Volume 53 January | February | March 2024

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


The Food Provider

January | February | March 2024

Aloha Kākou


Welcome to the March 2024 issue of HānaiʻAi!


This issue features articles by University of Hawai'i researchers discussing topics such as Shelterbelt trees for cacao, Biofertilizers in sustainable farming, silvopasture with seedless hybrids of Leucaena, and evaluating alternative static hydroponic solutions. This issue our feature farmer is Barking Deer Farm, located on Molokai.

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 weekly agriculture related activities via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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:

Tocatta Spearman

Barking Deer Farm

Maunaloa, HI

How long have you been farming? Area currently under production?: 9 years farming, 2 Acres


How many years has your current operation been in production?  Since 2011


Crops grown, animals raise, other goods & services?

Beets, carrots, lettuce, salad mix, kale, swiss chard, fennel, green onions.


Number of employees and/or family members involved in the operation? 

1-Currently, it’s just me working on the farm.


What is your production system and fertility management?

Our production system is a blend of practices I believe have contributed to the success of the farm.  Although the farm is not certified organic, we use some natural/organic practices along with some biodynamic practices and incorporate some cultural practices such as planting by the moon.  Cover crops play a huge role in the soil health.  For fertility I use  pelleted chicken manure and fish/bone meal as needed.


Hot Tips: First, if you can find a way to live where you farm, that will save so much time and add efficiency. Second, try not to get too discouraged.  There are a lot of things that can and do go wrong.  It takes a while to figure out how and what you uniquely want to farm.  Farming is anything but easy and there are many variables that can add to the challenge.  When it all goes right though, it’s pretty amazing!



Mahalo nui loa to Tocatta Spearman

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Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawaiʻi's Researchers and Extension Professionals

Shelter Belt Trees for Cacao Pollination

Koon-Hui Wang,Quynn Cytryn, Roshan Paudel, and Brent S. Sipes

Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, University of Hawaii at Mānoa


The economic opportunity for Hawai'i produced cacao (Theobroma cacao) is promissing. Hawai'i produced cacao is sought after worldwide for its rare flavor profiles, fetching at least 2 to 4 times higher prices that other cacao. Since Hawai'i has transitioned from intensive plantation agriculture practices to more diversified agriculture, interest in cacao farming began.

Cacao is an agroforestry crop, and its productivity is linked to soil health, soil water retention properties, and the need for canopy cover. Traditional Cabruca production system (cultivating cacao trees under a native forest canopy) links these agroforestry aspects together.

However in Hawaiʻi, the Cabruca production system of cacao production is impractical where cacao is planted into former plantation lands that has been heavily deforested. On the bright side, many cacao farmers in Hawaii are already aware of the importance of planting shelterbelt trees which are non-cash crop trees either planted intermittently or on the border of a cacao orchard as windbreaks or as shelters to enhance wildlife habitats. This project evaluates the benefits of different shelterbelt trees on cacao fruit set, pollination rates or pollinator health in Hawaii.


Read full article

FMI: Koon-Hui Wang


Biofertilizers in Sustainable Farming

 Nguyen Hue

Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences University of Hawaii at Mānoa


 Heavy utilization of chemical fertilizers, such as urea (NH2-CO-NH2) and muriate of potash (KCl) has considerable deleterious effects on soil (acidification from urea and chloride toxicity from KCl), plant, and the environment. It also brings about increased cost and reduced profitability. Thus, there is a need for efficient and sustainable methods to manage natural resources and enhance food production. That comes the role of biofertilizers, which contain a variety of living microorganisms (microbes) that can make nutrients more available to crops or even directly supply plant nutrients as in the case of nitrogen (N) fixers. This article authored by University of Hawai’i researcher discusses various biofertilizers for macronutrients and how to prepare these biofertilizers to enhance soil fertility and plant growth. 


