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Local Food Education

1/20/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Winner of 2014 Buy Local It Matters recipe contestThe first-ever Buy Local, It Matters kids’ recipe contest, held in December in the Ag Sci building, was recently lauded by food writer Nadine Kam in her popular column “Take a Bite.” The article, which called the students’ work “professional level,” also quoted HDOA representative and contest judge Sharon Hurd, who stressed that sustainability awareness should be a component of students’ education and that they should be encouraged to “think about what we lose when we rely on imports.”

Hearts of Gold and Chocolate

1/20/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Skip Bittenbender with cacao treeH.C. “Skip” Bittenbender (TPSS), an Extension specialist for coffee, kava, and cacao, will be the featured speaker for the Heart of Gold lunch sponsored by the ARCS Foundation’s Honolulu Chapter on February 9. He will provide an update on chocolate in Hawai‘i, a subject sure to whet the appetites of the attendees. The proceeds of the luncheon benefit 2015 ARCS awards to UH Manoa doctoral students in the sciences, engineering, mathematics, and health disciplines. It’s always nice to be able to combine community service, academic support, and chocolate!

Bikinis and Business Sense

1/14/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Inbar MaorAPDM (now FDM) alumna Inbar Maor is already getting buzz about her newly launched line of women’s swimwear, Olena Kai. “Olena Kai was created for women who love the water and want to accentuate their bodies with swimwear that is comfortable, complimenting, stylish, versatile and reliable,” she says. She explains that her line includes “a number of different cuts to stylishly cover women of all shapes and sizes” and that customers are able to choose their own color combinations for the suits. Olena Kai can be seen on Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram.

What’s It Worth to You?

1/14/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Kirsten OlesonA recent article in Hawaii Business featuring Kirsten Oleson (NREM, pictured) and Kim Burnett (NREM affiliate faculty) asks—and answers—an intriguing question: how is it possible to put a dollar amount on natural resources and wilderness areas? There are a number of different ways, Kirsten explains: most broadly, valuation can be divided into “use values” and “non-use values”—that is, whether people are getting tangible benefits from the natural world is providing. But she shows that it’s more complicated than that—people can also feel good about the existence of natural features and areas they may never see or directly use; they may just be glad they exist. Kim looks at the matter from the opposite side, discussing how much value is lost due to “bad” natural resources, such as invasive species: for instance, she has looked at how much real estate values have gone down in areas infested by coqui frogs versus areas that are free of the pests. Theirs are welcome perspectives, demonstrating that the traditional model enumerating “services” generated by the environment is more nuanced than might have been believed.

In the Cowtainer

1/14/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

CowtainerInterim Associate Dean of Extension Ashley Stokes (HNFAS) is extensively quoted throughout a recent article chosen as the cover story for the Bovine Veterinarian magazine and Drovers, the online newsletter of the Cattle Network. While grass-feeding is a growing and important method of finishing cattle, the majority of Hawai‘i’s calves are still shipped off-island—usually in “cowtainers,” modified freight containers with waterers, feeders, windows, and special flooring. As an Extension veterinarian, Ashley works with ranchers to create and implement health procedures to make sure the animals remain healthy throughout the shipping process, including recommendations for preconditioning and selecting cattle, health inspections, transport to and from docks, loading and unloading, feed and water, and care during transport. These guidelines and recommendations work so well, the article explains, that cattle producers shipping within the continental US may do well to follow them as well!

The Good Earth

1/14/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Hands holding soilIn collaboration with their program partners, CTAHR’s Center of Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship (CRATE) and Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) will host two educational field days focusing on the soil. The first will take place at Waimanalo Research Station on Wednesday, January 28, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Topics include an introduction to soil health and its indicators, benefits of no-till farming systems and cover-cropping, and development of a cover crop calculator for Hawai‘i. Hands-on demonstrations include a soil-slaking test and assays for water runoff and water percolation properties with simulated rainfall. Participants can bring their own soil for assessment; find out about compost tea-brewing systems; and check out the compost quality booth, the display of different types of cover crops, and tea-fertigation injection systems. The Poamoho Research Station workshop, which takes place on Saturday, February 7, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, includes many of the same presentations and also shows participants potential cost savings with cover crop use; a comparison of single vs. mixed cover crops in long-term no-till farming plots; soil health indicators using nematodes; leguminous cover crops in till vs. no-till farming systems, and screenings of the videos Symphony of the Soil and The Benefits of Vermicomposting. For fun, there will be a Jeopardy!-style game on soil knowledge!

