LIHUE — Amanda Skelton is the acting coordinator for the Master Gardeners program.
Russell Messing is the acting county administrator for the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.
They were both working Wednesday morning, getting the final pieces in place for the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair.
“It’s good that Roy Yamakawa has been around helping Russell find his way around,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, farm fair event coordinator.
Messing was still awe-struck at the scope of work involved in getting the fair off the ground.
“I’ve been doing this for about six months now,” Messing said, trying to piece together a flag touting the CTAHR program. “We don’t really have a booth, but we work with Laura Kawamura and the 4-H program, the Master Gardener program, and more.”
The Master Gardeners were also busy setting up their tent in preparation for tonight’s opening.
“I have never seen such an event where there is so much team effort involved,” Messing said. “People aren’t getting paid; there are volunteers getting involved. This is truly a community event.”
Payment for the day’s work involved lunch.
“That’s my job,” said Sandi Kato-Klutke. “Every day, I get lunch to feed the workers. We try to spread out the business — one day it was Po’s Kitchen, the other day I went to Pono Market for laulau, today is Mark’s Place, and we just move around to the different places.”
Sherwin Conant was one of the volunteers enjoying the lunch.
“Last year, I gave my secret to Harry Yamamoto and he beat me with his watermelon,” Conant said of last year’s produce competition. “I’m entering this year, but I’m not giving away any more secrets. There are a lot of secrets to growing out there — you just have to find them.”
Jerry Ornellas, past president of the Kauai County Farm Bureau, said the scope of work Wednesday involved setting up the fair’s information booth and helping the vendors in the nonprofit and commercial tents set up their displays.
“It’s moving along smoothly,” Ornellas said. “If we had a lot of work to do and not enough people, that’s when you have to worry. We have good people out there helping and everything is on schedule. We’ll open the gates 6 p.m. Thursday.”
Laurie Yoshida of DuPont Pioneer was busy helping her crew set up the double display space, setting up the popcorn machine.
Yoshida brought the experience of coordinating the fair’s entertainment from 2009 through 2012 before joining the Pioneer forces.
“If I survive this (fair), I need to decide if I want to do this, or not,” Messing said. “Or, do I want to do insect research?”