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Pesticide Testing to Expand to Maui and Hawai‘i Island

The House Committee on Health & Human Services, chaired by Rep. John M. Mizuno, and the Committee on Agriculture, chaired by Rep. Richard P. Creagan, held an informational briefing today to update the status and progress of the Kauai Pesticide Joint Fact Finding (JFF) Study Group’s recommendations released last year.

The report, completed in May 2016, provided an analysis of environmental and health issues associated with pesticide use on Kauai, and today’s briefing was to hear how the various state and county departments had followed up on the group’s recommendations. Lawmakers also want to make sure continued environmental and human health impacts related to pesticides are addressed with fact-based policy and decision making.

Rep. Mizuno (Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, Lower Kalihi) said pesticide use will continue to be an important issue for Hawaii and will be discussed during the next legislative session.

“I want to acknowledge the state departments of Health, Agriculture, and Education along with the County of Kauai, and the Kauai Department of Water for working together on the pesticide issue and taking positive steps to protect residents,” said Mizuno. “This is a critical health and environmental issue that we need to have consensus and solution building to stay in front of.”

At the briefing, department representatives reported that steps taken since May, 2016 include:

  • The hiring of three new agriculture inspectors that has reduced the number of open pesticide investigation cases from 780 to less than 10.
  • Funding to hire an epidemiologist by the Department of Health.
  • Training of departments and first responders to coordinate rapid response to pesticide exposure incidents.
  • Training of the local medical community to record birth defect data.
  • Testing more than 50 surface water areas for pesticides on Oahu and Kauai and planning to expand testing to Maui and Hawaii Island.

Scott Enright, Chair of the Board of Agriculture told the Representatives that the Department of Agriculture has also developed a packet of rules that update Hawaii’s pesticide laws and regulations.

Rep. Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa) said lawmakers see these as positive steps and want to make sure the departments have the resources they need to continue their efforts.

“This has been good information to direct us moving forward on this issue,” Belatti said.

Rep. Dee Morikawa, (Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea) said Kauai County has developed a pesticide policy and she suggested all four counties work together to develop a statewide policy on pesticide use, testing, enforcement and treatment.

“Let’s have a plan that allows proper pesticide use, protects our residents and notifies communities if there is any possible contamination,” Morikawa said.

Rep. Creagan (Naalehu, Ocean View, Capt. Cook, Kealakekua, Kailua-Kona) said he is concerned about the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides.

“I am concerned with the possibility of birth defects, particularly nerodevelopmental injuries to the fetus from long-term, low level pesticide exposure, especially related to chlorpyrifos,” said Creagan.

Photos From the ‘Ohana Lehua Bonsai Club Show

The ‘Ohana Lehua Bonsai Club held a show today at Hilo Public Library from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Here are some photos from the show:

 

Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge and Hawaii Beekeeper Survey

8th Annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge 2017A grand total of 97 entries have been received from the Big Island, O’ahu, Kaua’i, Maui and Moloka’i and will undergo formal judging on October 19th, 2017.

In addition to the official judging, the Big Island Beekeeper’s Association will be holding a People’s Choice tasting and judging on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, second floor, 76 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo between 6:30pm and 8:00pm. This is a free public event, all are welcome!

Hawaii Beekeeper Survey  – The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is currently polling the state’s beekeeping community to learn of the industry’s interests and concerns. Beekeepers of any size operations are encouraged to take the survey which only takes a few minutes to complete and will help the program learn more about the needs of Hawaii’s beekeeping community.  To access the survey, click here: Apiary Program Survey 2017

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Visits Local Farm, Addresses Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United Convention

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today addressed the 7th Annual Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United (HFUU) Convention held at Kahumana Farms in Waiʻanae.

The congresswoman recognized the Hawaiʻi chapter’s achieving charter status with the National Farmers Union (NFU) and spoke about opportunities for Hawaiʻi in the upcoming 2018 farm bill, and her work to fight for funding for important grant programs that empower Hawaiʻi’s communities to live more sustainably, strengthen local and regional food systems, and empower those growing food to feed Hawaiʻi’s people, leveling the field, rather than more giveaways to big, agribusiness corporations.

