Building Bridges Across the Pacific: Harnessing Island and Remote Area Regional Food Business Centers to Promote Sustainable Agricultural Extension

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2024: $99,880.00
Projected End Date: 11/01/2026
Grant Recipient: Hawaii Good Food Alliance
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Lucas McKinnon
Hawaii Good Food Alliance
Michelle Crisostomo
Guahan Sustainable Culture
Sharon Hurd
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Robbi Mixon
Alaska Food Policy Council
Amanda Shaw
HI Agriculture TA Hui; Oahu Ag and Conservation Ass.
Jensen Uyeda
University of Hawaii


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

The Hawaii Good Food Alliance
(HGFA) and its partners, which include the Hawaii Department of
Agriculture, UH CTAHR Extension, Guahan Sustainable Culture,
Alaska Food Policy Council, and the Hawaii Agriculture Technical
Assistance Hui (Ag TA Hui), propose a project to address the
pressing need for sustainable agriculture in the USDA Regional
Food Business Center (RFBC) Island and Remote Regions (Hawaii,
Alaska, Guam, American Samoa, and CNMI).

The Target Areas share common
challenges, including geographic isolation, complex food transit
logistics, underdeveloped infrastructure, climate change impacts,
colonial histories, indigenous populations, and legal issues.
These challenges demand innovative solutions for building
resilient and sustainable regional food systems.

To address these issues, our
project leverages the 5-year RFBC Technical Assistance and
Business Builder Grant programming to expedite the adoption of
Western SARE sustainable agricultural practices. This project
builds on planned RFBC events, workshops, training, and media
products to disseminate Western SARE materials tailored to each
region's specific needs.

By providing technical assistance
and financial support through RFBC activities, this project
equips agricultural professionals, producers, and communities
with the knowledge and resources needed to reduce risks
associated with sustainable practices. Through educational
activities, workshops, training, and digital campaigns, the
project empowers agricultural stakeholders to both adopt and
share sustainable agriculture practices.

The project's outcomes will be
rigorously evaluated, and results will be shared with the public
to promote the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and
contribute to the region's environmental, social, and economic

In summary, this project
addresses the urgent need for sustainable agriculture and
exemplifies the power of collaboration, education, and community
empowerment in driving positive change. It offers a holistic
solution to the unique challenges faced by the Target Areas,
paving the way for resilient, sustainable, and self-reliant local
food systems.

Project objectives from proposal:

Enhance Understanding of
Sustainable Agriculture Principles: Ensure that extension agents,
technical assistance providers and agricultural professionals
have a deep understanding of sustainable agriculture principles,
with specific focus on soil health, integrated pest management,
and ecological farming methods.

Expand Technical Proficiency:
Strengthen the technical proficiency of agricultural
professionals and producers in the application of sustainable
agriculture techniques, such as organic farming practices,
agroforestry, and precision agriculture.

Empower Decision-Making: Enhance
the decision-making capabilities of agricultural professionals
and producers by providing tools and knowledge for assessing the
feasibility and potential benefits of sustainable

Encourage Collaboration and
Networking: Promote collaboration and networking among
agricultural professionals and producers, enabling them to share
best practices and learn from each other's experiences in
sustainable agriculture.

Cultivate Leadership in
Sustainable Agriculture: Identify and nurture emerging leaders in
sustainable agriculture within the Target Areas, empowering them
to take on leadership roles and inspire positive change in their

Address Specific Regional
Challenges: Tailor training and education to address the unique
challenges faced by agricultural professionals and producers in
the Target Areas, such as geographic isolation, climate change
impacts, and limited resources.

Measure and Report Progress:
Implement a system for measuring and reporting the progress of
agricultural professionals and producers in adopting sustainable
agriculture practices and principles.

Evaluate Impact: Conduct regular
evaluations to assess the impact of the project in terms of the
knowledge and skills gained by participants, as well as the
subsequent adoption of sustainable practices in the Target

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.