Standing Up to Wilt

1/14/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Banana affected by Fusarium wiltDr. Chunyu Li, a researcher at the Institute of Pomology at the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China, will be offering the seminar “Integrative Approaches for Managing Fusarium Wilt of Banana in Guangdong, China” on Wednesday, January 28, at 11:00 a.m. in Gilmore 306. Since Fusarium wilt is also a big problem for banana in Hawai‘i as well, you may want to talk more about the subject. If so, you’ll also have the opportunity of meeting with Dr. Li individually—please call John Hu at 956-7281 if you want to set up a meeting.

Making the Distinction

1/14/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Kauahi Perez explaining posterKauahi Perez (TPSS PhD student), who studies plumeria, recently attended and presented a poster at the Hawaii International Conference on Education at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort with mentor and co-author Kent Kobayashi. The poster, intriguingly titled “A Scientific Poster Is Not a Scientific Article,” is a distillation of their conference proceedings paper, which will be available online soon. Kauahi (right) did an excellent job of explaining and discussing the poster with the other conference attendees, Kent confirms.

Tracking Buying

1/7/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Youngjin BahngYoungjin Bahng (FDM) was recently honored at the Applied Business and Entrepreneurship Association International (ABEAI) conference 2014, where she was given a Best Paper award in tracking Case Studies in Finance, Operations, Business Law, and Marketing. Her paper, “Retail Buying Behavior and Strategies: A Study of Retailing in Hawai‘i,” is one of the studies within her primary research line, which analyzes and develops strategies for successful retail businesses in the globalized environment. This study is also part of her Hatch project supported by USDA NIFA and managed by CTAHR. The research was conducted with two co-authors, Marie (Abby) Cristi-Kim and Shu-Hwa Lin (both FDM).

Impact on the Ecosystem

1/7/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

James Leary with crewThe new Impact Report is now online, and it tells all about what the college is doing to reduce the impact of invasive species on Hawai‘i’s fragile watersheds and delicately balanced ecosystems. “Invasive species” is a common phrase, but there are many types of invasive species, and many methods for dealing with them. Chris Lepczyk (NREM) has added the possibility of dealing with invasive vertebrates to the College’s repertoire, while Arnold Hara (PEPS) and his staff are kept busy with the many invasive insects that find their way to the state, including the little fire ant. James Leary (pictured, right) and J.B. Friday (both NREM) offer alternate, yet equally effective, ways of fighting the dispersal of the fast-spreading albizia tree. And Mike Melzer and the dedicated members of his Agrosecurity Lab (PEPS) combat a whole range of unwelcome pests. The Islands may be at risk of invasion, but CTAHR offers committed and successful defenders.

Stalking the Recluse

1/7/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Dan Rubinoff on KITVDan Rubinoff (PEPS) recently offered his potentially calming opinion on KITV News on the recent outbreak of wounds on Kaua‘i that residents believe are caused by the Mediterranean recluse spider. If you can feel something bite you, he explains, it’s probably not the recluse, which has weak fangs—you won’t feel the effects of the poison for a couple of days. The bites people are worried about, he suggests, may instead be caused by centipedes or little fire ants—that is, if they’re bites at all, and not infections. The recluse, in keeping with its name, is a very shy spider, he points out, and thus it may not be roaming around biting people. The wounds, whatever they’re caused by, certainly look painful, though!

A Cover Crop of Recognition

1/7/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Koon-Hui Wang getting certificateKoon-Hui Wang (PEPS) was featured in USDA’s Pacific Islands Area Current Developments newsletter for her timely and useful project: Cover Crop Calculator for the Tropics as Nitrogen Management Tool and the Use of Cover Crops for Soil Health Management Guideline, for which she received a Conservation Innovation Grant. These grants demonstrate methods that improve soil health, air and water quality, conserve energy, and enhance wildlife habitat in balance with productive agricultural systems. Here, Craig Derickson, acting director of USDA’s Pacific Islands Area (right) presents a Certificate of Appreciation to (left to right) Ray Uchida (O‘ahu County Administrator), Ken Grace (Associate Dean for Research), and Koon-Hui. In the same newsletter, Jonathan Deenik (TPSS) is referenced as a speaker at a Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act roundtable held by the Farm Foundation at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center in Kunia, at which participants gathered and brainstormed ideas on soil health, water resource management, and the resilience of soil and water resources to climate change and extreme weather events on farms and ranches in the region.