The three day convention brings together members of the NFU, including NFU President Roger Johnson, NFU leadership from across the country, local farmers, small businessowners, and others to explore the concepts of Aloha ‘Aina and Malama ‘Aina to create regenerative agricultural systems for Hawaiʻi. This year’s conference includes panels and presentations on polyculture cover crops, agro ecology systems, soil and human health, hemp in Hawaiʻi, sustainable and organic farming, and much more.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “As a community, we have great potential for Hawaiʻi to empower our local farmers, strengthen our food security, secure funding for critical research, and empower our local communities through locally grown agriculture. Over the last several years, we’ve seen a rise in local farm-to-school programs, improved value of our coffee industries, and increased engagement among our local community to buy local and invest in community farming. There is much to be done to build on these successes, and events like today’s bring together all the necessary community components to make it happen.”

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Reformats for 2018

The island’s largest agricultural showcase is returning in 2018 with a new twist at a different location.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range will be Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Mana Christian ‘Ohana (Old Kahilu Town Hall) and the adjacent YMCA Minuke Ole Park in Waimea. The 2018 Taste will offer all-day agricultural-themed fun and educational activities before culminating with an evening tasting event showcasing locally produced food.

“We’re changing up the Taste to share info with families about our local agriculture,” says event co-chair and rancher Jeri Moniz. “We will still have our popular, evening food tasting event to showcase pasture-raised meats, but will also offer earlier activities geared for the general public, including keiki.”

Daytime fun will include agricultural-themed activities and exhibits at the YMCA Park, with plans for horseback rides and viewing of livestock animals complete with educational displays. Community school groups and organizations will be invited to provide food concessions for daytime attendees. Admission to the park exhibits is free.

Also planned are tours at local farms to see firsthand where some of our locally produced foods come from. Ag-related classes and the annual Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 will be offered during the day inside the classroom building adjacent to Mana Christian’s Hall. Chef Edwin Goto of Waimea’s Village Burger and Noodle Club will lead the popular cooking class with sampling.

Featuring about 20 culinary stations, the evening Taste will be both inside and out of the hall and open to 500 attendees. Tickets will go on sale next summer both online and at select islandwide locations.

In its 22nd year, Taste of the Range is changing its focus to share the importance of all types of Hawai‘i agriculture while acquainting keiki with farm animals and how agriculture is the science, art and practice of producing food.

“In the past, Taste was geared to inform chefs and attendees on the benefits of using grass-fed beef, while encouraging ranchers to produce it,” explains Dr. Russell Nagata, co-chair and retired CTAHR Hawaii County administrator. “Our committee has been meeting all year to come up with a new event emphasizing agriculture in a more broad and comprehensive way. We want to share how our local ranchers and farmers take pride in producing our high-quality food.”

Mana Christian ‘Ohana is located behind Parker Ranch Center at 67-1182 Lindsey Road. For more event information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com and stay connected via Facebook at TasteoftheHawaiianRange and at @TasteHI on Twitter and Instagram.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. Volunteers and sponsors are welcomed; contact Dr. Russell Nagata at rnagata@gmail.com

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Taps Annual Industry Award Winners

The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) named the recipients of its annual appreciation awards during the recent 27th Hawaii International Fruit Conference. Given to supporters of the state’s local fruit industry, the four 2017 recipients are Eli Ednie of Choice Mart supermarket, Catarina Zaragoza of the Locavore Store, Sweet Cane Café and Xavier Chung.

Inaugural Lesley Hill Service Award winner Xavier Chung with HTFGʻs ED Ken Love

Chung, a junior at Konawaena High School, received the inaugural Lesley Hill Service Award. The new service accolade remembers the late Hilo fruit and vegetable grower who was an avid supporter of Hawai‘i agriculture.
“The HTFG board instituted the new Lesley Hill Service Award to honor Lesley, who served numerous terms as an HTFG officer and enthusiastically contributed to the health and growth of our organization,” shares HTFG executive director Ken Love.

