Progress report for WSP18-007

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2018: $30,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2021
Host Institution Award ID: G203-19-W7506
Grant Recipient: University of Hawaii
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
State Coordinator:
Jensen Uyeda
University of Hawaii
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Project Information

Abstract:

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. 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 projects can be found here:
https://cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/soap/Events/PastEvents.aspx

Project Objectives:

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.

Advisors

Click linked name(s) to expand

Education

Educational approach:

Hawaii is geographically isolated from the continental US as well as within the states counties.  This makes it challenging for Ag professionals to access educational opportunities nationwide.  Our program increases access to local and national educational opportunities through travel scholarships and program support. We also bring in outside topic expertise to the state to provide local ag professionals with vital information to help increase their capacity to promote sustainable agriculture.  

The project also provides a statewide annual training to update ag professionals on some of the technological improvements in agriculture to help them stay relevant.  The education training provides a day of formal education presented by topic experts and followed by farm visits to expose ag professionals to the diversity of agricultural production systems being utilized around the state.

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Disseminating research based information in Hawaii
Objective:

Provide agricultural professionals and producers with the technologies, skills and competencies to increase on farm productivity and efficiency.

Description:

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) Web based Media to Reach Clientele, and 5) Agricultural Technologies such as drones, precision ag, applications, etc. Previous PDP events have been 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.

Outcomes and impacts:

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 also indicated a modification in their opinions and attitudes towards the educational topics offered.

Distance education programs
Objective:

Provide educational opportunities to participants in remote location.

Description:

Due to the global pandemic caused by Covid-19 many educational opportunities were cancelled or postponed. To adapt to these challenges output techniques were modified to allow for remote or virtually based workshops and demonstrations.  Many platforms are available for the virtual dissemination of information. One of the more common platforms for visual education is zoom. This platform allows for social distancing while still allowing for transfer of information.  The project has been using this platform to conduct educational workshops in place of in person events.  

Outcomes and impacts:

Participants indicated that this platform was appropriate for the topics being presented. Participants also indicated that the information learned through zoom is directly related to their clientele and production systems. This platform has also allowed the project to reach clientele groups that my have normally  been excluded due to remote geographic locations. 

Educational & Outreach Activities

3 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
11 On-farm demonstrations
4 Online trainings
4 Published press articles, newsletters
2 Tours
4 Travel Scholarships
4 Webinars / talks / presentations
8 Workshop field days

Participation Summary

9 Extension
2 NRCS
5 Researchers
8 Nonprofit
4 Agency
258 Farmers/ranchers
55 Others

Learning Outcomes

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

Project Outcomes

2 New working collaborations
11 Agricultural service provider participants who used knowledge and skills learned through this project (or incorporated project materials) in their educational activities, services, information products and/or tools for farmers
26 Farmers reached through participant's programs

Face of SARE

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.  

115 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
24 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.