Read Full Article ArticleFMI: Nguyen Hue

Silvopasture with Seedless Hybrids of Leucaena

Travis Idol1, Adel Youkhana1, Melelani Oshiro2, Shannon Sand, Rajesh Jha, Dulal Borthakur3

1 Natural Resources and Environmental Management, 2 Human Nutrition, Food & Animal Sciences, 3 Molecular Biosciences & Bioengineering

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa


Two-thirds of the managed land in the state of Hawai'i is under livestock production. Livestock production is among the largest commodity categories, however grazing is facing significant challenges to sustainability due to the small size and heterogeneity of pastures, cost of land, labor, and required inputs. Interestingly enough 70-80% of beef cattle is shipped out of state for finishing due to the high cost of grain, while pests introduce additional hurdles in pasture grasses. Despite the challenges, there is great opportunity to sustain and increase local livestock production. This article discusses research that will evaluate the integration of seedless interspecific hybrid of multipurpose nitrogen-fixing Leucaena as an infield high-protein livestock forage crop and how silvopasture with Leucaena can improve productivity and sustainability of new and existing operations


Read full article

FMI: Travis Idol

Evaluating Alternative Static Hydroponic Solutions-Part 3

Pono Chung1, Jari Sugano1 and Jensen Uyeda2

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

1Oahu County, 2Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences


Growing lettuce in a static hydroponic system is a simple and easy way to grow leafy greens commercially, at home or in school/community garden. The static hydroponic system, developed by Dr. Bernard Kratky of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), consists of a 3-part fertilizer blend of: Hydro-Gardens’ Chem-grow Lettuce Formula 8-15-36 (Chem-grow), calcium nitrate and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt). Hydro-Gardens is discontinuing shipping their Chem-grow Lettuce Formula 8-15-36 to Hawaii. This article discusses a series of field trials that were conducted to find a comparable solution for school and backyard gardens.



Read full article

FMI: Pono Chung

Other CTAHR Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 

CTAHR Publications

Organic Corner + University of Hawai'i Organic Transition (UHOT)

U.H. Transitional Organic (UHOT) Program Resources

UHOT, a University of Hawai’i at Mānoa program funded by the Transitional Organic Partnership Program (TOPP), joined collaborating programs for an informational field day at the Waimanalo Research Station on February 9, 2024. Materials that were presented include resources available to growers interested in transitioning to organic. To access these resources visit the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) Past Events page.


Transitional Organic Production Plan Template helps Growers Transition

The National Organic Program (NOP) has posted a new Transitional Production Plan (TPP) template on the AMS website. The TPP template helps new crop producers who are transitioning to organic production to develop the supporting documentation needed to qualify for services provided through the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The template will also help transitioning farmers learn how to document their organic practices in preparation for the Organic System Plan (OSP) process required when they apply for certification. For example, the TPP can serve as OSP documentation when applying for transitional crop insurance through RMA and may also meet some of the application requirements for the Conservation Activity Plan 138 under the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s Organic Initiative.

The transitional plan can also be used by producers who are not using prohibited substances and are implementing practices that are expected to lead to compliance with the USDA organic regulations. When the TPP is reviewed and signed by a USDA-accredited certifier, the operation will be listed as transitional in the Organic Integrity Database. The transitional operation status will be visible to certifiers and USDA employees, including RMA staff reviewing eligibility for organic transitional crop insurance. 


Click here to access the TPP Template.


Proposed Changes to the USDA Organic Mushroom Standards

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the USDA organic regulations. The rule proposes specific standards for organic mushroom production The proposed changes are based on public input and NOSB recommendations. For organic mushrooms, this proposed rule would:  

  • Clarify which existing crop production standards apply to organic mushroom production. 
  • Create a mushroom-specific standard for organic compost production. 
  • Require operations producing organic mushrooms to:
  • Use organic materials for the uncomposted portions of production substrate when commercially available. 
  • Use organic spawn media when commercially available. 
  • Use organic mushroom spawn when commercially available.

To view the proposed rule, click here.

HFUU is looking for both interested farmer participants and for experienced mentors. It has been decided to roll out the program statewide and HFUU is seeking applicants from all islands! There has been a lot of interest in the program and we thought it would be best to roll things out as quickly as possible.


Please reach out to organictransitions@hfuu.org and we will get you an application! Once you are signed up as an interested farmer, the Project Coordinator will get you the application form. Once it has been returned, there will be an initial interview to learn more about your farming operation before being paired with a mentor to begin your journey to becoming an organic farming operation!

For New Farmers

Office of Hawaiian Affairs introduces new Mahi ʻAi Agricultural Loan Program


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund is introducing a new program to support Native Hawaiian farmers on Hawaiʻi Island and across Hawaiʻi. In addition to low interest rates, new borrowers have the option of deferring their loan payments for the first six months without incurring additional interest. For more information on the Mahi ʻAi Agricultural Loan Program, visit their website, email NHRLF@ohaloanfund.org, or call the OHA office in East Hawaiʻi (Hilo) at (808) 933-3106 or West Hawaiʻi (Kona) at (808) 327-9525.

Coworking Hub


Small businesses and entrepreneurs can get in-person support at the Coworking Hub on the second Wednesday of each month from the City's Resource Connector team.

Get referrals for help with government contracting, connecting with accelerator programs, social media and marketing, how to import or export goods, and more. A full list of services is below. 

Appointments are free! If you’re a startup that has been operating for less than 24 months, or if you are an existing business, make an appointment for in-person support now!



  • Exploring Government Contracting
  • Agricultural Support Services
  • Energy Rebates
  • Help Navigating City Processes
  • Connecting with Accelerator Programs
  • Buying or Selling a Business
  • Social Media
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Importing/Exporting
  • Veteran-Owned Business Assistance


The Coworking Hub Location:

1050 Queen St. Suite #100, Honolulu, HI 96814

New Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) grants program


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is launching a new and improved grants program to support Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit organizations that are in alignment with OHA’s strategic plan. Grant applications are due at the end of March. Visit their website for more information about the open grants.


Reminder, to be eligible for OHA Grant funding consideration, an applicant shall:

  • Be registered to do business in the State of Hawaiʻi
  • Provide services to Native Hawaiians and/or Native Hawaiian community(ies) in the State of Hawaiʻi
  • Have an IRS Letter of Determination
  • Be compliant with Hawaiʻi Compliance Express
  • NOTE: Registration with Hawaiʻi Compliance Express may take 3-4 weeks. Please make sure you are registered and all information is up to date. The current CVC (Certificate of Vendor Compliance) from Hawaiʻi Compliance Express is an OHA grant eligibility requirement.

Pakini loan fund for small businesses


The new Pakini loan fund program offers loans from $1,000 to $30,000 for small businesses in Hawaiʻi. While the Pakini fund prioritizes serving Native Hawaiians living and working in the Waiʻanae Moku on Oʻahu, the program fund is open to all eligible small businesses in Hawai'i. Visit their website for more information.


Solution Focused

  • Provide financial products and services, including loans and financial/business education.
  • Collaborate with other financial institutions and financial service providers to support our participants.
  • Provide 1:1 business consulting to prepare our participants and strengthen their ability to secure traditional funding.
  • Support our participants through the process by being a Hawaiian-culture-based model and reinforcing the inherent strengths of our community.

FYI & Events

Career Opportunities at The University of Hawai'i


Position: Research Support (Research Associate, Senior) - Farm Manager

Location: Kaua'i County, CTAHR Kauai Agricultural Research and Extension Station in Wailua


This is a permanent position with great benefits and an exciting opportunity to be a part of the Kauai CTAHR team in beautiful Wailua.


Please help spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested and qualified.

For more details and to apply: https://www.schooljobs.com/careers/hawaiiedu/jobs/4355667/research-support-research-associate-sr-97168


Applications are online only



Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture Compost Reimbursement Program accepting applications


The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Plant Industry Division is accepting applications for the Compost Reimbursement Program to reimburse agricultural producers for the cost of purchasing compost, including transportation costs. Under the program, compost must be purchased from a certified processor, retailer, or wholesaler licensed to do business in Hawaiʻi. Qualified agricultural operations include: commercial agriculture, aquacultural facilities, livestock, poultry, apiary, and landscaping activities. The deadline to submit invoices is Wednesday, May 1. Visit their website for more information.


Compost Reimbursement Program Fact Sheet 2024

Compost Reimbursement Form A (2024)

Compost Reimbursement Form B (2024)


Program Contact:

Plant Industry Division


(808) 973-9530

University of Hawaiʻi "AgConnect" Project

The UH “AgConnect” program was designed to match Hawaiʻi ag producers with skilled ag technicians to grow their existing business or perhaps even take it over one day. 