Chung was cited for orchard maintenance assistance at HTFGʻs Kona repositories, two of five throughout the state. The repositories serve as locations for propagation of fruit trees to make cuttings and scion for HTFG members.

In addition to volunteering with HTFG, Chung helps out with the National Park Service in West Hawaii, Na Maka O Papahanaumokuakea and the UH Sea Grant college program.

Recognized for a dedication to promoting locally grown tropical fruit at the Kealakekua Choice Mart, Ednie also volunteers at the HTFG Kona repositories.

Also cited for promoting local fruit was Locavore Store co-founder Catarina Zaragoza. Located in downtown Hilo, the store not only stocks a wide variety of local fruit, but also provides information on varieties and origins. The detailed labeling informs the buyer on the differences of fruit choices so purchasing can be done more accurately.

“This attention to detail is important when introducing consumers to new and different fruits like mamey sapote,” notes Axel Kratel, president of HTFGʻs East Hawaii chapter. “We want buyers to have a good experience, not just so they buy the fruit again, but also so they can better recognize what fruit variety best suits their taste and needs.”

Sweet Cane Café was recognized for serving locally grown fruit in value-added products. The Hilo business grows sugar cane in Onomea using Korean Natural Farming methods. After juicing the cane, the company features it in a line of beverages, slushies, smoothies, elixirs and drink shots served at its two cafes. Sweet Cane also uses a wide variety of fruits in its menu offerings.

“The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers feels it’s important to recognize those who make significant contributions to the tropical fruit industry across the state,” said Love. “Past winners include chefs, growers and researchers.”

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Marking its 28th year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.HTFG.org.

Hawaii Receives $427,000 in Federal Grants for Agriculture

Hawaii has awarded 11 projects to eligible non-profit and for-profit entities totaling more than $427,000 through the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The federal program, funded by the Farm Bill, provides grants to state departments of agriculture to fund projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.

Click for more information

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) submitted the application to the USDA in June 2017 and will be administering the program. The approved projects support activities for research and increasing production of specialty crops, including cacao, taro, mango, cucumber, banana, legumes and Christmas trees. The projects funded include farmer education and agricultural marketing programs. A list of the projects funded by the SCBGP is attached.

The USDA SCBGP has awarded more than $60.5 million nationwide for this coming fiscal year. The grant period runs from September 2017 to September 2020.

For more information on the USDA SCBGP, go to: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/awards

North Kona Water Restriction Update – Two Wells Fixed… Three Still Down

Both the Department’s Hualālai Deepwell and Palani Deepwell have been repaired and are now operational.

As of this morning, the Emergency Water Restriction, which previously limited water use to only health and safety needs, has been lifted. Please be reminded that the mandatory 25% water restriction is still in effect for the North Kona area since three (3) wells are still undergoing repair. This means everyone must continue to reduce their normal usage by 25 percent (25%).

The Department will continue to make the necessary adjustments to the water system and asks that customers use water as efficiently as possible to meet the 25% reduction in water usage. The Department sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water usage. Due to your help, water service was maintained to all customers throughout this emergency.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Maxillarias Orchids for Hawaii Gardens

“Maxillarias for Hawaii Gardens” is the topic of a presentation by Karen Kimmerle at the next meeting of the Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club 7 p.m. October 11. A potluck starts off the meeting and guests are invited to participate at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall.

Random orchid picture.

“Maxillaria orchids are diverse and interesting in both flowers and foliage,” says Kimmerle, co-owner of Sun Orchids in Hilo. Her presentation will look at the many Maxillaria species suitable for growing in Hawaii while sharing tips on their care. Kimmerle will also offer plants for sale.
For info, phone 808-328-8375.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise.

