• Follow on Facebook

  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • Say When

    January 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Dec    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

First Annual Global Tea Innovation Symposium

The launch of a Hawaii tea co-op, the first not for profit consumer cooperative tea business in the world will happen on February 1st, 2017 at 10am – 4pm at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, in Volcano, Hawaii.

Presenters scheduled:

  • Nigel Melican, Chairman,TeaCraft Ltd. (U.K): A global business development consultant to the leading world tea businesses.
  • Chairman, Kawasaki Kiko Ltd. (Japan): leading manufacturer of automated tea farming and tea processing equipment.
  • Jason McDonald, Founder of The Great Mississippi Tea Company and Co-Founder/Vice President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).
  • Grif Frost: Co-Founder/President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).  Expert in not for profit consumer cooperative development.
  • Takeshi Akatsuka, Vice President, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, the site of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.

Purpose: Provide A-Z, tea business development services, for Hawaii Tea enthusiasts.

Mission: Develop a model, which can be replicated, to help other tea enthusiasts worldwide, work together, to sustainably grow their tea businesses.

Services to be offered:

  • Propagation services: contract growing of the ideal tea plants, for specific geographical locales in Hawaii.
  • Farm Design services: contract selection and design of tea farm sites, suitable for automated equipment use.
  • Minimum tea farm acreage: 1 acre. There must a minimum of 10 acres of Co-op contracted tea farms, within a 5-minute driving radius.
  • Farm Site Preparation services: contract preparation of sites for automated tea planting services.
  • Planting Services: contracted automated tea planting services.
  • Growing Services: contracted automated pruning, pest control and fertilization services.
  • Harvesting Services: contracted automated tea plant harvesting services.
  • Processing Services: contracted processing services to prepare harvested tea for consumption
  • Sales Services: contracted sales of packaged tea
  • Research and Development Services: contracted research and development related to Hawaii tea community development.

50 seats available to people interested in participating in the development of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.  Price $250 ($200 may be applied to the purchase of Hawaii Tea Co-op shares). A tea and food pairing lunch will be served.

How to order: visit www.HawaiiTea.Coop to reserve your seat.

Public Hearing for the State Water Projects Plan Focuses on Projects for DHHL

The State Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) will hold public hearings to receive testimony on proposed updates to the State Water Projects Plan (SWPP).  The SWPP identifies future water demands and source strategies for State water projects.  This update of the SWPP focuses on water projects for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.

A public review draft of the State Water Projects Plan is available online at the CWRM website: http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/.  The public review draft may also be reviewed at the CWRM office at the Kalanimoku Building, Room 227, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

All public hearings will be held at 6 p.m. on the following dates, at the locations given below:

January 10, 2017 (Tue.)  Lihue Civic Center, Meeting Rooms 2A and 2B
4444 Rice Street, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii 96766
January 11, 2017 (Wed.) Mitchell Pau’ole Community Center
90 Ainoa St., Kaunakakai, Molokai, Hawaii 96748
January 12, 2017 (Thurs.) Velma McWayne Santos Community Center
395 Waena Pl., Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793
January 17, 2017 (Tue.) Waiakea High School Cafeteria
155 W. Kawili Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720
January 18, 2017 (Wed.) Kealakehe High School Cafeteria
74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740
January 19, 2017 (Thurs.) Kalanimoku Building, Board Room 132
1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

All interested persons are urged to attend the hearing and submit comments, orally or in writing.

Disabled individuals planning to attend the public hearing are asked to contact the CWRM (at the above address or phone 808-587-0214) at least three days in advance of the public hearing to indicate if they have special needs that require accommodation.

Local Foods Sales Reach $84.4 Million in Hawaii

Hawaii local food production sales reached $84.4 million, according to the 2015 Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Of the $84.4 million in total local food sales in Hawaii, $69.5 million were from produce such as vegetables, nuts and fruit, while $14.9 million were from value-added products such as jams, meat, and cheese.

Most farms selling directly to consumers sold through outlets such as farmers markets and on-farm stores. Value of sales directly to consumers in Hawaii, including value-added products, was $22.8 million. The remainder of local food produce and value-added products were sold to supermarkets, restaurants, institutions, and wholesalers.

There were 2,423 operations involved in the sales of local foods in the state, representing 3,512 farm operators. Of those operators, 1,287 were female operators.

This report contains the results of the first Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey conducted. The Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey is part of the larger Census of Agriculture program. It is the first survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service to measure the effect of local foods on local economies.

Nationally, the top five states for value of direct food sales were California with $2,869 million, Michigan with $459 million, New York with $441 million, Pennsylvania with $439 million, and Wisconsin at $431 million.

Access the full Local Foods Marketing Practices dataset at NASS’s Quick Stats database: https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Local_Food/index.php

Food Certificate Program Classes Coming to North Kohala

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) is accepting enrollment for classes in the Master Food Preserver Certificate Program to be held in North Kohala. Classes will be held on January 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and February 2 and 3 from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Kohala Institute’s GRACE Center at 53-580 Iole Road in Kapa`au. Tuition is $200.

Individuals interested in developing their own jams and jellies, canning acid foods, pressure canning low acid foods, pickling and fermenting, drying, freezing, and the art of charcuterie are encouraged to become certified Hawaiʻi Master Food Preservers.

Luisa F. Castro

Instructors are Luisa F. Castro, a certified Master Food Preserver who has taught agricultural professionals about food safety on the farm and is a Program Coordinator for professional development courses at CCECS; and Kalen Kelekoma, a certified Master Food Preserver and Special Projects Manager with the Waipa Foundation. Both have taught the program on Hawaiʻi Island and Kaua`i.

Private and non-government employers/businesses may qualify for a 50% tuition waiver through the State’s Employment & Training Fund (ETF). Visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/go/2z for details.To register, or for more information, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or email ccecs@hawaii.edu.

Kohala Farm to School Initiative Pilot Project Develops Recipes with More Fresh Food

The Lieutenant Governor’s pilot project for the Farm to School Initiative is well underway in the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) Kohala Complex on the island of Hawaii. Chef Greg Christian, president and founder of Beyond Green Sustainable Food Partners has been selected to work with Cafeteria Manager Priscilla Galan and her staff to bring delicious local, fresh scratch-cooked food to students.

Chef Greg with Cafeteria Staff

Chef Greg and Cafeteria Manager Galan have been working to develop recipes that incorporate more fresh food that kids both love and are familiar with into the daily menu as well as revamping favorites such as pizza and kalua pig with cabbage.

Taste testings on the experimental menu based on recipes co-created by the cafeteria staff and Chef Greg are conducted daily at the Kohala Complex schools. Some dishes that a number of classes have taste tested include a new pizza recipe, pork adobo with ulu/garlic crisp, chicken adobo sliders with green papaya, and more. Produce for the experimental menu is being sourced from various local farms and markets.

“We are excited to be working with the Kohala Elementary, Middle, and High schools in bringing more local home-style cooked meals into the cafeteria,” said Chef Greg.

“The integration of locally produced foods into the lunches of area schools is a wonderful way to connect students with their farming community,” said Scott Enright, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.  “When students are exposed to Hawaii’s farm fresh agricultural products and learn to appreciate the taste and freshness, they will help the State grow the demand for local agricultural commodities.”

Along with creating a menu, Chef Greg, and his team are also collecting data, analyzing costs, inventory and purchasing systems as well analyzing kitchen staff efficiencies versus inefficiencies, among other things.

“This is a significant step forward for the Farm to School Initiative,” said Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, who spearheads the initiative. “It took many years to get to this stage, especially for our many community stakeholders, such as The Kohala Center, who had already been working on bringing more local food to our school menus.”

The goal of the initiative is to positively influence the relationship our keiki have with their food and the aina by increasing breakfast and lunch participation, boosting the purchase of locally grown food for school meals, and cultivating connections between our schools and local agricultural communities.

In early November, Lt. Governor Tsutsui, HIDOE, Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), State Procurement Office (SPO) and The Kohala Center (TKC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to allow for policy to be created to guide Farm to School activities in all HIDOE schools, including but not limited to purchasing locally grown food and ingredients, menu modifications, kitchen staff training on scratch-cooking, food waste, and growing food for cafeteria use, among other key components. This pilot program tests localized purchasing and seeks to change the way food is purchased, prepared and delivered.

“This pilot is an exciting opportunity for the Hawaii State Department of Education where we prioritize purchasing local products as a food resource,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We look forward to learning from this collaborative initiative that is focused on our Kohala schools in hopes of bringing it to more schools across the state.”

While executing farm to school strategies that improve student nutrition, supports local businesses and expands agricultural career opportunities for our students, the pilot project will serve as a learning laboratory that conceptualizes a statewide farm to school program within the DOE by December 2018.  This project reaffirms the state’s commitment to improving student wellness and aims to further invigorate Hawaii’s agricultural communities.  The next phase of the project will begin next school year in a larger school complex area on Maui island.

“The pilot project is an opportunity to test innovations in school food preparation, menu development, and buying fresh, local food to improve child nutrition,” said Anna-Lisa Okoye, chief operating officer of The Kohala Center. “By transitioning to student-approved, scratched-cooked meals, the pilot will enhance the quality, nutrition, and taste of school meals while also supporting local agriculture. We appreciate the farm to school advocates from the public and private sectors who have made this pilot possible.”

Across the nation, farm-to-school programs are reconnecting students to a better understanding of the food system and where their food comes from. Farm to school programs introduce students to healthier eating habits and help them become familiar with new vegetables and fruits that they and their families will then be more willing to incorporate into their own diets.

The Farm to School Initiative is a public-private partnership with the Lt. Governor’s office, HDOA, Hawaii State Department of Health, HIDOE, Dorrance Family Foundation, Hawaii Appleseed, Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, The Kohala Center and Ulupono Initiative.

For more information, go to http://ltgov.hawaii.gov/farm-to-school-initiative/

EPA Files Complaint Against Syngenta for Farmworker Safety Violations on Kauai

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint alleging that Syngenta Seeds, LLC violated numerous federal pesticide regulations meant to protect agricultural workers at its crop research farm in Kekaha, Kauai. EPA is seeking civil penalties of over $4.8 million for the violations.

Click to read full lawsuit

On January 20, 2016, 19 workers entered a Syngenta field recently sprayed with a restricted use organophosphate insecticide. Ten of these workers were taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. Restricted use pesticides are not available to the general public because of their high toxicity, potential for harm and impact on the environment.

“Reducing pesticide exposure is a high priority, as it directly affects the health of farmworkers,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA is committed to enforcing the federal law that protects those who spend long hours in the fields. We appreciate working with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to respond to this serious incident.”

The company named in the complaint does business as Syngenta Hawaii, LLC., a subsidiary of Syngenta AG, a global enterprise that produces chemicals and seeds. The EPA complaint states that Syngenta misused the pesticide “Lorsban Advanced,” and it failed in its duties to adequately implement the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act’s Worker Protection Standard.

Specifically, EPA alleges that Syngenta failed to notify its workers to avoid fields recently treated with pesticides. The company then allowed or directed workers to enter the treated field before the required waiting period had passed, and without proper personal protective equipment. After the workers’ exposure, Syngenta failed to provide adequate decontamination supplies onsite and failed to provide prompt transportation for emergency medical attention.

An inspector from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture was present at the Syngenta facility when the exposure incident occurred, prompting the State’s immediate investigation. In March, HDOA referred the matter to EPA for follow-up investigation and enforcement. In April, EPA inspectors conducted a series of inspections, which led to the complaint.

The active ingredient in “Lorsban Advanced” is chlorpyrifos, which in small amounts may cause a runny nose, tears, sweating, or headache, nausea and dizziness. More serious exposures can cause vomiting, muscle twitching, tremors and weakness. Sometimes people develop diarrhea or blurred vision. In severe cases, exposure can lead to unconsciousness, loss of bladder and bowel control, convulsions, difficulty in breathing, and paralysis. Symptoms can appear within minutes and may last days or weeks.

For EPA’s complaint please visit: https://www.epa.gov/hi/matter-syngenta-seeds-llc-dba-syngenta-hawaii-llc

For more information on pesticide Worker Protection Standard visit: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/agricultural-worker-protection-standard-wps

Hawaii to Receive $3.1 Million to Fight Invasive Species

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced today that Hawaiʻi will receive $3.1 million to fight invasive species like the coconut rhinoceros beetle, coffee berry borer, Rapid Ohia Death, and fruit flies. The funding, allocated from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in accordance with Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill, is part of 513 projects supported nationwide that aim to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, as well as ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock.

In Hawaiʻi, invasive species like the coffee berry borer, fruit fly, and macadamia felted coccid have cost our farmers millions, and put hundreds of farms, thousands of local workers, and our agriculture industry at great risk,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “We need to provide more support to our farmers who contribute so much to our community and our economy.  This funding will provide Hawaiʻi with critical resources to combat these invasive pests.”

“The University of Hawaiʻi is very pleased to hear that a new project has been funded through USDA-APHIS on the management of the coffee berry borer in Hawaiʻi and Puerto Rico,” said Ray Carruthers, Specialist at the University of Hawaiʻi College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. “The main thrust of this effect will be to coordinate control efforts with on-going Federal, State and local projects on CBB management, along with the additional development of new insect biological control technologies. We feel that developing, testing and the eventual use of insect parasitoids will be a key for long-term sustainable management of the CBB in both Hawaiʻi and Puerto Rico.”

Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduced the Areawide Integrated Pest Management (AIPM) Act (H.R.3893) and the Macadamia Tree Health Initiative (H.R.6249) in the 114th Congress to fight invasive species in Hawaiʻi and across the United States, and to fund critical research for invasive species like the macadamia felted coccid. In August, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard conducted an agriculture tour on Hawaiʻi Island where she met with local agriculture professionals and researchers about invasive species in Hawaiʻi.

Today’s announcement includes the following funding for projects in Hawaiʻi:

  • $87,771 for emerging diseases, viral spillover, and the risk to agricultural pollinators (Academia)
  • $265,811 for the USDA Compendium of Fruit Fly Host Information (CoFFHI) (Academia)
  • $27,600 for the National Survey of Honey Bee Pests and Diseases in Hawaiʻi (State Government)
  • $148,000 for the Palm Commodity Survey (Academia)
  • $165,500 for Hawaiʻi Pre-Clearance X-ray Support (APHIS)
  • $260,000 for Genomic approaches to fruit fly exclusion and pathway analysis (year 3) (Academia)
  • $303,000 for Genomic approaches to fruit fly exclusion and pathway analysis (year 3) (Non-APHIS-Federal)
  • $42,090 for Little Fire Ant Education for Nursery Supply Stores (Academia)
  • $40,995 for Integrated and Sustainable Approach to Manage New Invasive Pests of Ficus Trees in Hawaiʻi’s Urban Landscapes – Year 2 (Academia)
  • $41,000 for Activators and Attractants for Giant African Snail (Academia)
  • $120,000 for Response to Rapid Ohia Death, a disease threatening forests (State Government)
  • $125,000 for Systems approach for the management of coffee berry borer in Hawaiʻi and Puerto Rico with emphasis on biological control (Academia)
  • $100,000 for Systems approach for the management of coffee berry borer in Hawaiʻi and Puerto Rico with emphasis on biological control (State Government)
  • $115,000 for Systems approach for the management of coffee berry borer in Hawaiʻi and Puerto Rico with emphasis on biological control (Non-APHIS-Federal)
  • $975,000 for Response to Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle in Hawaiʻi (Academia)
  • $250,000 for Response to Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle in Hawaiʻi (State Government)

New Administrator for Plant Industry Division of Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Hawaii entomologist, John McHugh, Ph.D., has been appointed as the administrator of the Plant Industry Division of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. His duties will include overseeing the Plant Quarantine, Plant Pest Control and Pesticides Branches. The appointment is effective December 1, 2016. He succeeds Dr. Neil Reimer, who retired in
April 2016.

John McHugh, Ph.D.

John McHugh, Ph.D.

“Dr. McHugh is known for his aptitude in solving a variety of agricultural problems that affect Hawaii farmers,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “The department is truly fortunate to have his experience, expertise and dedication in helping to move agriculture forward in our state.”

Dr. McHugh received his bachelor’s degree in General Tropical Agriculture and a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also received a Doctor of Philosophy in Entomology which focused on integrated pest management of the diamondback moth from Purdue University in May 1994.

He has 42 years of wide-ranging experience in agriculture as an entomologist, educator, manager and consultant and has taught at Leeward Community College and the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.  He has also worked at DuPont Pioneer, Hana Hou Seed Harvest, LLC, Sumida Farm, Inc. and Crop Care Hawaii, LLC.

Dr. McHugh has been active in the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation since 1975 and served as the chair of the Environmental Stewardship Committee. He also served as a board member of the Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council, as well as director and board member of the West Oahu Soil Conservation District. In addition, he served three terms as a member of the State’s Advisory Committee on Pesticides.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Update

In April of 2015, “Distinguished officials attended a blessing and seed planting ceremony for the University of Hawaii’s Industrial Hemp Project in Waimanalo. This project was the result of Act 56 which established an industrial hemp research project to be conducted by Principal UH Researcher Dr. Harry Ako to study hemp for soil phytoremediation (cleaning) as well as for a potential biofuel.”

From Left to right: Senator Russell Ruderman, Representative Cynthia Thielen, Dr. Harry Ako, Lead Scientist for the Hawai’i Hemp Project, Senator Mike Gabbard, Representative Chris Lee, Representative Richard Cregan, Senator Gil Riviere, Representative Lynn DeCoite and Maria Gallo Dean of the University of Hawai’i College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources.

From Left to right: Senator Russell Ruderman, Representative Cynthia Thielen, Dr. Harry Ako, Lead Scientist for the Hawai’i Hemp Project, Senator Mike Gabbard, Representative Chris Lee, Representative Richard Cregan, Senator Gil Riviere, Representative Lynn DeCoite and Maria Gallo Dean of the University of Hawai’i College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources.

Currently The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is:

  • Registering as a Schedule 1 importer of controlled substances with the DEA.
  • Identifying optimal seed sources for importation.
  • Drafting administrative regulations to govern the hemp pilot program.

Upcoming

The Department Plans to:

  • Release a request for proposals (RFP) to secure a contractor(s) to develop a line of Hawaii acclimated industrial hemp seed for distribution to licensees in the upcoming industrial hemp pilot program.
  • Import seeds to be further developed into a line of industrial hemp for Hawaii by the contractor/(s) selected at the end of the RFP process.

