic infrastructure, expanding capacity for aggregation, processing,[1] manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, distribution, or consumer markets, and supporting activities which develop new markets, are anticipated to increase demand for domestically produced organic agricultural products and provide additional market paths.


Click here for more information

Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP)


FSA is providing financial assistance for a producer’s projected marketing costs in 2023 based on 2022 costs. ODMAP provides a one-time cost-share payment, based on marketing costs, on pounds of organic milk marketed in the 2022 calendar year. 


The financial assistance from ODMAP provides immediate support to certified organic dairy operations during 2023 keeping organic dairy operations sustainable until the markets return to more normal conditions. 


ODMAP Fact Sheet


How to Apply 

FSA is accepting applications from May 24, 2023 to July 26, 2023. To apply, producers should contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center. To complete the ODMAP application, producers and handlers must show documentation of their organic certification and eligible expenses and submit a completed application form.


For more information and others click here

Garden with The Master Gardener

Plant a tree – but watch out for those figs!


Earth Day has come and gone; throughout the islands, there were many events to celebrate and acknowledge the gifts and wonders of our planet. Some celebrated by planting trees. If you were unable to attend any of the celebrations, don't worry. Earth Day isn't the only day of observation; you can observe Earth Day any day of the week by planting a tree. There are too numerous reasons to plant a tree. This Garden with The Master Gardener discusses planting trees in the proper place and the wonderful benefits trees provide us. With their majestic presence and vital role in sustaining life on Earth, trees offer countless advantages that extend far beyond their aesthetic appeal.


Read full article


Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Farmer/Rancher Grant Program 2024 Call for Proposals

The Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grant Program focuses on advancing on-farm sustainability solutions by funding innovative producer-driven research and outreach. With a Farmer/Rancher Grant, an agricultural producer serving as the main applicant and Principal Investigator (PI) works with a Technical Advisor (TA) to develop a project (1-3 years in scope) that conducts both research and outreach on a sustainable agriculture topic. With the support and guidance of the technical advisor, farmers and ranchers integrate research and education to conduct on-site experiments to address social, environmental, and economic aspects of agricultural sustainability.


Projects with 1-2 producers may apply for up to $25,000 and projects with 3 or more producers working together may apply for up to $29,900.


Contact: Cayley Eller, Program Manager, (406) 994-7349

Download CFP



Professional + Producer

The Professional + Producer Program provides opportunities for agriculture professionals working directly with farmers and ranchers on sustainable agriculture efforts.

Deadline: Oct 31, 2023 12:00 PM (Mountain Time)


This grant program involves agricultural technical advisor (main applicant) and producers implementing projects to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture. With the collaboration of at least three producers, projects must integrate research and education aiming to advance the three components of sustainable agriculture- environmental, economic, and social- and use innovative educational outreach to disseminate new knowledge to producers and other agricultural stakeholders. It is expected that outcomes of funded projects will result in quantifiable benefits for producers, increase the preservation of the natural and social resources upon which agriculture relies, and be shared with other producers. $75,000 limit/one-three years in scope.

Download CFP



Research to Grassroots

The Research to Grassroots (RGR) grant program is built on the SARE concept that results of applied research are used to train agricultural professionals and farmers/ranchers in the latest practices of sustainable agriculture. Successful proposals must incorporate the research results from SARE-funded research projects and bring those results into the field through education for ag professionals and producers, emphasizing the strengths and barriers to adoption of the selected previous work, ultimately helping to increase producer confidence in adopting sustainable agriculture practices.

Funding for Research to Grassroots grants are based upon the idea that these grants will “complete the circle” of research by providing feedback loops between producers, educators, and scientists.

Project approaches can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Trainings
  • Focus Groups
  • Curricula or Materials Development
  • Demonstrations
  • Web-based Courses
  • Tours
  • Digital Media


Download CFP



Grant Writing Tutorials & Webinars

Western SARE staff have developed a series of tutorials and webinars to assist as you prepare your proposal. Please take a moment to review which ones are appropriate for the grant program to which you're applying and view them prior to finalizing your proposal.


WSARE Grant Writing Tutorials & Webinars


Fresh Growth Podcast

We talk with Tangy and Matt Bates who operate Blue Creek Livestock in Delta Junction Alaska in Episode 6. Since the beginning, Blue Creek Cattle has been building soils and herds. Tangy and Matt talk about the opportunities and challenges of farming in Alaska. Cover crops and building their own butcher shop are only two of many topics discussed in this episode.


Listen to Podcast


For more information, please see: http://www.westernsare.org/ or contact Hawai'i WSARE co-coordinators Jensen Uyeda (juyeda@hawaii.edu) and Sharon Wages (smotomur@hawaii.edu). 

This e-publication has been prepared by CTAHR research scientists and extension staff to deliver science-based information about sustainable and organic production systems to serve Hawaiʻi's farming community.


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Mahalo nui loa,


Eric Collier Education Specialist and Managing Editor

Amjad Ahmad, Kylie Tavares & Emilie Kirk Co-Reviewers

Sharon Wages Jensen Uyeda WSARE Content Reviewers

Ted Radovich Editor-in-Chief


Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program

Cooperative Extension Service

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources


On-line version of newsletter as well as archived issues available at:  



Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution providing programs and services to the people of Hawai‘i without regard to race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, arrest and court record, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.


Eric Collier | Education Specialist, Social Media & Web Manager | colliere@hawaii.edu

Copyright ©2013 University of Hawai‘i - College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Updated 4 Nov, 2021

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CTAHR Sustainable and Organic Program

at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa


Dr. Theodore Radovich


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