Mayor Kim to Declare October “Stop the Ant” Month in Hawaii County

This Friday, September 29th, Mayor Harry Kim will sign a proclamation declaring the month of October “Stop the Ant Month” for Hawaii County.

The Big Island will be joining with the rest of the state in an effort to raise awareness about the threat of little fire ants in Hawaii. The tiny pest, first detected in Puna in 1999, has been confirmed in every district on Hawaii Island and populations have been found on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.

Little fire ants are considered a threat not just because of their painful sting, but also due to their impacts on agriculture and threat to food security. Little fire ants are associated with plant pests such as aphids and mealy bugs, and have driven farmers in other Pacific islands to abandon their farms. They are also associated with cloudiness and blinding in the eyes of domestic animals, including dogs, cats, and horses.

On the Big Island, residents have been very active in working to reduce LFA populations and mitigate the threat. In the last two years alone, over 2,000 Hawaii islanders have attended training on LFA control provided by BIISC or the Hawaii Ant Lab. More than two dozen neighborhoods are currently working on a year-long plan to eradicate the ants from localized areas.

Stop the Ant month is an effort to urge all residents of the state of Hawaii to survey their property for little fire ants. Because the ants are tiny (less than 1/16th of an inch) they are difficult to see. Ants can be present for six months ore more before they reach noticeable levels, and many people mistakenly believe the ants are not present because they have not yet been stung.

To remain fire ant-free, Big Island residents should survey for fire ants using peanut butter and chopsticks 4 times a year. Infestations can be controlled, but require regular and consistent effort.

More information can be found at StopTheAnt.org.

Update On North Kona Emergency Water Restriction – Another Failure

The Emergency Water Restriction for North Kona remains in effect. ALL residents and customers in North Kona must continue to restrict water use to health and safety needs (drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes).

This restriction also prohibits the draining and refilling of swimming pools, hot tubs, water fountains, etc. Customers should take appropriate measures to reduce the loss of existing water in swimming pools and hot tubs, such as checking the pool for leaks and consulting a pool supplier for appropriate pool covers. In addition, customer should ensure proper operation and maintenance of pool pump equipment.

Recent well failures at Kohala Ranch Water Company (private water system) has left their community without an operating potable water source. As such, it was essential for the Department’s pump contractor to relocate equipment and respond to their critical situation. This will push back the completion of the Department’s Hualālai and Palani well repairs by approximately a week and a half.

Updates on well repairs can be found at www.hawaiidws.org.

Due to a significant level of overall compliance, water levels in the tanks have remained stable. The Department appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict water use during this time. Therefore, limited hand watering of precious plants, on occasion, is still acceptable using the following best practices:

  • Water at night to reduce evaporation.
  • Use of County’s free mulch to preserve moisture around plants. Visit the County’s website at: http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/gr eenwaste/ for more information.
  • Use of rainwater from downspouts for plants.
  • Do not over-water plants.
  • Use of sprinklers (manual or automatic) for lawns and grass areas is still prohibited.

For other unique situations, please contact the Department to discuss possible options. Without everyone’s continued cooperation, there will be areas that will experience periodic loss of water service or lower water pressures.

We also recommend that residents store a sufficient amount of water for basic household needs, such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes, in the event of service disruptions.

For your use, potable water can be obtained from a water “buffalo” located on Hina Lani Street below Anini Street as well as water spigots along Ane Keohokalole Highway, between Kealakehe High School and Palani Road. Please bring your own drinking water containers to fill.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org. To report any observed wasteful use of water, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

EPA Awards $332,000 to Hawaii Department of Agriculture for Pesticide Programs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $332,000 to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) to support its pesticide regulatory program.

“The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has been our long-time partner in environmental protection,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We are pleased to support the pesticide program in ensuring that pesticides are used properly, agricultural workers are protected, and Hawaii’s unique ecosystems can thrive.”