Projected Timeline*

  1. November 2016 Administrative rules drafted, review process begins.
  2. January 2017 Hemp Seed Development RFP Posted
  3. February 2017 Hemp seed development contract awarded, seed development begins.
  4. Fall 2017: Program Coordinator and Inspector selected.
  5. January 1-April 1 2018: Growers may begin applying for licenses.

*All date and times are rough estimates, and subject to change without notice, being contingent upon funding and approval processes.

Resources

  • AT THIS TIME: If you are interested in participating in the State industrial hemp pilot program, please examine Act 228 to see the infrastructure which will be required of applicants, and the recording and fee requirements licensees must meet.
  • http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/GM1330_.PDF

Pahoa Bee Company Wins $25,000 in 2016 HIplan Competition

A Pahoa based bee company was awarded $25,000 today at the University of Hawaii Campus Center for their business plan they entered in the 2016 Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition.

Ono Queens LLC owned by Christopher and Wendy Klepps won the grand prize beating out 49 other Hawaii Island Business Plans.

Wendy and Christopher Klepps of Ono Queens LLC accept a check for $25,000.

Wendy and Christopher Klepps of Ono Queens LLC accept a check for $25,000.

49 original competitors were trimmed down to 8 finalists and today they presented 15-minute PowerPoint Presentations to judges Howard Dicus, Murray Clay, Jared Kushi and Chuck Erskine.

hiplan-judgesAfter the judges listened to the 15-minute power point presentations, there was a short break and then the companies followed up with a 2-minute “Elevator Pitch” to try and win the judges over.

The overall judging was weighed in their two presentations given today as well as their submitted 7-page written plans.

The Finalists were (in order of presentation):

  • Aloha Nui Family Practice
  • Big Island Wasabi, LLC
  • Dam Fine Farms
  • Easybotics
  • Hawai’i Ulu Producers Co-op
  • Hawaii Family Health
  • Ono Queens, LLC
  • The Spoon Shop, LLC

The third place runner up was Big Island Wasabi LLC:

Sara Phillips authored the business plan for Big Island Wasabi LLC

Sara Phillips authored the business plan for Big Island Wasabi LLC

The second place runner up was Hawaii Family Health:

Michelle Mitchell was the author of the Hawaii Family Health business plan.

Michelle Mitchell was the author of the Hawaii Family Health business plan.

After the winners were announced, there was a short reception held for the folks and sponsors that were in attendance.

Some of the sponsors mentioned were, Ulupono Initiative, University of Hawaii Hilo, Big Island Toyota, HTDC, DeLuz Chevrolet, Darren T. Kimura, HIGROWTH, NELHA, Hilo Brokers, Marine Genetics and the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce.  The Official Media Sponsor was Pacific Media Group.

Big Island Native Plant Enthusiasts Invited to Annual Arbor Day Plant Sale

The public is invited to an Arbor Day plant sale on Friday, November 4 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife Kamuela State Tree Nursery, located at 66-1220-A Lalamilo Rd. in Kamuela.

hayden-arbor-dayThe sale features both native and non-native trees and shrub seedlings, with prices ranging from $1 to $13 depending on pot size.  As always sales are cash only and plants are available on a first come first served basis.

Sale items will mostly feature native plants such as koa, native hibiscus species, sandalwood, cypress and pines. Dibble tube seedlings will start at $1 each, and bigger trees in pots are also available. A two-gallon pot will run up to $11.

For more information call the nursery at (808) 887-6061.

Arbor Day Tree Giveaway in Hilo

Hawaii Electric Light announces the Arbor Day Tree Giveaway will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, at its office at 1200 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or while supplies last.

hayden-arbor-dayThe annual event is a partnership with Kua O Ka La Public Charter School, Hooulu Lahui, Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, and Hawaii Electric Light. To help perpetuate native species, a variety of organizations across the state routinely organize educational events to distribute native trees and shrubs to the community. Trees to be given away this year include ohia, koa, puhala, lama, niu, kou, and kukui.

Kua O Ka La students care for the trees and compile a newsletter to distribute with the trees. Information on how to properly plant, site, and care for the tree also is distributed. Students and instructors will be available to educate the public on how to care for their trees and explain the cultural significance of the native plants.

For more information, contact Kenyan Beals at (808) 969-0137.

Acting Governor of Hawaii Proclaims October “Farm to School Month”

Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui proclaimed the month of October “Farm to School Month.”  Stakeholders from the community, including the Ulupono Initiative, The Kohala Center, Jack Johnson’s Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Department of Agriculture attended the proclamation presentation held this morning at the State Capitol.

farm-to-schoolFarm to School Month in Hawai’i coincides with National Farm to School Month, designated by Congress in 2010, to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, encourage diverse careers in agriculture, support local economies, and educate children about the origins of food.

