Progress report for WSP17-002

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $28,817.80
Projected End Date: 12/31/2019
Grant Recipient: American Somoa Community College
Region: Western
State: American Samoa
State Coordinator:
Ian Gurr
American Samoa Communiy College- Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources
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Project Information

Abstract:

Topic
Pesticide Safety (developing a pesticide safety program for American Samoa Department of Agriculture).

Context, Justification and assumptions
Background and previous projects.

Previous WSARE PDP funding allowed training of 2 American Samoa Community College – Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ASCC-ACNR) staff in the Produce Safety Alliance Food Safety Course. These 2 Individuals can now act as PSA food safety trainers and are in the process of applying to become PSA Food Safety Lead trainers. The PSA food safety course focuses on biological contamination, and prevention. Pesticide safety is not covered in depth. WSARE PDP funds were also used to produce a Produce Safety Training Manual for local vegetable farmers in English, Samoan, Chinese and Vietnamese. Along with discussion of microbial contamination, this manual discusses chemical contamination and pesticide safety in depth. Agriculture in American Samoa is in need of a functioning pesticide safety program which will provide farmer education, provide inspector training/certification and develop regulations allowing enforcement in the area of agriculture pesticides. Currently in American Samoa there is no agriculture Worker Protection Standard (WPS) program, no DOA inspectors trained and certified to do farm inspections of pesticides and their use, or a program in place to sample and test produce for pesticide residues.

The appropriate staff of American Samoa Dept. of Agriculture (ASDOA), American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), American Samoa Department of Public Health (ASDOH) and ASCC-ACNR will greatly benefit by training from the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture Pesticide Branch staff. Dr. John McHugh, Program Manager of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Pesticide Branch and his staff have arranged on farm, laboratory and classroom training in the following areas:

Pesticide inspector medical monitoring and respirator fitting.

On farm Ag. Use Inspection.

On farm WPS Inspection.

Protocols and hands on practice of field collection of plant material for pesticide residue testing.

Protocols and hands on practice of field collection of soil samples for pesticide testing.

Chemical Analysis Lab presentation and discussion of pesticide residue testing.

Food Safety Inspection training.

Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine tour and presentation.

WPS informational presentation.

Case Development activities.

Stakeholder and partner involvement

The American Samoa Department of Agriculture (ASDOA), ASEPA, ASDOH, and ASCC-ACNR are the stakeholders in this endeavor. They will be partnering with Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Pesticide Branch who will provide training in the areas of pesticide safety for American Samoa.

Inputs
HDOA will provide hands on, on farm, in lab and classroom training to address deficiencies in agriculture pesticide safety programs in American Samoa.

Materials such as protocols for conducting Ag. Use Inspections and field collection of plant tissue and soil for residue analysis used in this training will be used to develop similar training material for ASDOA pesticide inspectors.

Outputs

  1. Target audience
    1. Pesticide inspectors from ASDOA, ASEPA and ASDOH. 
  2. Activities and methods
    1. Trainings (April 5, 8-12. 2019):

      Pesticide inspector medical monitoring and respirator fitting.

      On farm Ag. Use Inspection.

      On farm WPS Inspection.

      Protocols and hands on field collection of plant material for pesticide residue testing.

      Protocols and hands on field collection of soil samples for pesticide testing.

      Chemical Analysis Lab presentation and discussion of pesticide residue testing.

      Food Safety inspection training.

      Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine tour and presentation.

      WPS informational presentation.

      Case Development activities.

  3. Products
    1. Training by HDOA Pesticide Branch will allow local American Samoa Agencies to develop: 1. American Samoa Ag. Use Pesticide Inspection materials (SOPs for conducting inspection) to be completed by January 30, 2020; 2. American Samoa Dept. of Agriculture protocols for field collection/chain of custody of plant material for pesticide residue analysis to be completed by January 30, 2020.
Project Objectives:
  1. Provide training to 3 American Samoa Dept. of Agriculture, and 1 American Samoa EPA, inspector on how to conduct on farm agriculture use pesticide inspections and how to collect plant and soil samples for residue testing.
  2. Provide training to 1 American Samoa Dept. of Health inspector on how to collect produce for random agricultural commodities residue testing.
  3. Build relationship with Hawaii Department of Agriculture Pesticide Branch.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Dr. John McHugh (Educator)

Education

Educational approach:

Audience is 5 American Samoa Government Agency inspectors involved in work related to pesticide use in local agriculture.

Training conducted by Hawaii State Department of Agriculture Pesticide Branch on April 5, 8-12  2019.

In class presentations on: 1. Worker Protection Standard (WPS) requirements and training; 2. Agriculture Use Pesticide inspections; 3. Protocols for field sampling of plant material, soil and surface swabs for pesticide residue testing; 4. Pesticide complaint  investigations; 5. Chemical analysis lab training; 6. Department of Agriculture Pesticide Branch Case Development; 7. Farm Food Safety Inspection Training. 8. Department of Health Random Agricultural Commodities (RAC) sampling program for pesticide residue monitoring. 9. Pesticide Branch Education program.

On farm, hands on training: 1. WPS inspections; 2. Ag. Use Pesticide inspections; 3. Field sampling of plant material, soil and surface swabs for pesticide residue testing; 4. Tour and demonstrations of pesticide residue analysis at Pesticide Chemistry Lab; 5. Tour of Plant Quarantine facilities.

 

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Pesticide Safety
Objective:

Provide training to 5 American Samoa agriculture professionals who's work involves pesticide inspections.

Description:

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Pesticide Branch will provide training on Ag. Use Inspections and Plant and Soil collection for residue testing.

Outcomes and impacts:

American Samoa Department of Agriculture inspectors that attended this training have a better understanding of federal and Hawaii State rules/regulations regarding on farm pesticide use. This will benefit them when putting together inspection protocols and in conducting farm pesticide safety inspections. They have an understanding of sampling for pesticide residue testing, chain of evidence protocols, preparation of samples for shipping and record keeping allowing them to correctly collect samples and ship them to off island labs for residue analysis. An informal partnership with Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Branch has been formed, allowing us to seek their assistance in matters concerning on farm pesticide misuse and utilizing their laboratory services for residue testing.

The American Samoa EPA have begun a program with Federal partners to begin WPS training in American Samoa.

Discussions with American Samoa Department of Health have started the idea of introducing legislation requiring labeling of locally grown produce with farm identification and the possibility of initiating a Department of Health program of monitoring produce in stores and at the federally funded School Lunch Program for pesticide residues.

Educational & Outreach Activities

6 On-farm demonstrations
3 Study circle/focus groups

Participation Summary

3 Extension
1 Researchers
1 Agency

Learning Outcomes

6 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
6 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

2 Grants received that built upon this project
2 New working collaborations

Face of SARE

8 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
5 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.