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  • 15 Sep 2021 1:20 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Coffee Plant Health Initiative Amendments Act
    Sending Office: Honorable Kaiali'i Kahele
    Sent By: Dave.Chun@mail.house.gov


    Dear Colleagues:


    Please join us in cosponsoring the Coffee Plant Health Initiative Amendments Act (CPHIAA), a bill to address emerging threats to the U.S. domestic coffee industry. The legislation broadens the Coffee Plant Health Initiative (CPHI) to manage all coffee tree pests such as the coffee leaf rust, coffee leaf miner, and coffee wilt. The CPHI, included in the 2014 farm bill, unfortunately was specific only to the coffee berry borer and thus excluded other plant pest research under the CPHI’s narrow scope.


    The CPHIAA would permit research and extension grants for purposes of:


    • Developing and disseminating science-based tools and treatments to combat plant pests and noxious weeds that impact coffee plants

    • Establishing an areawide integrated pest management program in areas affected by invasive plant pests or noxious weeds
    • Surveying and collecting data on coffee plant production and health
    • Investigating coffee plant biology, immunology, ecology, genomics, and bioinformatics
    • Researching factors that may contribute to or be associated with coffee plant immune systems, including
    • Sublethal effects of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides on beneficial insects and plants
    • Development of mitigative and preventative measures to improve habitat conservation and best management practices

    For additional information or to cosponsor the CPHIAA, please contact Dave (Kahele) at Dave.Chun@mail.house.gov or Mitch (Case) at Mitch.Heidenreich@mail.house.gov.


    Kaiali’i Kahele                            Ed Case
    Member of Congress              Member of Congress

  • 15 Sep 2021 1:18 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)


    USDA Invests $700 million to Provide Relief to Small Producers, Processors, Distributors, Farmers Markets and Seafood Processing Vessels and Processors Impacted by COVID-19

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it will soon publish Requests for Applications (RFAs) for new grant programs - the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant program and the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant program - to support agricultural stakeholders who haven’t yet received substantial federal financial assistance in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. These grant programs will provide assistance to small businesses in certain commodity areas, including small scale specialty crop producers and processors, shellfish, aquaculture and other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood facilities and processing vessels. Today USDA released grant forecasts for these new programs to help potential applicants determine their eligibility and to prepare to apply for funding. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants and $50 million is available for SPRS. All of these new programs are funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

    “As the economy continues to gain strength after the Biden Administration’s historic vaccination and economic relief efforts, USDA is working with agricultural and food businesses to ensure they have the resources and tools to thrive in 2021 and beyond,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The funding associated with USDA Pandemic Assistance is meant to serve as a bridge from disruptions associated with the pandemic to longer-term investments to help build back a better food system. Financial relief to these essential producers, distributors, processors and other small agricultural businesses is a critical to get our food system back on track.”

    For the PRS grants, eligible entities are detailed in the Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program forecast, USDA-AMS-TM-PRS-G-21-0011. Eligible entities should visit the PRS grant portal at usda-prs.grantsolutions.gov for complete information on the program, including how to obtain a free of charge DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) BEFORE applying for this program. On September 23, USDA will issue another announcement indicating that entities may submit their applications through the grant portal; entities will need their DUNS number to submit an application.

    For the Seafood PRS grants, USDA will allocate block grant funding to U.S. states and territories based on a formula that considers economic activity as demonstrated through commercial fisheries landings. Eligible entities are state agencies as detailed in the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program forecast, USDA-AMS-TM-SPRS-G-21-0012. The state agency will then provide funds to seafood processing facilities and processing vessels. Seafood processors and processing vessels should apply directly through their State agency; seafood processors and processing vessels should not apply through PRS and should instead contact their state agency for financial assistance once USDA awards funds to states. A listing of state contacts will be made available on the USDA website. Tribal government owned eligible entities may apply directly to USDA, details of which will be developed through tribal consultation in conjunction with Office of Tribal Relations.

    Updated information regarding the PRS and Seafood PRS programs will be available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website: www.ams.usda.gov.

    Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission of the grant application. Read more in AMS Late and Non-Responsive Application Policy (PDF, 431 KB).

    USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

  • 19 Aug 2021 5:26 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    HAWAII COFFEE ASSOCIATION PRESENTS DRU KANUHA WITH LEGISLATOR AWARD


    HAWAII—The Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) presented Senator Dru Mamo Kanuha (D-Kona, Kaʻu) with its first ever Legislator of the Year Award amid coffee trees laden with ripening fruit. The Hawaii Senate Majority Leader received an appreciation plaque crafted from a century-old fallen Koa tree that once flourished at Konaʻs Greenwell Farms.

    Senator Kanuha introduced and shepherded the passage of recent legislation (SB855 SB1 HD1 CD1)  to extend the Hawaii Department of Agricultureʻs Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) Pesticide Subsidy Program and expand it to include control of the industryʻs latest disease challenge: Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR). The legislation extends the sunset date of the program to June 2023 and stipulates annual subsidy caps per acre of treated coffee.  

    “While our coffee industry has been challenged by CBBCLR and impacts relating to COVID, the state legislature has faced unprecedented COVID-induced budgetary constraints,” noted HCA President Chris Manfredi during the awards ceremony. “Nonetheless, Senator Kanuha listened to and understood our challenges, and championed this subsidy extension and expansion to include CLR management. This will make life a good deal easier for Hawaii’s coffee farmers and help ensure their viability. We thank him for his leadership.

    Endemic to Central Africa, CBB was discovered in Hawaii first in Kona in 2010 and it can be difficult to control. Female beetles lay eggs inside the coveted coffee bean to feed its brood. Farmers fight CBB with an integrated pest management (IPM) program that includes farm sanitation and a biological control material bought commercially.  

    CLR was first discovered in Sri Lanka in 1869 and can cause plant defoliation resulting in reduced photosynthetic capacity and tree dieback. First detected on Maui and Hawaii Island last October, the devastating pathogen can be controlled with an EPA-approved fungicide as part of an IPM plan.

    The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Its annual conference has continued to grow, gaining international attention.


    The Hawaii Coffee Associationʻs first ever Legislator of the Year Award is crafted from a century-old fallen Koa tree that once flourished at Konaʻs Greenwell Farms. 

  • 02 Aug 2021 1:48 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Did you know that a farm worker who enters a field (within 30 days of last pesticide application), who handles, and/or applies pesticides, must be WPS trained annually? Many, if not all farms regardless of organic or non-organic farming methods, use pesticides if applying a product to kill a beetle, bug, fungus, mite, rat, or weed. 

    Learn how to keep yourself, your workers, customers, and the environment safe with the proper use, storage, handling, application, and disposal of pesticides.

    To learn more or to register, please follow this link.

  • 30 Jul 2021 7:55 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Learn More and Register Here!

    Learn:

    • How/when to calibrate your sprayer
    • Why sprayer calibration is important
    • How to get better spray coverage
    • How to calculate water use per acre
    • How to calculate pesticide rates per gallon of water and per tankful​
  • 17 Jul 2021 10:32 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON, May 27, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that fiscal year 2020 payments for the Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program (RTCP) will begin on May 28, 2020. The RTCP will help eligible farmers and ranchers outside the contiguous U.S., including those in Alaska, offset a portion of the cost of transporting agricultural products over long distances.

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 reauthorized RTCP and allows farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii and insular areas including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands of the United States, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau, to recover any costs to transport agricultural commodities or inputs used to produce an agricultural commodity. 

    Signup for the 2020 program year increased by 28 applicants compared to the 2019 program year. Signup for the 2021 program will be announced in early summer.

    RTCP payments are calculated based on the costs incurred for transportation of the agricultural commodity or inputs during a fiscal year, subject to an $8,000 per producer cap per fiscal year. Total 2020 claims exceeded available funding; therefore, payments to recipients will be reduced by a National payment factor of 0.8 percent.  

    Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus

    USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

    Enrollment Period Begins for USDA’s Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program

    Program Helps Offset Transporting Costs for Farmers and Ranchers Outside the Contiguous U.S.

    HONOLULU, Hawaii, July 9, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Hawaii opened enrollment today for the Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program (RTCP) for fiscal year 2021. The enrollment period begins July 12 and will run through Sept. 3. “RTCP helps U.S. farmers and ranchers offset a portion of the cost of transporting agricultural products over long distances,” said Shirley Nakamura, Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director. “This program helps U.S. farmers and ranchers outside the 48 contiguous states who are at a competitive disadvantage when transporting agriculture products to market.”

    The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 reauthorized RTCP and allows farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii and insular areas including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands of the United States, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau, to recover any costs to transport agricultural commodities or inputs used to produce an agricultural commodity.

    RTCP payments are calculated based on the costs incurred for transportation of the agricultural commodity or inputs during a 12-month period, subject to an $8,000 per producer cap per fiscal year. If claims for payments exceed the funds available from the program for a fiscal year, payments will be reduced on a pro-rata basis.

    Farmers and ranchers interested in participating in RTCP can obtain applications and other documents by calling toll-free 1-866-794-1079.

    Dave K. Chun
    Senior Policy Advisor
    Congressman Kaialiʻi Kahele (HI-02)
    1205 Longworth House Office Building 202-225-4906


    PDF of this News Release

  • 17 Jul 2021 10:25 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    In this study, consuming more coffee, vegetables, and being breast fed as well as consuming less processed meat intake were independently associated with lower odds of COVID-19 positivity.


  • 07 Jul 2021 4:31 AM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Governor Ige has signed SB855 SD1 HD1 CD1 into law as Act 138 yesterday, Wednesday, June 30.  See the attached Governor’s Message for more information.

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