What’s being done to combat invasive species? How does Smart Yields help growers? What do you need to know about the Food Safety Modernization Act and worker protection standards regarding pesticides? Why does organic matter matter in soil?
Find out during indoor classroom presentations Saturday, Sept. 29 at Taste of the Hawaiian Range. The 9 a.m.-4 p.m. seminars with Q & As, demonstrations, an exhibit and movie screening will cover a wide range of agricultural and culinary topics in Waimea’s Mana Christian ‘Ohana classroom facility.
Activities are geared to members of the ag and culinary industries and are open to the public. They will run concurrent to Taste’s daytime agricultural festival at the adjacent YMCA Minuke Ole Park behind Parker Ranch Center.
Find the full lineup of classroom activities at https://
Presentations are free, with the exception of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101. Chef Edwin Goto of The Village Burger and Noodle Shop will share how to use an immersion circulator appliance for the technique known as sous vide cooking. He is preparing beef flank steak and pork belly. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com.
Invasive Species Exhibit and Talk
What’s being done to combat invasive species like fire ants and how can you help?
Franny Brewer, communications director of the Big Island Invasive Species Committee will share the importance and details of eradicating invasives during a presentation. The room will also offer an all-day Invasive Species Exhibit that will display specimens of snakes, a coconut rhinoceros beetle and fire ants, plus an exhibit board on invasive plants in Hawai‘i landscapes, such as night blooming jasmine and autograph trees.
The Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BISSC) is a project of the University of Hawai‘i Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit. The committee is a voluntary partnership of government, private and non-profit organizations, plus citizens, working to address invasive species issues on Hawai‘i Island. BIISC staff specialize in early detection of new plant introductions while trying to find and eradicate new invasive species before they spread. BIISC also works to raise awareness and increase control of the most high-impact invasive species affecting Hawaii Island residents, businesses, and ecosystems.
According to Brewer, stinging fire ants are “predicted to be one of the most economically costly invasives in Hawai‘i, with their control effort and crop devastation amounting to millions of dollars in the next decade.” That’s because teeny fire ants pose a double threat to agriculture: they sting workers and animals in the field and their sting can cause animals to go blind, plus they feed on and herd sucking insects like aphids on crops. “Management requires proper timing of specific pesticides and a year-long commitment for eradication,” notes Brewer.
Jonathan Ho, of the HDOA Plant Quarantine Branch, will join Brewer in the hour-long invasive species presentation and Q & A.
Worker Protection Standards for Proper Pesticide Use
Cal Westergard, Hawaii Department of Agriculture environmental health specialist, is giving a talk on the updated Federal Worker Protection Standards (WPS) regarding proper pesticide use and safety.
The presentation is geared for those involved with pesticide use on farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. Attendees will learn what WPS are, who they apply to and what is needed to be compliant. Attendees will also see a video on pesticide safety training.
“Pesticides are invaluable for the farmer and proper application mitigates the harm that can come from incorrect use,” says Westergard. For more information on pesticides, visit the HDOA’s Pesticides Branch.
Agriculture Tech to Farm Smarter
Did you know you can help maintain an optimal environment for your crops from your smart phone or tablet? Vincent Kimura, CEO and lead founder of Smart Yields, explains how in a presentation.
Founded in 2015, Smart Yields is a Hawai‘i-based and globally recognized agriculture technology company helping small and medium-sized farmers optimize their crops through a state-of-the-art network of low-cost sensors and access to actionable insights. Growers learn what makes their production successful—and what doesn’t—to best correlate crop performance with environmental conditions and from this info, develop best operating practices.
Kimura will talk about the company’s goals in Hawai‘i and across the globe. The award-winning, O‘ahu native will also provide an overview of upcoming projects with the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and the University of Hawai‘i.