HDOA has authority over pesticide use in Hawaii and conducts inspections, enforcement, training and monitoring for pesticide use throughout the state. Specifically, HDOA:

  • Investigates and enforces incidents of possible pesticide misuse;
  • Provides outreach to agricultural employers to ensure they protect workers from pesticide exposures;
  • Assures the competency of applicators of restricted-use pesticides through its certification and licensing program;
  • Conducts inspections of pesticide products at retail outlets for proper EPA registration, labeling and establishment information;
  • Evaluates pesticides licensed in the State of Hawaii for their potential to contaminate groundwater resources.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations — home to 50 million people.

For more information on pesticides please visit: https://www.epa.gov/pesticides.

College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management Dean’s List, Spring 2017

The following students in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo received Dean’s List recognition for the spring 2017 semester:

Bishop Akao, Tiera Arakawa, Joshua Arizumi, Joshua Boranian, Edward Bufil, Pomaika`i Cathcart, Vincent Chang, Gema Cobian Gutierrez, Lexi Dalmacio, Alexandra Doi, Jesse Felts, Brandon Field, Kawaikapuokalani Genovia, Christian Grostick, Clarissa Guerrero, Johnny Jaime, Erin Kurdelmeyer, Jaylin Millan, Kassie-Lynn Miyataki, Kari Olson, Eissas Ouk, Nathan Pallett, Michael Pamatat, Maria Parker, Wesley Piena, Faamanu Puaina, Jacque Raymond, Connor Rhyno, Kaitlyn Rieber, Romance Romero, Salvatore Satullo, Kuupomaikai Stevens, Mark Tanouye, Emma Tiffan, and Jodie Van Cleave.

Senator Inouye, DLNR Host Public Information Meeting on North Kohala Agricultural Water Study

State Senator Lorraine Inouye (Dist. 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) are sponsoring an informational meeting on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Kohala Village Hub –Barn in Hawi for the public to learn more about the North Kohala Agricultural Water Study.

This meeting will allow community members to meet the project team and hear more about the plan for researching and gathering information on agricultural water users, demands, and agricultural water system conditions. Representatives of the DLNR Engineering Division and its consultants, Waimea Water Services, LLC are conducting the study.

Funds for the study were appropriated by the Hawai‘i State Legislature with the support of Sen. Inouye.

For more information, or to request an ASL interpreter, materials in an alternative format, or other auxiliary aid support, please contact admin@oneworldonewater.org five days before the event.

WHO: Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Department of Land and Natural Resources

WHAT: Public Informational Meeting

WHERE: Kohala Village Hub – Barn
55-514 Hawi Road
Hawi, North Kohala

WHEN: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Hawaii Governor Announces Stepped Up Efforts to Prevent Rat Lungworm Disease and Expanded Role of Joint Task Force

Gov. David Y. Ige, together with the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) and the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) announced today the state’s plans to place a stronger emphasis on the prevention of rat lungworm disease.

This year, the state confirmed a total of 15 cases of the serious parasitic infection, which is the highest number of cases reported in the state over the last decade.

“We are bringing together local experts from relevant fields to increase public awareness, improve our response activities, and explore ways to control and treat the disease,” said Gov. Ige. “They will work together with the Joint Task Force we established last year to step up prevention efforts beyond Hawai‘i Island, where the first cases were reported.”Dr. Kenton Kramer, Associate Professor of the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology with the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine (UH-JABSOM), who is serving as Joint Task Force chair said, “The Joint Task Force to combat rat lungworm disease will reconvene in August. Experts from the medical, scientific, environmental, and public health communities will collaborate to develop guidelines for schools, farms, food establishments, physicians and other groups on best practices to prevent, control, and treat rat lungworm disease.”

The Joint Task Force, established in May 2016, consists of members from UH-JABSOM, Pacific Biosciences Research Center; The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo; HDOA’s Plant Industry and Quality Assurance Divisions; USDA Agriculture Research Service; Kaiser Permanente Hawaii; Hilo Medical Center; Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children; Hawaii County; and the DOH’s State Laboratories Division, District Health Offices of Hawaii Island, Maui, and Kaua‘i, Vector Control Branch, Safe Drinking Water Branch, Disease Outbreak Control Division, and Sanitation Branch.

