Program Speakers Registration Tradeshow Awards Venue & Hotel Sponsors Press Room Prior Conferences

Two-Day Program-at-a-Glance

Thursday 9/23 Sessions - see details below

Friday 9/24 Sessions
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Friday 9/24: Hawaii Biomass & Bioenergy Workshop: What’s the Buzz & What’s in it for Hawaii’s Agriculture

Friday 9/24: A Summit on Rural Hawaii: The Data, The Dilemmas, and the Opportunities

Saturday 9/25: Post Conference Farm Tours

Thursday September 23, 2010


2010 Hawaii Agriculture Conference Tradeshow

Visit over 30 exhibitors and learn about resources that can help you grow your business, learn about innovative practices and connect to others who believe in agriculture as an important part of Hawaii’s future. Businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations will all have presence here at the tradeshow. Learn about some of the latest technology tools in the Web Tools for Connecting area. The exhibits' room will feature café like seating areas, free wireless connections to the internet and food and beverages throughout the day. Please make sure to visit the exhibits during the continental breakfast, session breaks and the pau hana reception.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

John McHugh, President of Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii
Tova Calendar, Co-Chair of 2010 Hawaii Agriculture Conference Co-Chair

Keynote Presentation

21st Century Agriculture: Science & Technologically Based Innovations and Solutions for Climate, Famine and Global Water Shortage

Imagine an approach to agriculture that can begin to turn back the tide on ecological decline, improve soil health, mitigate climate change, produce more water in a water short world, and feed more people than imagined. Tim LaSalle of New Era Agriculture will demonstrate how by harnessing the power of biology, we can do just that. Not only can a biological approach provide ecosystem services to the planet, this technique can also create economic opportunities on and off the farm. Tim explores the role farmers can play in fighting climate change and makes the case for getting paid to do so, as well as demonstrates how this novel methodology can cut production costs and help farmers command a higher price.

21st Century Agriculture: Science, Technology, Innovation, and Solutions

Timothy LaSalle, Ph. D. is Founder/Director of NewEra Agriculture, graduate and former CEO of the California Agriculture Leadership Foundation and an internationally sought-after speaker on sustainable farming. His keynote presentation, grounded in an international worldview, will highlight opportunities for the agricultural sector to mitigate issues of changing climate, limited fossil fuels, global trade, diet-related health issues, and other economic challenges that continue to squeeze profits from farmers livelihoods by focusing on soil health, biological intelligence, engineering innovation and economic redesign.

As Rodale Institute’s first CEO, Tim LaSalle championed his science-based hope for a regenerative food system that will mitigate climate change and prevent famine. LaSalle was raised on a dairy farm and was a fellow, the president, the CEO, and eventually the Director of Education of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

LaSalle previously served as Executive Director of the Northwest Earth Institute an international organization dedicated to grassroots movements which offers discussion courses on sustainability, deep ecology, living in place, and the practice of simplicity for groups and individuals in the across the United States. He was Interim Executive Director of the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County and was the Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management, an international non-profit who mission is to restore and regenerate deteriorating landscapes for the people dependent on that land. He has served on many nonprofit boards, committees and leadership groups, including roles with the Kellogg Leadership Alliance and Chaired an International Call to Action on Sustainability at EARTH University in Costa Rica.

Stephanie Whalen is the Executive Director of Hawaii Agriculture Research Center. Along with the story of HARC’s exciting Kunia projects, Ms Whalens’ lunch presentation will discuss overcoming barriers, collaborative strategies and leadership needs/successes that are necessary to bring innovative and sustainable projects to fruition. (Thursday Lunch)

Plenary Session

Visions for Hawai‘i Agriculture: A Conversation

Part presentation, part discussion, this session explores possibilities for the future of agriculture in Hawaii. Kyle Datta, general partner of Ulupono Initiative, a relatively new social investment company, will describe a vision for Hawai‘i’s agricultural future that builds on the foundation of the past while overcoming current and future challenges. Datta will address some of the positive trends emerging while describing the role of the entire community in fashioning a strong and sustainable future for agriculture.

