The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) is working to help hog farmers who are facing dire times during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences swine specialist Halina Zaleski is spearheading the Hog Feed Relief Program to help hog farmers whose livelihoods are being disrupted. Swine producers are facing marketing changes and supply-chain interruptions due to the closure of restaurants, hotels and farmers’ markets. They are losing a significant seasonal revenue source, sales of whole hogs for graduation parties and other special gatherings. Swine producers have also lost a crucial source of feed: food waste from hotels, restaurants and schools.
4-H youth who are raising swine for their projects are also affected. Many take out loans in order to buy and care for their hogs, hoping to make the money back at their annual 4-H shows. However, those have now been canceled. The 4-H program is part of CTAHR’s Cooperative Extension Service.
This relief program will offer hog producers and 4-H youth a discount of $5 a bag for a variety of pig feeds at participating dealers. The dealers will be reimbursed for the discount on a weekly basis—they just need to send their invoices to Zaleski, who will coordinate the disbursements.
Funding of $20,000 for this initiative was provided by Ulupono Initiative LLC through CTAHR, the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture and Hawaii Pork Industry Association. The program starts on April 20 and will run as long as funds last.
For more information, contact Zaleski at (808) 956-7594.