Oct. 21, 2016 Specialty Farmer Business Training

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‘Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project
Specialty Farmer Business Training Workshop

Friday, October 21, 2016
9 AM – 3 PM
Hilo Yacht Club
77 Laehala Street
Hilo, HI 96720

The ‘Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project Specialty Farmer Business Training Workshop was held on October 21,  2016 at the Hilo Yacht Club. The workshop was attended by 49 people who enjoyed talks given by Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center and Aileen Yeh, Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center (HARC).  Link through the Agenda items to view the video recording and the Presentations to see the Power Point presentations.

The ‘Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project involves importing and propagating seed and outplanting Douglas fir seedlings on Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands (DHHL) land in Humu‘ula/Pi‘ihonua on Hawai‘i Island.  Our goal is to show that Douglas fir is suitable for Hawai‘i production and to establish protocols to grow top quality trees that can compete with imported trees in our local markets.

The next phase of our Christmas tree efforts with include “Production & Evaluation of Mid-to-Low Elevation Locally-grown Trees”.  This project will demonstrate that conifer species can be grown at mid-to-low elevations and identify the species and cultivars that produce acceptable Christmas trees – in pots and in the ground.  Outplantings at different elevations will be done with collaborators.  This project will complement HFIA’s higher elevation Douglas fir plantings to help expand a fledgling local Christmas tree industry by identifying a variety of species to replace imported trees at different elevations.  Leyland Cypress (xCupressocyparis leylandii), Norfolk or Cooke Island Pine (Araucaria sp.), Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) and Cypress species (Cupressus spp) are potential species.  Our goal is that this effort leads to reduced imported container stock; reduced alien species introductions; and reduced workload of State Agricultural inspectors.  Funders for this phase include State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Marketing Service, and County of Hawaii Department of Research & Development.

 Agenda

  1. Aloha &Welcome: Peter D. Simmons, Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) Director
  1. ‘Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Project Summary: Aileen Yeh, Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center (HARC)
  1. Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture: Sharon Hurd, Market Development Branch
  1. Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center: Instructor Nancy Ginter-Miller & Student Introductions
  1. Lunch Buffet
  1. Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center: Instructor Judi Mellon
  1. Attendee Farmer Stories

Presentations
Business Planning
Marketing
Financial Management
Aileen Yeh Christmas Tree Presentation

A special mahalo to speakers HFIA Director Peter D. Simmons; HDOA Representative Sharon Hurd; Hawaii Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Instructors Nancy Ginter-Miller and Judi Mellon; and Hawaii Agriculture Research Center Horticulturist and HFIA Vice-President Aileen Yeh.  Mahalo to Denise Lindsey and her Big Island Television team Lyman Medeiros and Randy Quander and SBDC State Director Cathy Wiltse.

Mahalo to Workshop Funders
State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA)
US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Marketing Service

Project partners: Hawai‘i Forest Institute, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), Hawai‘i Agriculture Resource Center (HARC), DLNR Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW), HDOA, USDA, County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR), Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, Hawaii Invasive Species Council, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance Future Forests Nursery, Kulani Correctional Facility.

About the ‘Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project
The ‘Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project involves importing and propagating seed and outplanting fir trees on Hawai‘i Island.  Our goal is to show that Douglas fir and Grand fir are suitable for Hawai‘i production and to establish protocols and methods to create top quality Christmas trees that can compete with the imported trees in our local markets.  The project also includes webpages, educational materials, and workshops.

Why Are We Growing Local Christmas Trees?
According to the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, shipments of Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest have been found to be widely infested with slugs and other pests that are not found in Hawai‘i. The concern about the heavy infestation of slugs is that they may carry the parasite, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, or rat lungworm, which causes a disease that affects the human brain and spinal cord.  Once an invasive pest or disease becomes established in Hawai‘i, it may have a devastating impact on Hawai‘i agriculture by causing damage to crops and is often costly for the state and growers to control.  These invasive species can be very harmful to Hawaii’s unique ecosystems. Providing the Hawaiian Islands with locally grown Christmas trees will support import replacement and promote the “Buying Local, It Matters” message.

Āina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project Partners
Hawai‘i Forest Institute; Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Hawaii Agriculture Research Center; DLNR Division of Forestry & Wildlife; County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development; College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources; Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species; Hawaii Invasive Species Council; USDA Forest Service; Future Forests Nursery; Kulani Correctional Facility, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance.