From KCFA Board Member, Bruce Corker:
Sen. Mazie Hirono left a lengthy voice mail message this afternoon (ed.note May 23)--with a follow up email (below) from her Special Projects Director, Patrick Devney. The Senator said that she was calling with "good news" concerning federal funding for CBB research and mitigation in Hawaii. In response to the Senator's letter of last month to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, the USDA has advised her that it is making available $1 million for the CBB emergency--to begin "ASAP". The Senator said that her office will be issuing a press release, but that she wanted to get advance information out to the KCFA because of our group's efforts.
It appears that this $1 million in funding is separate and apart from the proposed amendment to the Farm Bill introduced by Sen. Hirono in the Senate earlier this week. That amendment calls for $2 million in each of the fiscal years 2014 through 2018 for CBB research and mitigation.
Senator Hirono has certainly been active in support of Hawaii coffee farmers --and in support of avocado farmers in seeking Mainland access for Sharwil avocados. Email messages to Patrick Devney thanking the Senator and her office for these efforts would be order.
From: Devney, Patrick (Hirono) <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, May 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM
Subject: Voicemail Follow Up
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>Hey Bruce,
Wanted to follow up on Senator Hironos voicemail. As mentioned on the phone, we just learned from USDA they will be beginning an Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management program in the coming months to combat CBB. This had been a priority for USDA however with Senator Hirono sending a letter to Sec. Vilsack and $1 million that has come available in funding, they are putting plans in place to begin ASAP.This is definitely great news and were extremely excited about it.Aloha,
Special Projects Director
Office of Senator Mazie K. Hirono