Monsanto donates $20,000 for genetics teaching

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii-Manoa has received $20,000 from the Monsanto Fund.

The college says the money will support salaries and materials for “Gene-ius Day.” It’s a special program that introduces students in grades 4 through 12 to basic genetics and the function of DNA.

The founder and director of Gene-ius Day, Ania Wieczorek, is an associate specialist in the college’s Biotechnology, Biotechnology Outreach Program.

She says a primary goal of the program is to build a strong understanding of basic genetics at the elementary school level.

That way, teachers are able to present increasingly complex biotechnology topics in the upper grades.

Monsanto donates $20,000 for genetics teaching | KHON2 Hawaii’s News Leader

Dems to honor ‘Ag Country Roots’ today

Everyone invited to free afternoon event in Honokaa

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye will bring his entourage and several other politicians to Honokaa High School from 3-6 p.m. today to join North Hawaii residents in celebrating their community’s “Ag Country Roots.”

The event is paid for and authorized by the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

The community is invited to this free celebration that will spotlight many of the hard-working food producers of the region and include samplings of grilled grass-fed beef and a new sausage of Kahua mutton, Hamakua mushrooms and other foods grown or produced in Hamakua, Waimea and Kohala.

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Informational exhibits also will feature in-school programs to grow the next generation of farmers and introduce the benefits of fresh, locally grown foods from farms and ranches in the region as well as backyard gardens.

The program also will acknowledge the 40-year contribution to Hawaii Island agriculture by Milton Yamasaki, who has managed the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’s Mealani Research Station, which includes two sites in Waimea, one in Hamakua and two in Kona.

Yamasaki, who was born and raised in Waimea and graduated from Honokaa High School, formally retired from CTAHR’s Mealani Research Station Sept. 30.

Reuters AlertNet – Micronesia atoll grows taro in concrete to hold off sea surges

logo_reuters_media_us By Justin Nobel

YAP, Federated States of Micronesia (Alertnet) – Giant tides inundated the remote atolls of Micronesia last December, scouring beaches, damaging homes and inundating banana and taro crops. The President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Emanuel Mori, declared a nationwide state of emergency and relief rice was shipped in.

But on several atolls in Yap, one of Micronesia’s four states, taro planted in elevated concrete pits survived.

"This is a way to save the people here," said Stephen Mara, an agriculture teacher at a high school in Yap.

Devastating tides, called "king tides," are one way sea level rise will manifest itself across the western Pacific in the coming decades, said Charles Fletcher, a University of Hawaii coastal geologist and co-author of a recent report on food security and climate risks in Micronesia.

Long before Pacific islands drown, as politicians and the media often predict, the islands may become uninhabitable from a lack of food. Fletcher, in particular, doesn’t think life on the atolls can last without constant humanitarian aid. But concrete may provide a respite, at least temporarily.

Cumberland Times-News – Ethnobiology at FSU grows with federal grant

FSU is the only institution offering the undergraduate major and minor in ethnobotany, and is the only university in the contiguous 48 states to do so. A similar program is available at the University of Hawaii.

Ethnobiology at FSU grows with federal grant

Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News

FROSTBURG — The $550,000 in federal funds will go a long way toward helping Frostburg State University’s ethnobotanists find patches of wild-growing black cohosh, which then could be used for medicinal purposes such as a replacement for hormone therapy.

U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin announced recently that the money will be coming from the Agricultural Appropriations Committee and is headed for the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies at FSU.