News Release: March 19, 2002

Posted on Mar 19, 2002 in 2002 News Releases, News-Releases

NR02-04 March 19, 2002

Lead Agricultural Statistician Receives National Gold Award

– Hawaii’s lead agricultural statistician, Donald Martin, recently received a Gold Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) for his leadership and dedication to the state office.  He was also cited for constantly striving to improve the state’s agricultural statistical program.  It is the second time that Martin has been honored with the Gold Award.

Martin, a NASS statistician for 35 years, heads the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s (HDOA) Hawaii Agricultural Statistical Service (HASS,) which works in cooperation with the NASS to provide timely, accurate statistical information on agriculture in the state.  He oversees a department of 16 statisticians and staff that collects, researches and publishes 130 different reports that track all of Hawaii’s major agricultural commodities.

“The work that Don and his branch perform is incredibly significant in providing accurate data on which farmers, businesses, industries and government can base important decisions on,” said James J. Nakatani, Chairperson of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.  “Through his leadership, Don has formed a close-knit branch that has handled increasing workload and maintained its high quality products.”

In order to provide accurate data, HASS statisticians do on-site visits to farms and ranches with supplemental information from industry organizations and agribusinesses.  The branch produces a weekly report on Hawaii crop weather; monthly reports on vegetables, banana, papaya, and livestock; quarterly reports on taro millings; as well as annual surveys of seed crops, specialty fruits and flowers and nursery products, among others.  The reports help farmers gauge the marketplace for their commodities, and assist them in deciding what crops to plant and when. Other agribusinesses also use the crop reports to base their business decisions on.

Livestock statistics also provide important intelligence for ranchers in the state.  “We have used the statistics recently in evaluating the number of cattle our company exports in relation to the total number of cattle exported from the state,” said Lani Petrie, general manager of the Hawaii Cattle Producers Cooperative.  “We have also found the historical statistics very helpful in preparing a grant proposal to show the track record of cattle exports over the years.”

A 28-year veteran of HASS, Martin became head of the branch in 1994.  He received his first Gold Award in 1999.

To view reports issued by HASS, visit HDOA’s website.