Because of rising concerns over the recent increase in confirmed cases this year, the 2017 Hawai‘i State Legislature appropriated $1 million ($500,000 over two years) to the DOH to increase public education and improve control and prevention of rat lungworm disease. The funding will make possible a statewide media campaign in partnership with the Hawai‘i Association of Broadcasters to build public awareness of ways to prevent the spread of the parasitic disease.

Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said, “We appreciate the Legislature’s support in allowing the state to accelerate our efforts on this important initiative. The funds will provide much needed resources for our public health communications efforts as well as strengthen our disease investigation and vector control measures for rat lungworm disease.”

In addition to a statewide public awareness campaign, the DOH will work in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Hawai‘i, HDOA, and other agencies to conduct a targeted rat, slug and snail study to identify disease routes and provide data on disease risks from these vectors. A statewide study of this kind has never been conducted in Hawaii before because of limited resources. Findings from the study will guide vector control activities for rat lungworm prevention.

Funding from the Legislature will also support two temporary full-time staff positions to coordinate prevention efforts between county, state, federal, and private sector partners.

Currently, the DOH’s food safety inspectors and vector control staff are collaborating with HDOA to investigate any reports of produce shipments from any farmer or vendor (local or mainland) with an infestation of slugs or snails. If the shipment is traced to a local farm, inspectors work with the farmer to ensure proper pest reduction measures are implemented.

Rat lungworm disease is caused by a parasitic roundworm called Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The parasite can be passed from the feces of infected rodents to snails, slugs and certain other animals, which become intermediate hosts for the parasite. People can become infected when they consume infected raw or undercooked intermediate hosts (slugs, snails, freshwater prawns, frogs, crayfish, and crabs).

Although the rat lungworm parasite has been found in slugs and snails throughout the state, Hawai‘i Island has experienced the majority of the confirmed cases. Some infected people don’t show any symptoms or have mild symptoms. For others, the symptoms can be much more severe and debilitating, and can include headaches, stiffness of the neck, tingling or pain on the skin or in extremities, low-grade fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Sometimes, a temporary paralysis of the face may occur, as well as light sensitivity. This infection can also cause a rare and serious type of meningitis (eosinophilic meningitis).

To prevent the spread of rat lungworm infection, the public is urged to take these important steps:

  • Always practice safe eating habits by inspecting, thoroughly washing, and properly storing raw produce, especially leafy greens, regardless of where it came from, and/or cooking it properly to kill any parasites. Washing raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly under running water before eating not only prevents rat lungworm, but also rinses off other contaminants.
  • Eliminate snails, slugs and rats — all of which are potential vectors for the disease  — both around residential home gardens and agricultural operations of all scales.
  • Prevent the consumption of snails and slugs by covering all containers, from water catchment tanks to drink and food dishes. Supervise young children while playing outdoors to prevent them from putting a slug or snail in their mouths.

Watch todays video here: https://www.facebook.com/GovernorDavidIge/videos/856480491194011/

For more information on preventing rat lungworm disease, go to the DOH website at www.health.hawaii.gov

Tropical Fruit Growers Conference Goes Statewide Sept. 22-29

The 27th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 22-29, starting at the Kaikodo Building in Hilo and then traveling to Kona, Maui, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai for mini-conferences.Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the eight-day event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) and open to the public.

The conference is titled “Facing Challenges” and offers a lineup of visiting researchers and agro experts sharing information and breakout sessions on a variety of topics. They include Ed Stover on “Huanglongbing and the U.S. Citrus Industry: Status and Ongoing Research,” Lindsay Basik on “Durian Cultivation Around the World,” and David Karp on the “History and Genealogy of Citrus.”

HTFG Executive Director Ken Love says Hilo activities include UH, USDA and NASS updates, a report and survey on specialty crops, Q & A with guest speakers, Sunday tour of OK Farms with Brian Lievens, networking and fruit tasting.