It’s straight talk about why Ulupono is investing in Hawai‘i's agricultural system. With over 30 years of experience in agricultural business in Hawaii, Alan Gottlieb, Treasurer of Ponoholo Ranch will provide a seasoned perspective on the vision presented by reflecting on the chaisms to make change happen; who has the power to effect those changes and the need for collaboration and risk taking to succeed. Keynote Tim LaSalle will probe with questions and make connections to create new awareness and linkages to national and international activities and trends.


Kyle Datta is a founding partner of Ulupono Initiative, which last year began investing in three key areas to make Hawai‘i more sustainable: boosting local food production, increasing renewable energy; and reducing waste. Kyle was the CEO of a national biodiesel firm; Managing Director of Research and Consulting at the Rocky Mountain Institute; and a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton who served as managing partner of the firms’ energy practice in Singapore. He is a co-author of the RMI books "Winning the Oil End Game" and "Small is Profitable”.

Alan H. Gottlieb is the Treasurer for Ponoholo Ranch Limited, a Big-Island cattle ranch, the 20th largest cow/calf ranch in the United States, managing their business affairs in Hawaii and for its mainland subsidiaries. Alan also manages subsidiary Second City Property Management, which operates agricultural water systems in West Oahu on over 8,000 acres for a number of diversified farmers. Along with several partners, Alan founded and later sold Hawaiian Earth Products, Ltd, an industry leader that recycles yard trimmings, manures and other organics into high quality compost under the Menehune MAGIC brand name.

Alan is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has served on the Hawaii State Board of Agriculture since 2004. Alan participated in Class IV of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation and served as a board member of the Foundation from 1992 through 2009, including 2 terms as Board Chairman. In 2001/2002 Alan participated in the Pacific Century Fellows Program. He is a founder of the Paniolo Hall of Fame, to help preserve the Paniolo Culture in Hawaii and induct and honor notable Hawaiian Cowboys into the Hall of Fame. He serves on the Board of the Hawaii Beef Industry Council and is currently the President of the Statewide Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council.

Tim LaSalle, Founder Director, NewEraAg - see bio above


Gourmet Locavore Luncheon Program

John McHugh, President of Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii
Lesley Hill, Co-Chair of 2010 Hawaii Agriculture Conference Co-Chair

The Eat Local Challenge: It Matters!
Kanu Hawaii provides insight into the economic impact of a commitment to using local products by deconstructing our Gourmet Locavore Lunch Menu. Learn about Kanu Hawaii's Eat Local Challenge, a weeklong project scheduled for September 26 – October 2, designed demonstrate the power of personal commitments.


James Koshiba is co-founder of and Executive Director of Kanu Hawai’i.  Kanu empowers people to build a more environmentally sustainable, compassionate, and self reliant local Hawaii with demonstrations of kuleana (responsibility-taking). Members of Kanu commit to "being the change" they seek - taking specific actions that preserve and protect Hawaii's unique way of life.  In 2 1/2 years, the organization has built a membership of 12,000 across the Hawaiian islands, 300 mainland communities and 12 countries.  Each member has committed to changes in their own lives that model sustainability, compassion, and resilience, and thousands have taken part in group actions to change public policy or corporate practices.

Keynote Presentation - Hawaii’s Evolving Agriculture: It’s not an either or proposition

Stephanie Whalen, the Director of the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, shares another powerful story about her efforts to develop an Agriculture Cluster in Kunia. It’s quite the vision! HARC has participated in important and innovative projects throughout the agriculture sector for over three decades. Stephanie will share her insights and relate how they pertain to HARC’s successes and how they might enlighten a path to a more sustainable agriculture sector in Hawaii. Her talk will inspire a vision for Hawaii agriculture that is inclusive of all.


Stephanie A. Whalen was the President and is now the Executive Director of the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, formerly the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association since 1994. The organization is a non-profit, privately owned research institution formed in 1882 to maintain, advance, improve and protect the sugar industry in Hawaii and to support the development of agriculture in general, including the support of an experiment station. With the downsizing of the sugar industry in Hawaii the organization is shifting its emphasis to the development of new agricultural businesses and services. The islands offer specific and unique environmental conditions that provide competitive advantages to certain agricultural activities. Stephanie's efforts have been directed to maintaining the professional expertise and research capabilities of the organization during this transition. She is also responsible for the property and asset management. The company has approximately 45 employees located at 3 sites on 2 islands. It includes bargaining and non-bargaining labor units. During the last 20 years, Stephanie has represented agricultural interests at the state legislature and as an active member of many of the Hawaii state task forces and other advisory groups and committees established to address various environmental regulatory issues.

