Hot Shot Hawaii v.2.0: Expanding Hawaii’s Agricultural Professionals Capacity to Advance Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Practices in Hawaii

Project Overview

MW17-007
Project Type: Enhanced State Grants
Funds awarded in 2017: $24,895.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2018
Grant Recipient: University of Hawaii
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Theodore Radovich
University of Hawaii, Manoa

Information Products

Commodities

  • Agronomic: sugarcane
  • Fruits: bananas, papaya
  • Vegetables: beans, eggplant, sweet corn, sweet potatoes

Practices

  • Crop Production: agroforestry, cover crops, cropping systems, crop rotation, drought tolerance, fertigation, fertilizers, intercropping, organic fertilizers, pollination
  • Education and Training: extension, networking, workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: farm-to-restaurant, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, genetic resistance, precision herbicide use
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture
  • Soil Management: green manures, nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: community services, urban agriculture

    Abstract:

    The WSARE Enhanced State Program Grant funding (Hot Shot v.2.0) was used to maximize the limited resources available for agricultural professional development and farmer training in rural areas of Hawaii, by covering additional areas were determined during the previous WSARE grant award (Hot Shot v1.0) in 2017.

    The ‘hot shot’ teams, were deployed to different rural areas throughout Hawaii, in support of different educational and training programs, developed and delivered presentations and other outreach activities covered various topics, such as: good agricultural practices and food safety, high-quality food production, reduced risk edible commodities, environmental stewardship, agricultural competitiveness, food- and self-sufficiency and nutritional-security. The activities were very helpful to strengthen our partnerships with local teams from other Ag-professionals agencies and organizations from USDA NRCS staff across the state, Ag-related organization (HOFA, HFUU, and HFBF), and others. This funding allowed the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) to reach more stakeholders in 2018.

    Design and delivery of the training programs on priority sustainable agricultural topics were based on the needs of those who service and farm in these targeted agricultural communities. We identified SOAP topic leaders with expertise in the identified topic areas and supported travel expenses to speakers. Travel awards were provided for agents, from neighboring islands, who wished to attend ‘hot shot’ workshops outside of their respective areas. We partnered with host agents, local producers and established statewide partnerships with programs such as the GoFarm Hawaii and Kohala Center, to generate easy to read and understand educational workshop materials, and executed field demonstrations based on stakeholders’ identified needs and information delivery preferences. Field days, online newsletters, and classroom lectures were the top three educational delivery methods identified by SOAP/WSARE workshop participants.

    Due to the WSARE support, provided through this grant award, SOAP contributed in reducing reliance on imported fertilizers and crop inputs, improving nutrient management and soil health; advocated for agricultural practices that are mindful of the natural resources, environment, and worker health; improved dissemination of the latest research based information directly to agricultural professionals and growers; increased awareness of SOAP’s team and activities throughout Hawaii State and improved the program capacity in reaching out to rural areas to service existing, new, and beginning producers in Hawaii, and advanced agricultural professionals’ skills.

    Project objectives:

    We aim to use this supplemental WSARE funding to maximize the limited resources available for agricultural professional development training in rural areas of Hawaii. Development and radiation of ‘hot spot’ teams in identified rural areas such as Hawaii, Molokai, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu in combination with educational programs on responsible farming, high-quality, reduced risk edible commodities, environmental stewardship, agricultural competitiveness, and food self-sufficiency will strengthen partnerships with local teams of extension agents and NRCS staff and allow SOAP to reach more stakeholders in 2017 and beyond. Design and delivery of the in-depth training on priority sustainable agricultural topics will be based on the needs of those who service and farm in these agricultural communities.

    We have identified SOAP topic leaders and will support speakers’ travel expenses. Support of inter-island travel for neighbor island agents who wish to attend ‘hot spot’ workshops outside of their areas will be provided as funding permits. We will partner with the host agent, local producers and established statewide program such as the Go Farm Program at UH CTAHR to generate easy to read/understand educational workshop materials, handouts, and execute field demonstrations based on stakeholders’ identified needs and information delivery preferences.

    Through expanding this yearlong educational training across the state, SOAP anticipates reducing reliance on imported crop inputs and improving soil health; advocating for reduced risk agricultural practices that are mindful of our natural resources and worker health; improving dissemination of the latest research based information directly to agricultural professionals and producers; advancing agricultural professionals’ skills and competencies; and improving our capacity in taking the university out to rural areas to service existing, new, and beginning producers in Hawaii.

    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.