Promoting PDKE’s H-RIP to the cattleman crowd

The Pacific Drought Knowledge Exchange (PDKE) facilitates active interactions, informational exchanges, and collaborative relationships between drought stakeholders. Most often these are resource managers and drought researchers, but PDKE personnel have also been working for almost two years with ranchers, whose livelihoods are strongly impacted by drought.

Ryan stands at a podium in a wood-paneled room with a large screen behind him and participants watching him from chairs in front
Ryan Longman describes a new drought tool in the opening presentation for the Hawaiʻi Cattlemenʻs Council 2022 Annual Conference in Hilo, HI, last month.

Recognition of the serious concern over drought impacts in this sector was symbolized by the Hawaiʻi Cattlemen’s Council (HCC) inviting PDKE Stewardship Team members to give the kick-off presentation for their annual conference in November on Hawaiʻi Island. In addition to the well-received presentation, the team staffed an interactive booth to share drought factsheets, Climate Change Climate Variability and Drought (CCVD) portfolios, and, most importantly, to demonstrate a new online tool, the Hawaiʻi Rangeland Information Portal (H-RIP).

An important element of the PDKE is co-producing site-specific, customized drought data and products based on their partners’ needs, and the H-RIP (beta) is a tool designed specifically for this group. With support and funding from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), the PDKE team has been able to travel to places like the HCC Annual Conference to interact with ranchers while developing this tool.

“The H-RIP is a decision support tool that provides ranchers with site-specific information,” says Dr. Ryan Longman, PDKE lead. “It supplies the historical climate, near real-time weather, and a three-month future projection of forage production and site stability for ranch sites throughout the Hawaiian Islands.”

Cherryle talks with two men looking at a desktop monitor
Cherryle Heu explains the new H-RIP tool for conference participants.

With the clear need for site-specific data and drought information for Hawaiʻi ranchers, H-RIP proved very popular. The PDKE team of three staffing the table were kept busy all day speaking to interested conference-goers.

“This was our first time showcasing the [H-RIP] website in person, so I was really nervous about how well it would be received,” shared Cherryle Heu, a member of the PDKE Stewardship Team. “A lot of people expressed their interest and enthusiasm for H-RIP. I was also able to hear the ranchers’ stories and hardships they are facing during this drought and how our website would benefit them.”

While the H-RIP is still in Beta form, the team is continuing to work on the tool, aiming to provide all the information the ranchers need. Explore the site and be sure to check back as H-RIP evolves through time.


A team of three pose behind a table with hand-out materials and a monitor, with a PDKE banner hanging in front
(L to R) Cherryle Heu, Derek Ford, and Ryan Longman proffer welcoming smiles at the Pacific Drought Knowledge Exchange conference exhibit table.


For more information on the H-RIP and other PDKE efforts to create tools for the drought community, listen to a podcast episode for Livestock Wala’au featuring Ryan Longman.