Concurrent Sessions

The Next Crop: Educating youth to become farmers and ag-literate citizens

Educators from across the state will share current activities and future plans for addressing the need to grow the next generation of Hawai'i's farmers and a citizenry supportive of sustainable local agriculture. From school gardens to summer internships to Ph.D. programs; agriculture education is critical to our state's agricultural, economic, and environmental future. Attend this session to learn about these initiatives and discuss how we can all contribute to this movement. The panel will be moderated by Dexter Kishida the School Food Coordinator for Kokua Hawai'i Foundation.


Nancy Redfeather, Program Director, Hawai’i Island School Garden Network & The Kohala Center, has been a teacher and organic gardener for 40 years. She and her husband Gerry Herbert have created an experimental/educational mini-farm at Kawanui, Honalo where they have given community gardening classes since 2002 in home vegetable production, coffee and orchard production using sustainable/ecological practices. Nancy is actively involved in several sustainable food and farming initiatives and is the Program Director for The Kohala Center’s Hawai’i Island School Garden Network, which is a member of the statewide Hui of School Garden Networks.

Manuel Jadulang, FFA Advisor and DOE teacher at Honoka`a Intermediate and High School, has been teaching in the DOE for 10 years and is currently the Future Farmers of America Advisor and Ag teacher at Honoka`a Intermediate and High School covering conventional and sustainable agriculture, aquaponics, farm construction/wood working, plant tissue culture, golf and lawn maintenance and hydroponics. HeUHM EDCS 433/450 Malama I Ka Aina class with Dr. Pauline Chinn of UHM College of Education.

Paul Kalani Kaawa Flores Jr., Kauhale Education Resource Specialist, MA’O Organic Farms, was born and raised in Nanakuli. He graduated from Wai'anae High School, earned an Associates of Arts degree from Leeward Community College, Bachelor's in Hawaiian Studies and Language from UH-Manoa and is currently working on his Masters in Education Administration in Higher Education at UH-Manoa. Passionate about agriculture, sustainability, Hawaiian culture and empowering the youth on the Wai'anae Coast, Kalani is the lead coordinator of MA'O's college internship program which seeks to transform students' lives through higher education at Leeward Community College and work in the 'aina as organic farmers at MA'O Farm.

Dr. Charles Kinoshita, Associate Dean and Professor, UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources serves in the following position at the University of Hawaii: Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Prior to joining the University, Dr. Kinoshita served at the Experiment Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association (now the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center) as project engineer and then as head of the Sugar Technology and Engineering Departments. Dr. Kinoshita received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hawaii and a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. He has authored a large number of publications and has consulted to numerous agencies and businesses, locally and internationally.

Dr. William Wallace Moekahi Steiner, Dean, UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, has served as Dean for University of Hawai‘i-Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management at Hilo since 2005. As visionary, financial and academic manager for the college, Dr. Steiner has developed new research thrusts into biofuel development (oil palm), heritage foods development, and dairy sciences while developing the equine sciences program. It is his intention to move the college forward into a future that embraces a growing forestry industry and work in the fields of sustainable agriculture.

Moderated by Dexter Kishida, School Food Coordinator for Kokua Hawai'i Foundation Dexter is an advocate of the farm-to-school movement for Hawai'i schools, and with a background in food service is passionate about connecting our Hawaii grown keiki with Hawaii grown food.

Island Harvest Honey Tasting

Presented by Slow Food Oahu, take a break and enjoy the sweetness of life! Taste several varieties of local honey and hear what Slow Foodie Laurie Carlson has to say about Slow Food activities across the state, country and world.


Farmer–to-Farmer Speed Dating

  • 1. Adding Value to your off-grade Products

    Aloha Tofu Factory started from very humble beginnings in 1950 when Kamesaburo and Tsuruko Uyehara agreed to take over the running of a friend's tofu factory. Normally it would take a lifetime to master the art of tofu-making, but young Kamesaburo had only a week to learn everything about tofu and keep the factory running. Today, Aloha Tofu's third-generation president, Paul Uyehara, is employing new strategies to keep the company successful by looking for new products based on tofu such as ready-to-eat foods designed for busy families.

