Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014

Ka`u's aspiring farmers, ranchers, high school students and recent graduates can apply for agricultural training programs through The Kohala Center. Photos from The Kohala Center
BIOTECH COFFEE COULD POSSIBLY SOLVE the coffee berry borer problem, statewide Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation President Chris Manfredi said in a video posted yesterday by Big Island Video News. Manfredi, who is described by the American Farm Bureau as a coffee farmer and by Big Island Video News as “active in Ka`u coffee farming,” was speaking to Hawai`i Coffee Association at its annual meeting in July. He said that research in other parts of the world is ongoing to create biotech coffee that could stand up to the pest that is devastating the industry.
Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation President Chris Manfredi told Hawai`i
Coffee Association that biotech coffee could "make our CBB crisis
go away."Photo from Big Island Video News
      Manfredi said HFBF is also “pretty active at the (state) Capitol.” He said the organization has a full-time lobbyist on O`ahu and works in partnership with HCA and state Department of Agriculture “on legislative issues that are important to agriculture.”
      Manfredi also talked about a Farm Bureau public relations campaign called Small Farmers, Big Stories, which he described as “a virtual farm tour in the media.” He contended that those promoting GMO restrictions and further regulating pesticides are against biotech. “Of late, non-farmers have been trying to impose their will on farmers and set food and farm policy,” he said.
      He told the audience that HFBF had gotten about $150,000 pledged for the campaign, which has an annual budget of $400,000.
      Manfredi also announced at the conference that he had recently traveled to Washington, D.C. and discussed the campaign with Hawai`i’s congressional delegation.
      See bigislandvideonews.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TWO PROGRAMS AIMED AT INTRODUCING high school students and aspiring farmers on Hawai`i Island to agricultural careers are seeking applicants for upcoming cohorts in October.
      Ku I Ka Mana, a beginning farmer and rancher training program administered by The Kohala Center, is accepting applications from prospective students for its fourth cohort. The 30-session course begins on Friday, Oct. 17 and is conducted in Honoka`a on Friday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Ku I Ka Mana's fourth cohort begins in October. Photo from The Kohala Center
      Although no previous farming experience is required, preference is given to U.S. veterans and to applicants who have taken steps to become agricultural producers but would benefit from a comprehensive, hands-on curriculum. The course covers a wide range of critical subject areas such as soil management, irrigation, composting, cover cropping and pest management, as well as the business side of farming—marketing, accounting, budgeting, and record-keeping. Students who successfully complete the course and create viable farm and business plans will be able to work with program staff to obtain leasable farmland, should they not already have land on which to farm or ranch.
      The deadline to apply is Friday, Oct. 10.
      The second program is open to Hawai`i Island high school students and recent graduates. The fourth cohort of The Center’s weeklong High School Agriculture Internship Program runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Oct. 6 through Oct. 10.
      With the `aina serving as their classroom, interns are introduced to various aspects of agriculture in Hawai`i through site visits to Waipi`o, Kohala, Hamakua, Kona and Hilo. Participants gain hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture, learn about island food systems and receive a $125 stipend upon completion. The High School Agriculture Internship Program is co-sponsored by Kamehameha Schools’ `Aina Ulu Program.
      The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Oct. 1.
      “These programs were designed in an effort to move Hawai`i toward greater food self-reliance by training and motivating the next generations of local food producers,” said Derrick Kiyabu, director of The Kohala Center’s Ku I Ka Mana Beginning Farmer-Rancher Development Program. “We and our partners are dedicated to training and supporting new farming families on Hawai`i Island and inspiring island youth to consider careers in agriculture in an effort to increase local food production, decrease dependency on imports, diversify our rural economy and create meaningful jobs.”
      More information and application materials are available at kohalacenter.org or by calling 887-6411.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Among others, Tango is one product to battle
little fire ant colonies.
FACULTY AND STAFF AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I’S College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture have tips for identifying and controlling little fire ants. Wasmannia auropunctata is a serious pest because this tiny ant can easily spread undetected into yards and homes, parks, landscapes, vacant properties and forests. LFA deliver very painful stings similar to electric shocks to people, pets, livestock and even marine wildlife such as sea turtles and ground-nesting birds. LFA are attracted to eye fluids and typically sting near animals’ eyes, which can lead to blindness due to clouding of the cornea, or keratopathy.
      Areas where LFA are commonly found are in trees and shrubs, especially any fork at bases of trunks, in crotches of branches and under moss growing on trees or shrubs; in stamens and pistils of flowers; near edges of building foundations and concrete slabs; in cracks in concrete; in electrical outlets; in fallen logs and piles of plant debris; under potted plants; in dumpsters, trash cans and rubbish piles; and in stockpiles of seldom-used flower pots, lumber, hollow tiles, rocks, etc.
      Ka`u residents can use peanut butter as an attractant for detection of LFA. Check for ants by smearing a thin layer of peanut butter on one end of a chopstick or any wooden or plastic stake. Place a stake on the ground every 10 to 12 paces, including in potted plants and at the base and in branch crotches of trees. The best times are in the morning or on overcast days, avoiding heavy rain or mid-day sun and heat.
      After about 40 to 45 minutes, check for LFA on the stake. LFA are red-orange, slow-moving and less than 1/16 of an inch long (thickness of a penny). If LFA are on the chopstick, place the chopstick with ants into a zip-top bag and place it in the freezer for at least 24 hours to kill the ants.
      Bring bagged ant samples to one of the following locations for confirmation: UH-CTAHR Komohana Research and Extension Center, 875 Komohana Street, Hilo or Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, 16 East Lanikaula Street, Hilo.
      If an agency positively identifies LFA, treat with ant bait insecticide. Ant food bait mixed with a slow-acting insecticide is the only effective way to kill and eliminate an LFA colony because it allows worker ants to carry poison to queens. A free publications entitled Little Fire Ant Products Available for Homeowner Use is available online at ctahr.hawaii.edu/haraa/arthropod.asp (click on first publication), at UH-CTAHR’s Extension Office in Hilo or by calling 981-5199.
      One product mentioned is Tango. Information about how to use it is available at littlefireants.com.
Ka`u High's cross county team plans to participate in and volunteer at `Ohana Day
and the Ka`u Coffee Trail Run, which crosses scenic pastures.
Photo from `O Ka`u Kakou
      “Check, treat, recheck, repeat,” is UH’s advice. It may take several reapplications of bait over a six- to 12-month period to kill an LFA colony. Recheck with peanut butter regularly and treat with insecticidal bait when necessary. It is critical that infested plants, building materials, trash, etc. be treated on-site and not moved or dumped, which will further spread the ants.
      The Nature Conservancy also offers assistance to Ka`u residents with LFA infestations. Contact John Replogle at 939-7171.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HIGH’S CROSS-COUNTRY ATHLETES are doing great, reports Head Coach Erin Cole. At Hawai`i Preparatory Academy on Aug. 30, the fastest Ka`u boy was Chadwick Pajimola with a time of 27:25.66, and the fastest Ka`u girl was Chloe Gan with a time of 29:36.55. The race is three miles long, “and HPA has a grueling hill the athletes have to run up twice,” Cole said. “All team members came in strong, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s times improve over the season, as the team is training hard.”
      Team members will be volunteering and/or running in the Ka`u Coffee Trail Run on Saturday, Sept. 20 instead of running in the meet at Waiakea. The team did not participate in the race at Kamehameha on Sept. 6 due to a schedule conflict.
      Another meet at HPA is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27.

KA`OHU MONFORT SHARES HER KNOWLEDGE and love of the island’s native plants and their medicinal uses during a la`au lapa`au demonstration tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

THE NEXT MEETING OF THE KA`U SCENIC BYWAY Task Force will be Thursday at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. The task force is about to finish design on the Na`alehu Park kiosk, and this is the last chance for input. The public is invited.
      For more information, email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net.

LIGHT REFRESHMENTS FOR CURRENT and new members will be served at Friends of Ka`u Libraries’ member meeting Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House.
      Call Doris Davis at 928- 0919 or Ann Fontes at 987-7448 for more information.

HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED’S KA`U CHAPTER holds its next potluck meeting at Na`alehu Community Center on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. Farmers can drop off homegrown items and pick up something that neighbors are growing at the swap table.
      HFUU state President Vincent Mina will talk about his recent trip to Washington for the National Farmer’s Union Fly-In event.
      Voter registration forms will be available. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 6 for the Nov. 4 general election.
      For more information, email Malian Lahey at malian@kauspecialtycoffee.com.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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