What the program offers:

  • Matching up hosts and interns/apprentices
  • Making sure foundational skills are in place and well understood
  • Assist with a business expansion or transition strategy
  • Help work through the conversations about compensation or business valuation


FMI: Click the link here



High school AgDiscovery summer program


The 2024 USDA AgDiscovery application is closing Thursday, April 4, at 6 p.m. HST. Hawaiʻi’s AgDiscovery program will be held July 7–20 at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) at Mānoa. This is an opportunity for students in grades 9 through 11 who are thinking about a career in agriculture to engage in team-building exercises, hands-on activities, and learn directly from scientists and agribusiness leaders on Oʻahu. The program will cover such topics as pest identification, DNA barcoding, and local chocolate production. Rachel Maglay of UH will be offering an application workshop on Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. To sign up for the application workshop, contact Rachel or call (808) 956-2160. 

Okhíčhaŋye scholarship for Native American high school seniors


Akiptan Inc., a Cheyenne River Lakota Nation-based native community development financial institution (CDFI), is offering 15 $2,000 scholarships to high school seniors of Native American, Alaska Native, and/or Native Hawaiian ancestry who are graduating in the spring of 2024 and pursuing post-secondary education in the fall of 2024 that will support native agriculture. Visit akiptan.org/scholarship for more information and to apply.


Native American high school seniors pursuing a degree that will support the native agriculture industry are encouraged to apply. 


Award amount: $2,000.00 

Number of scholarships to be awarded: 15

Scholarship opens: January 3rd, 2024

Scholarship application closes: April 30th, 2024 at 4:00 pm MST

Notification of awards: Early May 2024



  1. Students must be Native American high school seniors graduating in the Spring of 2024 and attending college in the Fall of 2024. 
  2. Must be pursuing a degree that will be utilized within the agriculture industry. This can include but is not limited to animal science, agriculture business, agriculture economics, horticulture, etc. Please scroll down to see the list of ag degrees.
  3. Must submit Tribal citizenship documents or proof of descendancy of a federally or state-recognized American Indian tribe, Alaska Native Village or Native Hawaiin or Pacific Islander or descendant of Pacific Islander within the United States.
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to the Native agriculture community. 

Coffee-related Research and Management Update Webinars with LIVE Q&A


Beginning at 12:00 pm on the Tuesdays listed, one or two pre-recorded PowerPoint presentation will be played on Zoom and a live online Q&A with the presenter(s) will follow. Each presentation will run about 15-25 mins.


They will have speakers from BASF, USDA ARS PBARC, HARC, Washington State Univ., Smith Farms, SHAC, Univ. of Puerto Rico, UH-Hilo and UH-CTAHR share information and updates about coffee pest management, coffee leaf rust research projects, field trials, and disease management.


Click here to register

Occasional Invasive Pest Mini-Conference-III

Please join us for an Invasive Pest Mini-Conference on April 24, 2024 (Wednesday, 9:30 am - 10:30 am HST), a presentation on a model-based forecasting of invasive pests to support early detection and control:


Forecasting phenology and establishment risk of invasive species to support early detection efforts by Brittany Barker, Oregon IPM Center, Oregon State University


Summary:  Brittany will present a modeling tool that produces regularly updated (every 2-3 days) maps of the phenology and potential distribution of invasive pests in the contiguous US, which is available at the USpest.org decision-support system (https://uspest.org/caps) at Oregon State University. Forecasts for several major invasive species will be presented, including those for spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), christmas berry webworm (Cryptoblabes gnidiella), the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), and a fungal pathogen that causes boxwood blight (Calonectria pseudonaviculata). She will discuss how forecasts may improve the timeliness of early detection and control tactics that target specific life stages, and how the modeling tool might be used for Hawaii.


Brittany's Research: https://sites.google.com/site/brittanysbarker1/


Please register to attend this mini-conference via the Zoom link below to attend:



Maui County, Office of Economic Development, FY2025 Grants

Deadline: Tuesday, April 30th, 2024


The Office of Economic Development (OED) provides grants for programs, projects, and events that promote and nurture sustainable economic development within Maui County, consistent with the community's needs and priorities. Projects must show a direct benefit to Maui's economy through activities in priority target areas, including small business promotion, technology in business, culture, arts, tourism management, film industry, environmental and renewable energy, sports, and events. Specific criteria include the overall benefit to the people of Maui County, the population served, and the impact on Maui communities. These funds are intended to be a catalyst for economic growth and capacity building of local organizations towards economic self-sufficiency, not for long-term dependence on County funding. Eligibility: for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations. For more information on applying please click here.

