American Samoa Report
Summary of 2015 PDP Activity and Results:
Two Western SARE PDP workshops were held in 2015. The topics were Food Safety in Horticultural Operations and Engaging Children in School Gardens. Seth Urbanowitz, Extension Educator with the University of Nevada, Reno presented good agricultural practices (GAPs) and risk reduction strategies associated with chemical, physical, and biological contamination to 28 Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Department of Education School Lunch Program and American Samoa Community College- Community and Natural Resources (ASCC-CNR) staff and farmers.
Dr. Kristi Lekies, Extension Specialist with the School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University, presented to 49 teachers, management staff and family workers from the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program and ASCC-CNR extension agents on ways to engage children in school gardens. Because of this workshop, several ECE teachers have contacted ASCC-CNR extension services for assistance in starting school gardens. Dr. Lekies also visited with faculty from the Department of Education Instruction Department, ASCC Health Communication Researcher and Samoan Studies Department, Department of Agriculture and parents, teachers and students at the Tafuna Head Start Center.
A Farmer/Rancher Grant application workshop was attended by 12 producers, resulting in one farmer/rancher grant application.
Context and Overview:
As the only institution of higher education, the American Samoa Community College’s Cooperative State Extension service staff plays a pivotal role in sustainable agriculture outreach. Together with researchers in entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, agroforestry, and soil/water, they work in partnership with staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, American Samoa Dept. of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, and Coral Reef Advisory Group. Such partnering allows all agencies to make the most efficient use of their limited resources.
Activities and Methods:
March 2015 Western SARE PDP Workshop- Food Safety in Horticultural Operations.
June 2015 Western SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Application Workshop.
July 2015 Western SARE Annual PDP Meeting, Durango, Colorado.
October 2015 Western SARE PDP Workshop- Engaging Children in School Gardens.
PDP-funded Publications/Educational Materials and Products:
Changes in Ag Professionals’ Knowledge, Intention and Action:
The Food Safety in Horticultural Operations workshop was attended by inspectors, quarantine agents and agricultural extension agents from the Departments of Health, Agriculture, Education (school lunch program), ASCC-CNR and several farmers. An understanding of sources of contamination, risk factors and GAP’s were gained by participants. Presently, due to work by the American Samoa Department of Agriculture, there has been increased farm food safety inspections, awareness of GAPs and a Farm Food Safety Certification program has been implemented.
The Engaging Children in School Gardens was attended by administration and teachers from the Early Childhood Education program. The presentation and hands on activities during the workshop stimulated discussion and new ideas amongst the participants. Several ECE teachers and parents have expressed interest in starting gardens to be used as outdoor classrooms for introducing children to science topics, art, nutrition, and health. Dr. Lekies, is working on ideas for a follow-up project and several of her students from Ohio State University have expressed an interest in continuing work in this area in American Samoa.
Involvement of Others in State PDP Planning and Implementation:
Input for planning is sought from local producers, American Samoa Departments of Agriculture, NRCS, NPS, EPA, ASCC-CNR and the Coral Reef Advisory Group.