This is only experience from my area, the best way to find out in Hawaii is
to ask your farmers there because they surely have different cropping
systems, busy seasons, and planning times.
i) What are the best times for meetings?
Setting up classes for farmers here in Placer County in northern California,
we found the months between October and March, weekday evenings, were best if
we were doing a series.
Field days seem best on Monday and Tuesday because a large percentage of our
attendees are also participating in direct farmers' markets. We try to be
conscious of when harvest and planting times are and avoid offering meetings
or classes then.
ii) What incentives can we use to get farmers to attend/participate in our
This is the same for everyone, farmers or not - we all need to know the
"what's in it for me?" Ask some farmers how you can be of service to them.
Ask them what their needs and concerns are then set up a meeting or class to
address those needs. It helps if you can find some farmers already
successfully handling the problem and ask them to be on a panel talking to
other farmers. Ideas from "them that's doin' " are always welcome and
iii) Do farmers respond to questionnaires sent ahead of meetings?
Some do; some don't. Surveys of any group average a return of only about
10%. Timing is critical. Anything sent at the height of the season probably
winds up on the bottom of the pile.
iv) Have farmers given up on the Land Grant system?
Again this is an individual experience thing. Some states have an excellent
reputation for working with the local farmers, some don't. It is never to
late to rebuild or reinforce lines of communication.
Thank you for asking,