Final report for WSP17-007
a) Topic(s): Local fertilizer recommendations, vegetable variety evaluations, soil health, pest management, food safety and others as identified by CES and NRCS stakeholders.
b) Context, Justification and Assumptions:
Awareness and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices is increasing within the State of Hawaii, and has been growing exponentially over recent years. According to the Kathy King, Hawaii’s Agricultural Statistician, USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service, organic agriculture practices are being implemented on 3,505 acres with 166 farms participating in the 2014 Organic Production Survey. Exempt growers who farm less than $5,000 in total organic sales are not required to be certified under the USDA National Organic Rule, so the total industry value is currently unknown.
The 2014 Organic Production Survey conducted by the USDA NASS provides evidence of continued grower adoption of sustainable agricultural production practices such as organic mulch/compost, green/animal manures, no till or minimum till, maintained buffer strips, water management practices, biological pest management, maintaining beneficial insect or vertebrate habitat, selecting planting locations to avoid pests, releasing beneficial organisms,
choosing pest resistant varieties, and planning plantings to avoid cross-contamination; which is applicable and carried over onto non-organically certified crop lands.
The Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH CTAHR) remains committed to conducting annual professional development educational opportunities for agricultural professionals (AG PRO) in cooperation with WSARE, on evidence based, sustainable agricultural practices. A recent assessment of twenty eight (28) agricultural professionals who represent organizations such as CTAHR (CES agents/specialists), USDA NRCS, Soil and Water
Conservationists, consultants, farmers/ranchers, and other state/federal agencies in Hawaiʻi prioritized the top issues for the 2016-2017 Hawaiʻi WSARE PDP to be: 1) Pest Management, 2) Plant / Soil Nutrition, and 3) Food Safety. HI WSARE PDP educational initiatives will be focused around these topics for 2017-2018.
The Hawaii State WSARE Professional Development Program (HI WSARE PDP)’s advisory committee advises the HI WSARE PDP program. The committee is given an annual opportunity to review the grant proposal and annual report for Hawaii WSARE PDP program and their comments are given heavy consideration in pursuing WSARE PDP grant funding and its annual report. HI WSARE PDP advisory members are also integrated into the execution of its annual HI WSARE PDP AG PRO educational conference when feasible and appropriate.
Due to the geographic and cost constraints of providing continuous, face to face, statewide professional development programs for agricultural professionals, we are continuously challenged to think outside our specialties and leverage trans-disciplinary partnerships, when possible. In 2015, ninety-six (96%) percent of extension and USDA NRCS program participants indicated that the Hawaiʻi WSARE PDP trainings are valuable to their work. In addition, ninety percent (90%) of responders were in favor of Hawaiʻi WSARE PDP program leaders continuing to apply, conduct, and administer WSARE PDP education workshops, travel scholarships, and social media technology transfer. Its worth noting that fifty-six (56%) percent of participants indicated that travel scholarships are still necessary for their participation and attendance. Field demonstrations, farm tours and focused workshops were the top educational delivery channels requested for current and future educational programming.
The Hawaiʻi WSARE PDP “AgPro” is a once a year educational event which is held at different locations around the Hawaiian island chain. Our needs assessment survey instrument also validated and reinforced Hawaiʻi WSARE’s commitment to supporting CTAHR Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program’s (SOAP) web based updates via its HānaiʻAi newsletter and various social media outputs. We have incorporated these comments and recommendations into this year’s WSARE PDP plan of action.
c) Stakeholder and Partner Involvement: In addition to our support from UH Cooperative Extension and the Pacific Basic NRCS, the Hawaii WSARE program relies on extensive involvement and input from local farmers and ranchers, non-profit organizations (e.g. Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Association of Organic Farmers, Hawaii Farmers Union, etc.), Community Colleges (Windward, Leeward, Kaua’i, Maui, Moloka’i, Hawaii, Hilo), and local agricultural consultants.
Frequent field visits to growers and agricultural professionals statewide, and regular attendance at industry group meetings by the PDP coordinators informs and guides decision making. Targeted surveys and workshop feedback co-coordinated by WSARE Hawaii PDP coordinators and staff provide additional guidance for development of program activities. Examples of events and activities from which feedback has been collected from a broad-based of stakeholders include:
See https://cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/soap/Events/PastEvents.aspx for event details
• 2016 NACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference
• Organic Field Day
• Oahu County, UH Cooperative Extension Service Needs Assessment
• Statewide Cacao Survey
• UH Climate Change Survey
• UH Climate Change Survey
• Statewide Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) Survey
• Statewide AG PRO Needs Assessment for HI WSARE PDP Program
• Statewide Improving Network Technology for Extension Professionals
• Statewide Soil Health Survey
• Statewide Cacao Survey
• Waimanalo Learning Center, Community Based Survey
• Statewide Forestry Stewardship Survey
• Statewide Cacao Industry Survey
• Hawai’i State PDP Advisory Committee feedback to Hawaii state PDP report.