Creating regenerative farming solutions hands-on workshop


Saturday, March 30 @ 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Boranian Farms, 75-5648 Māmalahoa Hwy, Apt. B, Hōlualoa, Hawaiʻi Island (map)

Cab Baber, in collaboration with Boranian Farms, is presenting a hands-on class covering how to make and use bokashi, how to turn wood chips into a more potent soil amendment, and a Q&A/walk and talk for visual assessment of the farm and its plants. Participants will be able to take home their own bag of bokashi. There will be a potluck gathering at the end of the event and participants are asked to bring a dish to share. Early registration cost is $40, and day of registration is $50.


To register, contact Joshua Boranian via email or text at (808) 443-8179.

Marketing workshop for small businesses


Thursday, April 4 @ 9 a.m.

Kapolei Hale Satellite City Hall, 1000 Uluʻōhiʻa St, Ste 303, Kapolei, Oʻahu (map)

The Oʻahu Business Connector is offering a free “master the marketing madness” workshop to support small businesses to determine the best marketing platforms through expert presentations and one-to-one coaching. Participants will receive actionable strategies and practical tips. Seats are limited. Contact OBC@honolulu.gov or (808) 768-2622 for more information and to request language support.

Rodale Institue, BIPOC Farmer Market Grants Opening Late Spring

(The grant timeline for this year’s BIPOC Microgrant has been pushed back. Applications will now open in the Spring of 2024.)


Rodale Institute offers a micro-grant program specifically targeted to support projects and consulting for small-scale BIPOC* farmers, whether you’re organic, transitioning to organic, or an aspiring organic farmer.


Eligibility: Any U.S. small-scale BIPOC farmer who is currently organic or wishes to pursue the transition process to become organic, or any student/intern/apprentice farmer involved in an organic operation is eligible to apply for these funds. With funds up to $2,000. For more information on this upcoming opportunity please click here.

Funding Amount: Projects will be prioritized based on potential impact and success. Project budgets should be a maximum of $2,000.


Applications for this grant will open in the Spring of 2024. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of Rodale Institute staff and board members, Organic Farmers Association, and/or partnerships with other groups as appropriate. Funds will be available immediately and released as per the demands of the project being funded.

Application Process: The application process is a streamlined process requiring a complete application and budget (applications will be available in the Spring of 2024). Additional appendices are permitted with a total limit of 5 pages. The Finance office is available to help with any or all parts of the application process. Input from Rodale Institute staff or any other office is no assurance that the project being submitted will be funded.

Native American Agriculture Fund, General and Youth

Deadline: Wednesday, May 1st, 2024, at 11:59 pm C.T.


The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) is a private, charitable trust established from the historic Keepseagle v. Vilsack litigation settlement. Its mission is to provide grants to eligible organizations, supporting Native farmers and ranchers through business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services, thereby promoting their continued engagement in agriculture. Eligibility: Eligible entities include non-profit organizations, educational organizations, CDFIs and Native CDFIs, and tribal governments. With funds starting at $75,000. For more information on applying please click here.


Women's Fund of Hawaii

Deadline: Sunday, March 31st, 2024


The Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i focuses on supporting innovative, grassroots programs that empower women and girls across the Hawaiian Islands. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, they provide grants of up to $5,000 for new or existing programs, addressing areas of need such as education, social services, and arts, with a commitment to enhancing the lives of underserved women and girls. Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and community-based groups. For more information on applying for this opportunity please click here.


Women’s Fund of Hawaii supports programs serving women and girls in Hawaii that embody the above values and beliefs.