“It’s important that we celebrate Farm to School month to raise awareness about the movement and school gardening programs, which empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and connecting keiki to the aina,” said Acting Governor Tsutsui, who is spearheading the Farm to School Initiative, in collaboration with HIDOE and Department of Agriculture.

“The Hawaii Farm to School program provides an important connection between local farms and Hawaii’s keiki,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “This program not only helps to strengthen the local agricultural community, but also creates an opportunity to educate our youth about agriculture, nutrition and food sustainability.”

The Farm to School Initiative aims to systematically increase State purchasing of local food for our school menus as well as connect our keiki with their food through the use of products from the local agricultural community.  With Hawaii importing about 85 percent of our food, the Farm to School Initiative is one way the State is working towards becoming food sustainable.

“The Department is excited in finding new ways to increase the amount of local produce on the menus of our schools,” Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “While the schools as a whole currently purchase a higher percentage of local food than the average home, we would like to deliver more fresh fruits, vegetables and meats to our students’ plates.”

HIDOE has 256 public schools and its School Food Services Branch feeds approximately 100,000 students and staff each day.  The Farm to School Initiative also seeks to address the supply and demand issues surrounding the purchasing of local food for our school cafeterias.

In April, the Farm to School Initiative gathered information from farmers and ranchers as well as hosted a mixer to inform them on how to become a qualified vendor with the State.  Those events, including the invitation for bids, culminate with the Farm to School Initiative Pilot Project, which is expected to begin in 2017.

“The Kohala Center has been involved in Farm to School for about a decade and we’re so thrilled that this pilot project is at this place of being ready to launch because of the potential of Farm to School to not only impact our agricultural community, but also the positive impact it can have on our school children from a nutritious standpoint and education standpoint as well,” said Anna-Lisa Okoye, Chief Operating Officer of The Kohala Center.  “We’re so excited for this next step that we’re going to get into the schools and make some changes on how schools cook and source food and teach kids about nutrition.”

Across the nation, farm to school programs are reconnecting students to a better understanding of the food system and where their food comes from.  Farm to school programs introduce students to healthier eating habits and help them become familiar with new vegetables and fruits that they and their families will then be more willing to incorporate into their own diets.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Recognized As Top Advocate For National Food Policy

Food Policy Action announced Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as a top advocate for improving the nation’s food system.

ep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a top advocate for a clear, transparent, uniform food labeling standard

ep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a top advocate for a clear, transparent, uniform food labeling standard

The congresswoman earned a perfect score on the recent release of the National Food Policy Scorecard for her leadership advancing good food policy in the 114th Congress.

“Fighting for sensible, transparent food policies and supporting local and domestic agriculture have been among my key priorities. This Congress, we’ve unfortunately seen numerous attempts to roll back progress on good food policy, like undermining common sense food labeling standards across the country, fast-tracking the destructive Trans-Pacific Partnership, and lifting restrictions on the use of harmful pesticides near our vital water resources,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Food security is a critical issue for people in Hawaiʻi and across the U.S. and I will continue to work hard toward creating a more secure, safe, and healthy future for our people and our environment.”

“Tulsi Gabbard is a strong food champion who has been a steadfast advocate for measures to fix our food system, voting to protect clean water, transparency in food labeling, workers’ rights, and the long-term viability of our food supply. Her 100% score on the National Food Policy Scorecard showcases her leadership on food policy issues in Congress,” said Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action co-founder, chef and food advocate.

Background:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a strong advocate for food and production safety and transparency, and was among just 18% of House members that received a perfect score on this year’s Food Policy Action Scorecard. Food Policy Action recognized Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for:

  • Fighting against the DARK Act and “fast-track” Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)
  • Working to pass clear, easy-to-read food labeling standards
  • Protecting the Clean Water Act and upholding restrictions on pesticide use
  • Reauthorizing services for kūpuna under the Older Americans Reauthorization Act

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has introduced legislation to protect local agriculture and help local farmers fight back against invasive species, including the Macadamia Tree Health Initiative and the Areawide Integrated Pest Management Act. As an original cosponsor of H.R. 913, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, she helped lead Congressional opposition to legislation like the DARK Act and S.764, legislation that pre-empts state and local laws that already require labeling of genetically modified foods and creates a food labeling system based solely on industry science and corporate influences. She has continued working to pass a clear, uniform national labeling standard that makes it easier for consumers to know what’s in their food.