Mini-conference activities on the other islands include farm tours and speaker presentations and meetings.

Registration forms and fee schedule are available at www.HTFG.org or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net. Conference room rates are available through August 9, 2017 at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel using code HH7027. Conference is made possible through funding from the County of Hawaii and Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Marking its 28th year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.HTFG.org.

Nicholas Comerford to Serve as Dean of UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Nicholas Comerford will start his new role as dean of the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and director for Research and Cooperative Extension effective September 1, 2017.

Nicholas Comerford

Comerford is currently director of North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, where he also is a professor in the Soil and Water Science Department. He oversees 2,300 acres of infrastructure, along with research and extension programs of faculty representing nine campus departments. In his early career, Comerford was employed as a forest soil specialist by the State of Washington, mapping forested soils in the foothills of Mount Rainier and along the Skagit River Valley.

Comerford’s research expertise is in the area of forest soils, with an emphasis in tropical and subtropical regions. His work concentrated on soil-tree root interactions, the measurement and modeling of soil nutrient bioavailability and general aspects of forest soil management. As an active member of the Soil Science Society of America, he was elected president of the society and served in that capacity in 2010. Comerford was a past board member and chair of the related Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies (ACCESS) Corporation.

Comerford earned his PhD in Silviculture and Forest Influences from the State University of New York and Syracuse University, his master’s degree in Forestry from the University of Maine, and his bachelor’s degree in Forestry from the University of Illinois.

Said UH Mānoa Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michael Bruno, “We are very excited about Dr. Comerford joining the leadership team at Mānoa. His impressive and varied accomplishments in the field, his expertise in tropical soils science, and his experience working closely with both faculty and the community via vibrant extension programs all add up to a terrific background for the new dean of CTAHR.”

For more information about the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, see https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/site.

Eating Macadamia Nuts Can Help Reduce Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Under Certain Circumstances

The Hawaii Congressional Delegation applauded the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of a petition that certifies that eating macadamia nuts can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease under certain circumstances.

The approval of the petition will allow certain macadamia nut products to carry a label that designates them as heart-healthy. After a nearly two-year wait, the Hawaii Congressional Delegation wrote to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on June 26 urging him to expedite review of the petition.

“The FDA ruling will directly benefit Hawaii’s agricultural community,” said Senator Mazie K. Hirono. “Macadamia nuts are one of Hawaii’s most well-known foods, and today’s ruling allows farmers to better market macadamia nut products by educating consumers of their health benefits.”

“This is great news for Hawaii’s macadamia nut producers and our local economy,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “This ruling lifts a cloud of uncertainty off the industry and helps cement the macadamia nut’s place as one of our state’s most valued exports.”

“I am thrilled to see the FDA recognize the health benefits of one of Hawaii’s most famous crops,” said Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01). “This is good news for Hawaii and those of us, like me, who eat Macadamia Nuts on a regular basis.”

“People in Hawaii have long recognized the benefits of macadamia nuts for our overall health and wellbeing,” said Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02). “This decision is an important step to strengthening our local macadamia industry, increasing its potential for growth, and confirming that like other tree nuts, macadamia nuts can offer a great contribution to a healthy diet.”

The petition was submitted by Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut, Inc., but will apply to certain macadamia nut products, regardless of manufacturer.

Under the new guidelines, certain macadamia nut products can carry the following statement:

“Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces per day of macadamia nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased intake of saturated fat or calories may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. See nutrition information for fat [and calorie] content.”

Hawaii Coffee Association Hosts Annual Conference and 9th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition

Coffee industry professionals from across the state assembled for the Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) the 22nd Annual Conference and ninth Annual Statewide Cupping Competition Thursday through Saturday at Maui Tropical Plantation. This year, the HCA combined its annual conference with the Maui Coffee Association’s popular Seed to Cup Festival.The cupping competition featured 107 entries in two divisions— Creative and Commercial —hailing from origins located throughout the island chain including Hawaii Island’s Kona, Ka‘u, Hamakua, Hilo and Puna districts; plus Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu.

