University of Hawaii Manoa’s head of the agriculture department is retiring after nearly five years in the job.

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Dean Nicholas Comerford announced his retirement in a speech at the Tropical AgTech Conference in Hilo on Wednesday.

Comerford joined UH in September 2017 from the University of Florida, where he served as director of the North Florida Education Center and worked as a professor.

He praised CTAHR staff and faculty for their work, citing the number of grants the college was awarded, how much research it was producing and how well staff engaged with the wider agriculture community.

“Their performance during the pandemic was nothing short of outstanding,” Comerford said.

College enrollment is also at an all-time high, which he says is exciting considering the talent coming through.

“I’m excited about the young faculty,” he said. “It’s going to be good for Hawaii.”

CTAHR Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Ania Wieczorek will act as interim dean until Comerford’s replacement is found.

“Hawaii Grown” is funded in part by grants from the Ulupono Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Frost Family Foundation.

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