 

Food Policy Action was established in 2012 through a collaboration of national food policy leaders in order to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming. The National Food Policy Scorecard reflects the consensus of top food policy experts who select the key food policy votes each year. The scorecard considers lawmakers votes on a variety of issues relevant to food policy in the U.S., including domestic and international hunger, food safety, food access, farm subsidies, animal welfare, food and farm labor, nutrition, food additives, food transparency, local and regional food production, organic farming and the effects of food production on the environment.

West Hawaii Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum

WHAT: The Office of the Governor in West Hawai‘i presents:       

Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum

Little fire ants are one of the worst invasive species in the world and one of the most detrimental invasive species in Hawai‘i.

lfa-in-hawaiiThey threaten agriculture, native ecosystems, animals and people. This forum aims to support the community and provide residents with valuable information on how to prevent and control little fire ants.

WHO: Presentations from:

  • Hawai‘i Ant Lab
  • State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture
  • Big Island Invasive Species Committee
  • County of Hawai‘i – Department of Research and Development

WHEN: Thursday, October 27, 2016 – 6 to 8pm (Doors open at 5:30 pm)

WHERE:  Hawai‘i Community College-Pālamanui, 73-4225 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room 127

Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum

The Governor’s Office in West Hawai‘i Presents:  Little Fire Ant Awareness Forum on Thursday, October 27, 2016, 6-8 p.m. Doors Open at 5:30 p.m Hawai‘i Community College, Palamanui Campus located at 73-4225 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Room 127

Little fire and and queen ant.

Little fire and and queen ant.

With presenters from: Hawai‘i Ant Lab, State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, County of Hawai‘i  Department of Research and Development.

Little Fire Ants, one of the most detrimental invasive species in Hawai‘i, threaten agriculture, native ecosystems, animals, and people. Come learn how you can prevent and control this pest.

 

UH Hilo Appointment of Administrators

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Matthew Platz announces the appointment of two deanship positions following the UH Board of Regents meeting held today on O`ahu. The positions take effect November 1, 2016.

uh-hilo-monikerDr. Bruce Mathews has been appointed permanent dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management. He previously served as acting dean from January – July 2012, then interim dean to present.

A 1986 graduate of UH Hilo, Mathews joined the University in 1993 as a Temporary Assistant Professor of Soils & Agronomy and became a tenure-track assistant professor two years later. His areas of research include plant nutrient cycling and soil fertility as affected by environmental conditions and crop management, assessment of the impact of agricultural and forestry production practices on soil, coastal wetlands, and surface waters, and the development of environmentally sound and economically viable nutrient management practices for pastures, forests, and field crops in the tropics.

He received an M.S. in agronomy from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in agronomy & soils from the University of Florida.

“As a graduate, faculty member and most recently interim dean, Bruce has unrivaled knowledge of this College, its mission, and its potential,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “I can think of no one else who better understands our responsibility to the community and the entire state of Hawaiʻi than Bruce Mathews.”

Dr. Drew Martin will serve as interim dean of the College of Business and Education. He joined UH Hilo in August 2004 and most recently served as professor of marketing. He has over 25 years of higher education teaching experience that spans three countries. Currently, he is also an affiliate faculty member of Daito Bunka University’s (Japan) Business Research Institute and the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa’s Center for Japanese Studies.

Martin received a B.A. and an MBA in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

His intellectual contributions include extensive research on consumer behavior. He has published 65 research papers and book chapters.

“Drew is an intellectual heavyweight with an extensive professional background in business, government and academia,” Platz said. “His extensive research and publications have earned him international acclaim and numerous invitations to speak with emerging scholars on how to get their research published in leading academic journals.”

Hawai’i Interagency Biosecurity Plan Formed to Protect Environment, Agriculture, Economy and Health

Hawai‘i is at an invasive species crossroads: the islands are home to more endangered species than any other state. Between 80-90% of all food is imported, and there are more than 8 million visitors annually, with hundreds of arriving flights and ships carrying cargo.

All images courtesy Hawaii DLNR

All images courtesy Hawaii DLNR

Residents of Hawai‘i know that its environment and way of life are special. Many of the native plants and animals exist nowhere else in the world, and the ability to grow food locally and be connected to the land is critical to maintaining an island identity. As invasive species continue to arrive in Hawai‘i and spread through the islands, the environment, agriculture, economy, and even human health are at risk.  Coqui frogs, fire ants, albizia, and mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue fever and Zika virus provide recent examples of impacts to Hawai‘i.  Broad, comprehensive strategies are needed to protect our economy, environment and way of life.