• Hawai’i Agricultural Professional Survey of needs for organic producers.
• Statewide Chilli Pepper Survey
• Statewide Survey of Agriculture and Natural Resource CES agents
• Hana’ai Sustainable Agriculture Newsletter readership statewide survey
• Hawai’i State PDP Advisory Committee feedback to Hawaii state PDP report.
• Hawai’i State PDP Advisory Committee feedback to Hawaii state PDP report 2011
• Hana’ai Sustainable Agriculture Newsletter readership statewide survey
• CTAHR/USDA Research update evaluations
• Integrated Crop and Livestock Management evaluations.
• Survey of Agriculture and Natural Resource CES agents.
• Hawai’i Grower-Retailer Interface meeting
• Hawaii Organic Industry Analysis
This is the sixth year we have integrated feedback from the WSARE PDP advisory committee into the application.
The WSARE PDP advisory committee informs and advises the Hawaii WSARE PDP coordinators of their need for industry support based on their involvement with their multi-diciplinary stakeholders. For a list of 2018-2019 advisory committee members, see: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/adv-comm.html
Based on results from stakeholder and advisory member engagements described above, ongoing and increased emphasis in the 2018-2019 training period are expected to be placed on the following topics:
• Water Resources and Irrigation Water Management
• Food Safety
• Reduced reliance on imported inputs for plant and soil health
• Fruit tree / organic seed production
• Added educational opportunities in new food safety regulations
• Protected environment (e.g. screen house) production
• Improved dissemination of information directly to growers
• Improving agricultural professionals’ capacity to serve new and beginning farmers
d) Inputs: In addition to WSARE funding, the project will engage and leverage the staff time of at least 10 CTAHR faculty (extension agents, specialists and researchers), 6 farmer cooperators, and 3 nongovernmental organizations to help prepare and deliver the training. We will use CTAHR’s meeting facilities and video network capabilities of CTAHR statewide. CTAHR experiment stations will be available for related field tours on each island. Presenters
will volunteer their time and equipment.
1) Target Audience: (20+9) CES, (15) NRCS, (3) Extension Faculty, (2) PDP coordinators, (3) NGOs, (20) Farmers/Ranchers, (20) Youth educators, (2) Consultants
2) Activities and Methods:
We propose to use WSARE PDP funding in support of our flagship, WSARE PDP workshops that targets Extension, USDA NRCS personnel and other agricultural professionals to network and attend presentations on projects and activities that improve their knowledge on identified priority subjects. These workshops will be similar in format to those supported in previous years, which participant’s indicate are of value to them.
For examples from recent WSARE PDP sponsored event, see:
We will continue to support CES agent travel, to allow agents to attend meetings relevant to their stakeholders. We will also collaborate with local teams of extension agents and NRCS staff on each island for design and delivery of the in-depth training programs on topics related to optimizing plant and soil health in integrated cropping systems.
Examples of supported 2016 activities can be found here:
We will continue to maximize our limited resources for training CES and NRCS staff by:
(1) Using existing video conferencing technology to broadcast classroom lecture-style presentations to neighbor islands, i.e. Zoom
(2) Distributing our training materials on-line (https://cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/soap/HOME.aspx) and/or hard copies,
(3) Providing honoraria for local farmers to serve as co-presenters (when feasible), and
(4) Providing travel funds for presenters to travel to neighbor islands for follow up physical field days and field tours.
3) Products: We utilized the WSARE’s PDP funds to conduct one annual professional development program at a revolving site which will support:
(1) coordination and the travel expenses for speakers and interested participants,
(2) partial staff & program support for team organization (Zoom meetings, survey monkey for needs assessments, report writing, etc), fee based electronic media (website, e-newsletter, SurveyMonkey) and (3) free social media efforts (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube).
Electronic publications continue to be one of our best investments for information & technology delivery due to geographic and scheduling issues. Information and handouts from WSARE/ SOAP’s agricultural professional workshops will be posted on-line, post event for participants to review and for those who could not make the event. An unanticipated program product often derived from these educational events is new collaborative partnerships
between local farmer presenters, agents and extension and USDA NRCS field staff.