  • They give to a wide range of programs, particularly those that promote women’s financial security and dignity, and girls’ strengths and leadership.
  • They fund programs that build on the gifts, strengths, and assets of women and girls and promote their well-being.
  • They fund organizations that address factors that can stand in the way of women and girls’ success, including:
  • Abused/Neglected Girls
  • Adolescent Pregnancy
  • Culture/Arts
  • Disabilities
  • Economic Self-sufficiency
  • Education/Technology
  • Health (physical)
  • Homelessness
  • Homophobia
  • Immigration Status
  • Incarceration/Criminal Justice
  • Lack of Affordable Childcare
  • Lack of Affordable Housing
  • Mental Health
  • Poverty
  • Racism
  • Reproductive Rights/Health
  • Self Esteem
  • Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls
  • Sports Inequities
  • Substance Abuse
  • Trafficking/Prostitution
  • Violence (sexual, physical)

They have a special interest in (but our funding is not limited to):

  • Funding girls’ programs
  • Funding programs serving Native Hawaiian women and girls
  • Funding programs in rural areas throughout the state

NIFA, Special Research Grants for Aquaculture Research Program

Deadline: Monday, April 15th, 2024


The purpose of the Aquaculture Research program is to support the development of an environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture industry in the U.S. and generate new science-based information and innovation to address industry constraints. Over the long term, results of projects supported by this program may help improve the profitability of the U.S. aquaculture industry, reduce the U.S. trade deficit, increase domestic food security, provide markets for U.S.-produced grain products, increase domestic aquaculture business investment opportunities, and provide more jobs for rural and coastal America. The Aquaculture Research program will fund projects that directly address major constraints to the U.S. aquaculture industry and focus on one or more of the following program priorities: (1) genetics of commercial aquaculture species; (2) critical disease issues impacting aquaculture species; (3) design of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture production systems; and (4) economic research for increasing aquaculture profitability. Eligibility: State Agricultural Experiment Stations; colleges and universities (including junior colleges offering associate degrees or higher); university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents; and any group consisting of two or more entities identified in a) through h). Eligible institutions do not include foreign and international organizations. With funds starting at $50,000 and up to $300,000. For more information on applying please click here.

Livestock Wala'au: Livestock Podcast


Livestock Wala'au podcast presented by the University of Hawaiʻi 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

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.


Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Western SARE, Research and Education Grants

Opening Soon


This grant program involves scientists, agricultural producers, and others using interdisciplinary approaches to advance sustainable agriculture at local and regional levels. With the collaboration of producers, projects must integrate rigorous 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 students, producers, and other agricultural stakeholders. Project budget is $350,000 maximum, with project length 1-3 years. Questions? Contact wsare-re@sare.org. For more information on applying please click here.


Western SARE, Professional+Producer

Opening in April


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. $75,000 limit/one-three years in scope. Reach out with any questions: wsare-partnership@sare.org. For more information on applying please click here.

SARE is a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute for Food and Agriculture that provides competitive grants and educational materials. Our grants programs are conducted cooperatively by farmers, ranchers, researchers, and ag professionals to advance farm and ranch systems that are profitable, environmentally sound, and good for communities.

The SARE grant program mission is to advance innovations that improve profitability, stewardship, and quality of life in American agriculture by investing in groundbreaking research and education. To achieve that, Western SARE believes that our programs must include the involvement of agricultural producers from inception to finish, and therefore we require producer involvement in the planning, design, implementation, and educational outreach of any funded project.


Western SARE Goals

• Promote good stewardship of the nation’s natural resources by providing site-specific, regional, and profitable sustainable farming and ranching methods that strengthen agricultural competitiveness; satisfy human food and fiber needs; maintain and enhance the quality and productivity of soil; conserve soil,

water, energy, natural resources, and fish and wildlife habitat; and maintain and improve the quality of surface and ground water.


• Enhance the quality of life of farmers and ranchers and ensure the viability of rural communities, for example, by increasing income and employment, especially profitable self-employment and innovative marketing opportunities in agricultural and rural communities.


• Protect the health and safety of those involved in food and farm systems by reducing, where feasible and practical, the use of toxic materials in agricultural production, and by optimizing on-farm resources and integrating, where appropriate, biological cycles 

and controls.


• Promote crop, livestock, and enterprise diversification.


• Examine the regional, economic, social, and environmental implications of adopting sustainable agriculture practices and systems.

This e-publication is supported through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). TOPP is a program of the USDA Organic Transition Initiative and is administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP).


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

Theodor Radovich Editor-in-Chief


Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program

Cooperative Extension Service

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources


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

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