“My administration has focused on doing the right thing the right way. Protecting Hawai‘i from the impacts of invasive species will require agencies and industries to work together to build a better biosecurity system,” said Gov. David Ige. “Our actions now will result in a more robust agriculture industry, protect our natural resources, our economy, and our unique way of life here in Hawai‘i.”

biosecurity-planaBetter biosecurity is Hawai‘i’s path forward from this invasive species crossroad. The term biosecurity encompasses the full set of policies and actions that minimize risk from invasive species. This means pre-border actions to prevent invasive species from reaching our shores, border inspections and quarantine to detect new arrivals, and post-border control for species that have made their way into the state.

biosecurity-planbThe State’s first line of defense against invasive species has always been the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, but in the 21st century we need partners,” said Scott Enright, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.  “The threat of potential invasive species goes beyond HDOA’s mandate and this new interagency biosecurity plan will help the State focus on important priorities that will protect the environment and agriculture in Hawaii now and in the future.”

biosecurity-planc

The State of Hawai‘i developed its first comprehensive, interagency approach to biosecurity through the 2017-2027 Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan. The intended scope of this plan is to address all three biosecurity areas (pre-border, border, and post-border) and to strategically coordinate actions across a wide range of agencies and partners. The planning process, led by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), has joined the efforts of industry representatives and state, federal, and county agencies to identify policy, process, and infrastructure needs over the next decade. The plan is currently in draft form and awaits public review and input at a series of meetings across the state in early October.

biosecurity-plandIn Hawai‘i the concept of laulima is followed: many hands working together. The Hawai‘i Interagency Biosecurity Plan is a blueprint for conservationists, farmers, researchers, and private citizens to join together and help protect this special place. While the draft plan includes over 150 coordinated actions that would substantially enhance our biosecurity system, 10 key areas highlighted for improvements are listed below. :

1)      Off-shore compliance: Agreements with other jurisdictions to adopt pre-shipping inspection and control policies.

2)      E-manifest and intelligence gathering: Using new technology to track what’s coming in, what’s high-risk, and what’s low-risk (for faster release).

3)      Inspection facilities: Well-lit, secure areas for efficient inspections, refrigerated areas for produce.

4)      Inspection of non-agricultural items: HDOA has authority and staff to inspect high-risk non-agricultural items.

5)      Emergency response capacity: Interagency plans, protocols, and funding in place for timely and effective response to new pest incursions.

6)      Better coordination and participation by industries: Expand HISC into an Invasive Species Authority to provide industry a seat at the table and coordinate complex interagency efforts.

7)      Renewed focus on human health: A fully restored DOH Vector Control Branch to detect vectors of dengue, Zika, rat lungworm, and more.

8)      Enhanced control of established pests: Adequate field staff at HDOA, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Department of Health (DOH), and the University of Hawai‘i (UH) to control established invasive species and improved laboratories to support effective biocontrol.

9)      Minimize interisland spread: Increased staff and inspections for interisland goods, support to local farms and nurseries via certification programs and import substitution programs.

10)   Engaged and supportive community: Targeted outreach to different stakeholder groups to increase awareness and engagement in biosecurity programs.

A Feast from Mauka to Makai – Waikoloa Beach Resort Food Events Feature the Best from Land and Sea

September 9-10, 2016 is the weekend foodies look forward to all year, when two of the island’s tastiest culinary events happen back-to-back in Waikoloa Beach Resort: Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Friday, September 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, and Hawai‘i Island Festival’s Poke Contest, Saturday, September 10 at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

Poke Festival 2016

Celebrating its 20th year, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range (TOTHR) is not just for carnivores anymore. Along with island-raised meats—skillfully prepared by 30 top chefs from around the state—TOTHR showcases a bounty of locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts and other farm products. Additionally, a special culinary activity, “Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101,” presented by chefs Kevin Hanney and Jason Schoonover of the award-winning 12th Ave. Grill, takes place at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets are $45 and $60 at the door for TOTHR, $10 for Cooking 101, available online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com or at the Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. For general event information, phone 808-322-4892.

For kama‘āina, Hilton Waikoloa Village offers a Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package, starting at $239, which includes two tickets to the event. A valid Hawai‘i state ID and address are required. For hotel reservations, visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, (package code TSH), or call 1-800-HILTONS.

On Saturday, September 10, the culinary journey travels from the pastures to the ocean for Hawai‘i Island Festivals Poke Contest at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. A traditional Hawaiian food that has stood the test of time and continues to trend in popular cuisine, poke is a side dish made of bite-size pieces of fish, combined with a limitless range of creative additional ingredients.

Doors open for the Poke Contest at 11 a.m., where for both professional chefs and home cooks, will compete for cash prizes in numerous categories. And, after the judges announce the winners, the audience gets to taste too. For information and entry forms, visit www.hawaiiislandfestival.org.

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties.  The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs.  For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

Hawaii International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

agritourism symposium

This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail.  The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships. This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at www.hiagtourism.org.  Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well.  For more information, please contact Lani Weigert, lani@hiagtourism.org.  Space is limited, early registration encouraged.