Outcomes: Increased food self-sufficiency and security is a priority for a state which relies on 85-90% of imports as its primary food source. Approximately 90% of our local producers farm on less than 50 acres, based on the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Seventy-eight percent of farms in Hawaii gross less than 25K a year. Therefore, we aim to increase the productivity and efficiency of the small to medium scale farm operations in Hawaii as our contribution towards increased food security and reduced import dependence for our island state.
We will use WSARE PDP funding to create beginning to intermediate level training materials and hold
AG PRO workshops to increase CES/NRCS awareness and knowledge, improve CES/NRCS skills and heighten our capacity to provide educational programs, that may lead to changes in CES/NRCS educator and stakeholder behavior. The funding from WSARE PDP will provide for networking opportunities in addition to educational programming which is critical for the sustainability and advancement of the Hawaii’s Cooperative Extension Service as well.
Overall, ongoing assistance from WSARE PDP will allow us to continue servicing and educating agricultural professionals in advancing sustainable agricultural practices which are in line with WSARE’s goals in advancing stewardship of the island’s natural resources by providing site-specific, sustainable farming and ranching methods that strengthens agricultural competitiveness; satisfies human food and fiber needs, maintain, conserve, enhance the
quality and productivity of soil; conserve water, energy, natural resources, and maintain and improve the quality of surface and ground water. We anticipate providing agricultural professionals and producers with the technologies, skills and competencies to increase on farm productivity and efficiency; safeguard human, farm, biological and natural resources; reduce unnecessary crop and chemical inputs; and improve the overall quality of life of Hawaii’s
farmers and agricultural communities through education, outreach, and applied research.
A total of twenty-eight agricultural professionals from across Hawaii gathered for a two-day educational program around the theme of developing effective extension programs and conducting informative program evaluation. The classroom portion of the event was held at the Kauai Community College in Lihue, Kauai on November 2019. Three presenters talked about techniques for and applications for program evaluation from, adult learning styles, cultural competency, and working with Limited English Proficient (LEP) stakeholders. Margaret Viebrock of Washington State University, recipient of the American Association of Family & Consumer Science’s Distinguished Service Award was an invited speaker for the event and provided insight to her thirty plus years of extension and how effective program evaluation can help to improve the overall program plan.
On the second day of the training, participants were provided the opportunity to experience a vertically integrated food system at the Grand Hyatt on Kauai. Participants were exposed to techniques used to produce produce hydroponically and how on site production provides the hotel food system with fresh local produce.
Aquaculture: The WSARE PDP coordinators, UH CTAHR faculty and staff continue to support aquaculture by supporting educational events with WSARE and SOAP presentation materials and presentations due to gaps with retirements.
Urban Horticulture: The WSARE PDP coordinators, UH faculty and staff continue to support urban horticulture via the UH Master Gardener Program, providing training in sustainable and organic gardening. Statewide Urban Garden Centers continues to feature organic and sustainable
gardening demonstration area and offer public workshops related to these practices.
Socially Disadvantaged / Underserved Farmers: The WSARE PDP coordinators, UH CTAHR faculty and staff continue to support the Local Immigrant Farm Education (LIFE) Program.
Educational events are coordinated in conjunction with SOAP on a variety of topics from safe pesticide use to cultivar selection.
New Farmers: Many new beginning farmer programs are forming in the state, and we work actively with these programs. Among those most served are the Hawaiian Farmers program in Molokai (served by Glenn Teves and Alton Arakaki), Wahiawa Farmer Development Program
(in conjunction with the City and County of Honolulu and Jensen Uyeda) and the GoFarm Hawaii program which started on Oahu and now offered a statewide basis (lead by Janel Yamamoto, Jay Bost and Nora Rodli). Our newsletter, Hanai’ai also features a special section with New Farmer information.
SOAP Learning Centers: In the spirit of Western SARE’s lifelong & hands on learning, SOAP initiated the first learning center at the Waimanalo Research Center in 2012. The Waimanalo Learning Center includes the college’s only certified organic plots. Due to its success, in 2013, SOAP initiated a second learning center at the Poamoho Experiment Station. Leveraged funding from WSARE PDP coordinators and other UH CTAHR faculty members help to sustain these two learning centers on Oahu.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
To increase the reach out into rural areas in Hawaii and inform farmers on new technologies in sustainable agriculture.