“When you got to the last cup, we just said, ‘Wow,’ this is exiting!” exclaimed cupper Warren Muller of Walker Coffee Trading of Houston, Texas. “The level of experimentation is such that we’re now seeing coffees that you wouldn’t expect from the Hawaiian Islands,” shared fellow cupper Shawn Hamilton of Java City of Sacramento. Now in its ninth year of the competition, the cuppers agreed, “The quality just keeps getting better and better. It’s very good for Hawaii.”

Workshops covered topics including coffee brewing, cupping, roasting and roaster maintenance, composting, processing for ‘’quality, differentiation and competition;” branding and packaging, specialized fermentation, plus farm management and sensor technology utilizing drones. A fantastic historic timeline of the Hawaiian coffee industry over the past 30-plus years was presented by retiring University of Hawaii’s CTAHR coffee research icon, Skip Bittenbender. Activities included a tour of O’o Farms in Kula.

A healthy schedule of presenters included a diverse assemblage of state and federal researchers and innovators from private industry. Presenters from USDA, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, as well as Synergistic Hawaii Agricultural Council, offered updates and answered questions. TV and radio personality Howard Dicus took the stage to share his witty commentary.

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, “mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

Competing in the Creative cupping division, the top-scoring coffee was produced by Olinda Organic Farm with its wet-ferment Red Catuai varietal earning a score of 87.4. The top scoring coffee in the Commercial division was a wet ferment typica variety produced by Miranda’s Farm of Ka‘u; it tallied a score of 84.1.

District honors were awarded to Hamakua’s Papaaloa Joe, Hawaii’s Second Alarm Farm, Kauai Coffee Company, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC, and Oahu’s Hawaii Agricultural Research Center.

HCA’s Cupping Committee Chair David Gridley of Maui commented, “Ninety-four coffees (88%) scored 80 and above. It’s amazing how the coffees keep getting better and better. I congratulate all the coffee farmers of Hawaii for their remarkable efforts.”

Visit hawaiicoffeeassoc.org for a full list of qualifying entries and scores.

The association membership gathered to elect a new board and officers. Officers include President Chris Manfredi of Ka‘u; Vice-President Tom Greenwell of Greenwell Farms, Treasurer Adrian Guillen of Hawaiian Queen Coffee and Secretary Donna Wooley of the Kona Coffee Council.

The new board of directors features broad representation spanning a variety of business disciplines including Big Island Coffee Roasters, Heavenly Hawaiian Farms, Hawaii Coffee Company, Royal Kona Visitors Center, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Kauai Coffee Company LLC, Daylight Mind Coffee Co., Maui Coffee Association and UCC-Hawaii.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Its annual conference has continued to grow, gaining international attention.

Learn more about the HCA at www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org

Learn more about the Hawaii coffee industry at hawaiicoffeeindustry.com

Free Orchid Show This Sunday

The 35th annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale is 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, July 23 at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. The free event offers attendees a complimentary orchid boutonniere corsage—while they last.  This year’s theme, “Orchids in Your Hawaiian Garden,” offers educational displays on how to add beauty and fragrance to your outdoor space, plus a guided tour through the on-site Orchid Grotto. The grotto demonstrates how to beautify a problematic space that can be enjoyed from both inside and out. The anniversary show also offers a historical-themed exhibit, “Orchid Reflections, Past and Present.”

Enjoy an elaborate and colorful display of live blooming cattleya, cymbidium, dendrobium, phalaenopsis, miltonia, vanda and more. Cameras are welcome.

Got growing questions? Veteran members staff a Question and Answer Booth where attendees can get expert advice on caring for orchids. The club boasts long-time members who have been growing orchids at different Kona elevations and in Ocean View.

The event offers an outdoor sale of high-quality orchid species and hybrids grown by club members and select Big Isle commercial growers. Club members will sell home-baked goods and drinks and membership info will be available.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. Get club updates at www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise.