THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

742

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that establishing a permanent educational support associate position placed within the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources (CTAHR) is needed to successfully implement the following goals of the college's cooperative extension program:

(1) Providing non-formal science-based education;

(2) Acting as the outreach component of the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources; and

(3) Extending practical applications of science to support local food systems, healthy living, youth development, and the stewardship of natural resources for future generations.

The legislature further finds that CTAHR's Kona cooperative extension, which houses the Kona research station, provides crucial support for local coffee farmers statewide, who currently face dire threats to their crops from the recently discovered coffee berry borer and from coffee leaf rust. With a farm-gate value of approximately $48.4 million, and an unroasted value of $101.5 million, the coffee industry represents the State's third highest valued agricultural commodity. Despite this, the coffee industry is currently served statewide by just one CTAHR extension agent.

The legislature further finds that CTAHR's sole extension agent is currently supported by just one educational support associate position, which has historically been one hundred per cent grant funded. Due to varying grant provisions, the position is limited to work only within the scope of funded projects and is unable to address the needs and challenges of other industries supported by CTAHR's cooperative extension program. Additionally, upwards of thirty to forty-seven per cent of current grant funding is dedicated to salary and fringe benefits for project support staff, which reduces funding for educational events, applied research, travel for statewide outreach, equipment, and materials and supplies that could directly benefit local farmers and producers.

The legislature further finds that establishing a permanent educational support associate position will provide much needed support to extension faculty; enable the prioritization of research and community outreach projects throughout the State; and support the Kona research station, which encompasses eighteen acres of projects related to coffee, including coffee leaf rust and coffee berry borer mitigation, as well as macadamia, avocado, temperate fruit and nut germplasm, two-lined spittlebug, tree pruning, grafting, and propagation, organic and conventional pesticides, and nematode management.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish and fund one full-time educational support associate position, within the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources' Kona cooperative extension to support the coffee and orchard crops extension and applied research program, to provide administrative, professional, and technical support to the program and Hawaii's highly valued agricultural industries that are challenged with economically damaging pest, disease, and production issues.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $76,570 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) permanent educational support associate position within the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources' Kona cooperative extension to support the coffee and orchard crops extension and applied research program and Kona research station in the county of Hawaii.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.


 


 

Report Title:

University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; Educational Support Associate; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes an Educational Support Associate position within the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources' Kona Cooperative Extension. Makes an appropriation. (SD1)

 

 

 

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