The Hawaii WSARE PDP activities focused on disseminating research based information to support the top five priority areas identified by Hawaii’s agricultural professionals in the HI WSARE Needs Assessment Survey: 1) Pest Management, 2) Creating Educational Videos, 3) Produce Quality, 4) Accessing Social Media to Reach Clientele, and 5) Agricultural Technologies such as drones, precision ag, applications, etc. Previous PDP events have been on heavily focused on edible crop production systems and soil / conservation related topics. Minority votes on priority subjects included request for livestock and technology use in animal production. Focused workshops, field demonstrations, farm tours, PowerPoint/lecture slides, face to face interaction, agent sharing and integration of the latest technology were the top ranked methods of information delivery for professional development trainings. Information obtained from the SOAP Needs Assessment helped to formulate our agenda.
(1) Acquisition of new knowledge and skills: Through post event workshop evaluations, we learned that, one hundred percent (100%) of the participants rated the HI WSARE PDP’s annual flagship program to be good to excellent based on usefulness of information. One hundred percent (100%) ofparticipants indicated that the event improved their awareness of technology use in Cooperative Extension.
(2) Changes in attitudes or understanding: Educational programs that allow participants to learn more about evidence based and localized sustainable and organic practices is vital to our continued success in changing agricultural practices in an island state. One hundred percent of participants indicated that the event helped them learn new skills and seventy-fivepercent (75%) indicated a modification in their opinions and attitudes towards the educational topics offered. Sixty-six percent of participants indicated that the Hawaii WSARE PDP training helped to improve the recommendations they will provide to their diverse stakeholder groups. Majority of participants
(75%) indicated that they plan to utilize some aspect of the trainings in their educational planning or events. Participants gave examples how they may incorporate some of the information learned into their various programs: “The use of technology to find information about areas. I may also incorporate some of the information about pollinators and how to manage operations with minimal impact to pollinators; the integration of new technologies presented, topics of livestock-plant-human nutrition connections; this training was beyond my scope and discipline but I found it all very interesting to learn about new technologies and to learn about the work of my colleagues; as part of the agriculture education programs I run, I include information on animal science and some of the information gained during the presentations and tours can be incorporated into the program; computer mapping; the science and technology involved in cattle ranching; pursuing more information with regards to GIS and remote sensing; program was nicely staggered to include livestock, entomology and IPM, in which everyone became a little more familiar with what our peers are doing. This facilitates collaboration and improved recommendations in the field; increased awareness in regards to integrated pest and pollinator management.” Suggestions for improvements included: “It’s hard to decide on opening the presentation for a wider range of topics of keep them in a specific theme. Both has pros/cons. I tend to prefer wider topics approach; the gamemaster could remember all the rules the first time; I enjoyed the 2 days; more hands-on activities; more speakers; stakeholders attend workshops; have them move often. Would have been neat to include aspects of meat science, carcass quality and food safety.”
Topics for future PDP included: “Cover crop management and crop rotations to manage nutrients. Strategies for soil health in greenhouse operations. How to interpret soil test results and give recommendations; protected agriculture, biosolid waste use/management, crop diversity, farmers training; talking to farmers now and the issue is black rot. Conventional vs organic, combo of both. If GMO seed would help; issues facing organic growers/producers. How are we assisting producers to meet the public’s want of organic food? How do we make agriculture in Hawaii sustainable? How is CTAHR part of the governor’s and state’s plan to double food production in Hawaii by 2030?; how research impacts consumers; deep well water as a backup water source, use of the ocean desalination for safe drinking; weed, disease and insect control; Livestock production, animal breeding and genetics cover crops.”
The best part of the two-day Hawaii PDP Program was: “I missed the tours, so I can only judge the first day. The team building exercises were a good way to get to know other agents; group activities; both days was good. Education part was done well. Nice to see the real deal in action; spending time with colleagues and learning about their work; opportunities to network and learn what other agents are doing; fun games, outdoor tours; field tours by the ranch; networking opportunities with agents on other islands; hard to say. I think the presentations and team building were the strongest part for me. I feel others really benefited from the day 2 tours; the tours and learning and seeing more about topics beyond my field of expertise.”
All participants were in favor of Hawaii WSARE PDP program leaders soliciting grants to continue administering WSARE PDP education workshops, travel scholarships, and social media technology transfer. Comments in support of the event included: “I feel these events are important to learn about other agents and their projects, especially as CTAHR gains new faculty; It is good to learn new skills and topics; It was a great event. I would like to thank the Western SARE for providing the grant and for the event coordinators for their effort to put the event together; Thank you for inviting me and including me in this training! nicely done, again! this is one way of meeting other people from different islands and learning; great job overall in educating and bringing people in UH together.”
(3) Changes in behavior and action:
- Proliferation of Beginning Farmer training programs across the state, i.e. New Farmers Network on Maui, GoFarm Hawaii- statewide, Moloka’i Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmer Program, and Ku I Ka Mana (Kohala Center Beginning Farmer Program) utilizing sustainable and organic agricultural practices.
- The 2014 Organic Production Survey conducted by the USDA NASS provides evidence of grower adoption of sustainable agricultural production practices such as organic mulch/compost, green/animal manures, no-till or minimum till, maintained buffer strips, water management practices, biological pest management, maintaining beneficial insect or vertebrate habitat, selecting planting locations to avoid pests, releasing beneficial organisms, choosing pest resistant varieties, and planning plantings to avoid cross-contamination.
- The 2016 Certified Organic Survey (USDA NASS, 2016) shows that there are 113 certified organic farms in Hawaii.
- Hawaii’s organic fruit and vegetable production is increasing in acreage and valued over $13.4 million dollars (USDA NASS, 2016) compared to $7.6 million in 2008.
- Agricultural chemical companies are carrying a wide array of crop production products in their inventory which includes organic fertilizers and reduced risk crop protection chemicals.
- Through a collaborative partnership with WSARE, agricultural professionals across the state receive continuing education opportunities on new advancement in sustainable and organic agriculture practices.
- Since 1988, WSARE has invested 5.5 million dollars in sustainable agriculture research and education in Hawaii. New positions being advertised and recruited at UH CTAHR are in the area of sustainable and organic agriculture.
- External, non-government agencies are increasing their educational programs to include sustainable and organic practices and advocacy.
- Organic certification cost share program provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Qualified applicants can receive up to $750 per certification.
- Hawaii passed Act 258, (2017) which establishes an Organic Food Production Tax Credit for Hawaii’s farmers, ranchers and producers. Qualified expenses for the production and expenses related to organic food production will be credited up to $50,000.
- The 2018 Hawaii State Legislature added three new permanent positions to the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s annual budget which includes two tenure track Extension Agent positions and an administrative support position in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program.
To improve availability and connection with the local community in Hawaii. HanaiAi extension bulletins website, facebok, twitter, and other social media is been used.
We are using various social media venues to reach out to more people, especially that travelling between the islands of Hawaii is costly. The social media and extension bulletins websites been very helpful to transfer knowledge and stay in touch through the internet.
Use of Zoom and social media platforms has lead to increased awareness and engagement. Ag professionals have the opportunity to share information more broadly and more rapidly allowing for greater collaboration despite geographic limitiations.
Educational & Outreach Activities
- An unintended outcome of our statewide SOAP educational program was the development of legislator sponsored bills in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2018, two tenure track Extension Agent positions and an administrative support position was supported by the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program. In addition to the three SOAP positions, eight additional tenure track Extension Agent positions were added to the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s annual budget.
- We have currently filled the two tenure track SOAP positions on Oahu and Kauai.
- Invited articles are submitted by Dr. Ted Radovich on sustainable and organic agriculture to the Hawaii Farm Bureau’s Hawaii Food and Farm Magazine.
- The SOAP program is annually invited to the state capitol by UH CTAHR and Hawaii Farm Bureau to participate in the AG at the Capitol educational event for policy makers.
Due to the long list of advisors invited to help and support this project. The project team listed them in this section.
Advisory members are located across the state. Due to limited travel funding available, communication is accomplished primarily through email, phone calls, and personal visits when possible by the WSARE PDP Co-coordinators. Advisory committee members responsibilities include reviewing the WSARE annual report and grant proposals. Our advisory board will receive and review the 2018 Hawaii WSARE PDP annual report in February 2019 and provide suggestions for improvement.
The following people served on the Hawaii WSARE PDP Advisory Committee in 2018:
Alton Arakaki (retired 12/31/18),
Dr. Carl Evensen,
Ranae Ganske-Cerizo (USDA NRCS),
Vincent Mina (HFUU),
Jerry Ornellas. At the request of the WSARE PDP advisory team, we added a new member in 2016 from the nonprofit sector.
In 2017, Radovich and Sugano recruited early career Extension agents (Motomura, Uyeda, and Ahmad to assist them in planning and executing the 2017&2018Hawaii WSARE PDP Program. Uyeda and Wages have taken the lead of the Hawaii WSARE PDP Program in 2019. Radovich and Sugano will be added to the Hawaii WSARE PDP Advisory Committee and serve as resources for the new co-leaders.
Face of SARE
The project team is grateful to SARE/USDA for supporting the limited resources available in Hawaii and making it easy for the project team to reach out to wider range of areas and growers throughout the state of Hawaii.
The SARE logo, publications, and funding sources were/are mentioned in all the events used the project funds.