    Speakers: Wayne Iwaoka is a food scientist in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences in the College of Tropic Agriculture and Human Resources. Through his efforts, food science and human nutrition majors from the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Science have been developing new food products using fruit or vegetable culls or seconds that would normally be unsellable.  These value added products, bear the "Kulanui" brand, which in Hawaiian means "University". Dr. Iwaoka and his students are working with Paul Uyehara to create a breakfast bar and other innovative food products using okara (soybean byproduct) as one of the major ingredients. Come and hear the story of this evolving collaboration.
  • 2. Biodiesel on Your Farm

    Join speed dater Tracey Cheyne as he discusses the ins and outs of producing and using biodiesel in today’s vehicles. As assistant farm manger on a growing farm on Maui, he has first hand knowledge of the specific challenges Hawaii’s farmers may face as they consider this strategy in their sustainability plan.

    Speaker: Tracey Cheyne is the Assistant Farm Manager at weFarm@kapalua and has a wide range of experience working with biodiesel. From research, development and construction of a one million gallon per year production biodiesel plant to using biodiesel in his personal vehicles, he is the go to person as farmers consider transiting to biodiesel on their farm.
  • 3. Green Ag & Ham: Composting with Pigs

    Pigs play a vital role in the rich ethnic customs of Hawaii. Fresh pork will always be in great demand.  But with passage of the Clean Water Act, and resulting stricter regulations affecting manure slurry from piggeries, farmers are having to modify their manure management practices. Island farms of the future will be reducing water usage and promoting composting through the use of green waste as bedding in pig pens. It's a match made in hog heaven, as the microorganisms in the manure and the green waste work symbiotically to reduce odor, speed composting, and increase the nutrient value of the composted product.

    Speaker: Val Kaneshiro is Herd Manager, at M & H Kaneshiro Farms, the largest local pork producer in Hawai`i. The farm has been involved in research and demonstration projects with manure from their Kauai hogs for over 30 years.
  • 4. Increasing Productivity with Biochar

    Biochar can increase the health and productivity of wide range of soils and planting mixes. The essential characteristics of biochar will be explained and Biochar's role in soil dynamics will be reviewed. Economical and successful methods of application will be discussed.

    Speaker: Josiah Hunt graduated from UHH with a B.S. in Agroecology and Environmental Quality in 2004 and launched his landscape business working on farms and residential properties. Starting in 2008 he began producing and researching biochar. With the help of a Big Island Resource and Conservation and Development grant in 2009 he extended the research to the community by donating biochar and biochar amended compost to local agriculture businesses in exchange for pictures and data. Since that time Josiah has been working full time producing, processing, researching and selling biochar. He recently attended the 2010 US Biochar Initiative as a speaker and was featured in the August-September issue of Audubon Magazine.
  • 5. Integrating Agroforestry and Silviculture into Your Long Term Farming Plan

    Jill Wagner will share the process of integrating the growing of hardwood or native Hawaiian trees alongside other crops. Long term tree “crops” and short term food/fuel/fiber crops provide an excellent balance both economically and environmentally. It is Jill’s belief and experience that agroforesty provides a holistic way of relating to the land.

    Speaker: Jill Wagner is a forestry consultant with a BA degree in Ethnobotany from UH Hilo. She is the Project Coordinator for the Hawaii Island Native Seed Bank and collects seed of native Hawaiian species for restoration, mitigation, and research. She has taught native species horticulture classes for ten years and she is the owner of Future Forests Nursery, a native Hawaiian and tropical hardwood tree nursery. Jill consults with land owners about landscape design, restoration, agroforestry systems, small farms and hardwood plantations and grows trees for native restoration projects on Hawaii Island.

  • 6. The Role of Honey Bees in Diversified Agriculture in Hawai`i

    Colonies of managed honey bees, properly placed in a field of pollinator-dependant crops, will provide  the grower with "insurance" that the yield  of high quality market grade fruits, vegetables  or seeds will be maximized.  By using 1 or 2 colonies of honey bees per acre, for instance,  the yield of market grade zucchini, kabotcha, or melons, can be increased  by 30% to 40%  for a cost of less than $200.

    Speaker: Michael  Kliks has been involved in the apiculture industry in Hawai`i for more than 30  years as a  producer of world class honeys, a provider of mobile, scientifically managed  pollination services,  and as an advocate, lobbyist and teacher devoted to the promotion of  beekeeping and  the expansion of diversified, sustainable, and  self-sufficient agriculture in the state.  He is currently president of the Hawai`i Beekeepers' Association, and owner of Manoa Honey Company  and Island Pollination Services.  He has a doctoral degree from UC  Berkeley in Entomology  and Parasitology.
  • 7. The Theory and Practice of Solar Dehydration

    From meats and fish to herbs and fruits, learn how to efficiently and safely add value to your abundant yields. Learn about the fundamental principals and processes of using the sun to prepare and preserve your food. See proven design and discuss pros and cons of different material. For a serious practitioners it's more technical than you think!

    Speaker: Jerry Bickel grew up on a ranch in the Midwest and now, after many moves, lives on Maui. He designs and builds houses, kitchens, and furniture and recently has developed an interest in creating sustainable solutions for food and shelter infrastructure.

Farmer Adoption and Implementation of Conservation Practices – A Key to Achieving Sustainability

This panel of farmers, agriculture suppliers, and research support will present advances and adoption of on-farm conservation practices. Hawaii has a variety of micro-climates that need specific applied conservation measures developed in collaboration with USDA-NRCS, UH Manoa CTAHR, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the community in which we farm. The strategies behind the adoption of site specific conservation measures will be presented. The panel will be moderated by John McHugh an agronomist for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.


Dr. John J. McHugh, Jr. is an agronomist at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., Kunia Research Station on O`ahu. Since 1999, he has been a strong advocate for farmer adoption of conservation practices that keep soil and water resources on the farm. As Pioneer’s Agronomist he has had an opportunity, for the last year, to take responsibility for implementation of the practices he has been advocating. He has 36 years of farming experience in Hawaii and remains keenly interested in sustainable farming practices as the vehicle for ensuring that there is a bright future for agriculture in Hawai`i.

Mark Cummings is the Vice President for Hawaiian Earth Products, a compost and mulch producer on O’ahu. Mark has been working closely with local farmers for the last two years to establish value in using compost as a standard operating procedure. The use of compost and mulch manufactured from green waste, collected from homes and businesses on O`ahu, completes the circle of the recycling process. The home grown organic matter incorporated into farm soils builds soil health and assists farmers with the task of increasing soil permeability and thus retaining soil and water on the farm while decreasing the volume of material going to the landfill.

Gerry Ross is co-owner and farmer with Janet Simpson for Kupa’a Farms, a diverse organic farm on 4 acres in lower Kula. They have revitalized this family farm and transformed it to a polyculture of coffee, pineapple, taro, sweet potatoes and over 20 different kinds of vegetables and tropical fruit. Their produce is marketed through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), farmer’s markets, and local stores and restaurants. Recently their coffee was ranked as second best in the state of Hawaii. He is a member of the Maui County Farm Bureau and chairs the Agriculture in the Classroom committee and is a founding member of the Maui Coffee Association.

Dr. Ali Fares is a Professor and Graduate Chair in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at University of Hawii-Manoa. Dr. Fares has been conducting on-farm Rresearch and Demonstration trials in Hawai`i displaying the benefits of the use of cover crops and other conservation practices for several years. His research interests include developing site-specific water management practices for different land covers, using real-time sensing technology, geographic information and ground positioning systems. His ultimate goal is to promote sound water management practices and provide a solid foundation on which to build sustainable water resources management in Hawaii with conflicting land usages (urban, agriculture, and conservation).

Managing Your Human Capital - Understanding Labor Laws

Federal and Hawaii wage and hour laws as they relate to employment in agriculture are explained and discussed, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act (MSPA). The panel will be moderated by Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson for the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.


Pamela Martin has been the Administrator for the Wage Standards Division at the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for five years. The Division administers and enforces the Wage and Hour Law, and the Payment of Wages and Other Compensation Law among other wage-related laws. Pam has varied experience in Hawaii that includes working for small business and nonprofit organizations, as well as in private practice as an attorney before starting at the State of Hawaii.

Terence (Terry) Trotter is District Director for the Hawaii District Office of the US Dept. of Labor, Wage & Hour Division. The district includes the State of Hawaii, as well as American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Wake Island and Johnston Island.  Mr. Trotter has been responsible for the Compliance Assistance and Enforcement Program within his jurisdiction, including the Davis-Bacon and the Related Acts, Service Contract Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act and other Statutes.

Min Kirk, Assistant District Director for the Hawaii District Office of the US Dept. of Labor, Wage & Hour Division, began her career with the U.S. Dept. of Labor as an investigator in 2003.  She has performed educational outreach as well as investigative activities under a variety of Federal Statutes and programs, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act, H-2a Visa Program, Family Medical Leave Act as well as other statutes Min was promoted to Assistant District Director for the Hawaii District Office in May of 2010.

Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture, was appointed by Governor Linda Lingle to lead the Hawaii Department of Agriculture in January 2003. Under her direction, the department safeguards, promotes and creates opportunities for Hawaii’s agriculture through its programs in land, water, biosecurity, financing, marketing, animal and plant health, food safety and quality assurance. She has worked in agriculture for over 30 years and received a Bachelor of Science degree from U.C. Berkeley in the Biology of Natural Resources and a MBA from the University of Hawaii.

Agency & Organization–to-Farmer Speed Dating

1. Hawaii Department of Agriculture

The Hawaii Seals of Quality program is a “branding” initiative mandated by the State Legislature in 2002 to protect the value and integrity of the Hawaii brand for fresh and processed agricultural products.  Only products that are certified by the State to be genuine, Hawaii grown, Hawaii made, and premium quality, are allowed into the program.  The Buy Local, It Matters program is a “call-to-action” campaign to encourage consumers to buy fresh, locally grown produce or locally raised proteins to support Hawaii farmers and ranchers, and not producers rather than products from somewhere else.

Speaker: Matthew Loke, Ph.D is Administrator, Agricultural Development Division, Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA).  He oversees agricultural data collection, analyses, marketing and grant administration for the department.

2. University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture

Join Carl Everson to learn about the range of research, education and public outreach resources offered by Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.   With Extension and Research programs statewide covering production agriculture, natural resource management, nutrition, home gardening, family and youth education, and more, CTAHR has something of interest for everyone.

Speaker: Carl Evensen is a the Interim Associate Dean and Director of Cooperative Extension  with the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He is responsible for administering CTAHR’s extension outreach programs statewide.  He was born and raised in Hawaii, is trained as an agronomist and has worked on agricultural production and environmental protection issues locally and internationally for the past 30 years.

3. Hawaii Ag Tourism Association

Hawaii AgriTourism Association (HATA)is a statewide organization of fruit, flower,vegetable,coffee farmers and ranchers, county economic development staff, education professionals, and tourism bureaus committed to diversified agriculture.

Speaker: Lani Weigert is CEO and Co-owner of Ali‘i Kula Lavender  on Maui. She is also the President of  Hawai`i AgriTourism Association, a statewide organization. After working in the travel industry for 28 years, Lani created Ali‘i Kula Lavender, a premier ag tourism venue on Maui.  She is a board member of the  Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii and a founding member of the Hawaii Agriculture Department’s Seal of Quality program .

4. Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA)

Join Eric S. Tanouye as he shares information about HFNA and how the organization supports its members' business success. This collaborative association works to develop and enact policies that advance the common business interests of its members in the areas of education, marketing, research and services. In general they work towards better conditions that promote and sustain an economically viable flower and plant industry, including the promotion of Hawaii flowers and plants exports.

Speaker: Eric Tanouye, Vice-President and General Manager of Green Point Nurseries, Eric Tanouye oversees the daily operations of the busy floral growing, packing, sales and export business. His industry involvement includes serving as President of the Hawaii Florists and Shippers Association, Vice President of the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, Vice President of the Hawaii Tropical Flower Council and as a delegate to the Hawaii Anthurium Industry Association. After graduating from high school, and completion of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii program, Eric studied at the University of Hawaii, prior to assuming a role in the growing family corporation.

5. Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation

The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation is a non-profit organization of farming families united for the purpose of analyzing problems and formulating action to ensure the future of agriculture thereby promoting the well-being of farming and the State's economy. The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation is Hawaii’s largest non-profit general agricultural advocacy organization, representing approximately 1,600 farm and ranch family members statewide. We are affiliated with the American Farm Bureau Federation, which has a membership of over 6,000,000 families in 2,800 counties across America. The Farm Bureau Federation is very active at the National, State and County levels, advocating for farmers and ranchers in policies and laws and bringing about change to adapt agriculture to meet the needs of people today and tomorrow.

Speaker: Brian Miyamoto, Director of Communication, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation

6. Hawaii Farmers Union

Hawaii Farmers Union is a branch of the National Farmers Union, one of America’s oldest and most distinguished farming organization, representing over 200,000 members nationwide and advocating for family farmers, ranchers, fishers and rural communities since 1902. The mission of Hawaii Farmers Union (HFU) is to advance the rights of farmers to create vibrant and prosperous agricultural communities for the benefit of all through cooperation, legislation, and education.

Speakers: Eden Peart, HFU President is a farmer and librarian involved with community and school gardens and youth camps, and promotes and educates about co-operatives on Hawai‘i Island. HFU Vice President Lydi Morgan-Bernal is an urban gardener and School Garden Program Director for the Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation on O‘ahu.

7. Kokua Hawai'i Foundation (KHF)

The Kokua Hawai'i Foundation supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawai'i. KHF mission is to provide students with experiences that will enhance their appreciation for and understanding of their environment so they will be lifelong stewards of the earth. Join speed dater, Dexter, as he shares updates on Kokua’s efforts to bring healthy local food to Hawaii's school children. More importantly, learn how you can help!

Speaker: Dexter Kishida is the school foods coordinator for Kokua Hawaii Foundation's AINA In Schools program. He is an advocate of the farm-to-school movement for Hawai'i schools, and with a background in food service is passionate about connecting our Hawaii grown keiki with Hawaii grown food.

8. US Department of Energy

Which crops and what processing for biofuels: Speak to the U.S. Department of Energy about the investment they are making investigating various crops and processes to convert them to biofuel.  Hear about which crops have been considered and how the producer will need to prepare them for market.  Have the information to consider your land, labor and water supply in making crop selection.

Speaker: Steve Lindenberg has directed environmental compliance and business line research and development for more than thirty years.  He currently works as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Renewable Energy at the U.S. DOE.  In that position he has responsibility for coordinating efforts to expand deployment of energy efficiency, advanced vehicles, wind, solar, water, geothermal and biomass energy resources across the Pacific region.  He is responsible for working with State and Territorial staff, electric utilities, real estate developers, vehicle manufacturers and dealers, fuel suppliers and others to help inform decision-makers on efficiency and renewable opportunities to reduce delays in industry adoption of the department’s developed technologies.

9. USDA-Farm Services Association Agency

The B-CAP - Biomass Crop Assistance Program is intended to provide direct economic stimulus for the planting, production, harvest, collection, storage and transport of biomass materials to qualified biomass conversion facilities and within selected project areas; thus, planting the seeds for a new biomass industry's success in Hawaii.

Speaker: Steve Peterson, grew up on a dairy farm in Northeast Iowa. He attended the University of Northern Iowa, University of Kansas and the University of North Dakota.  He has worked for the US Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency since 1979 in the capacities of County Executive Director and District Director in Iowa. In 1999, he moved to Hawaii to become the Chief Program Specialist for FSA in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin.

10. USDA-Natural Resources and Conservation Services (NRCS)

The NRCS works in partnership with Soil & Water Conservation Districts and other local partners to provide conservation technical and financial assistance to private land owners. Using the various programs included in the latest Farm Bill, NRCS helps farmers and ranchers protect our natural resources through conservation stewardship.  This includes an increased emphasis on biofuel crop production.

Speaker: Lawrence T. Yamamoto is the Director of the Pacific Islands Area for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The NRCS Pacific Islands Area includes the State of Hawaii, the Territory of American Samoa, the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

11. USDA Risk Management Agency

This discussion will focus on the Risk Management Agency's (RMA) efforts to evaluate the potential for offering crop insurance products for biofuel crops through the Federal crop insurance program.  An overview will be provided of the research conducted to date, and ongoing work related to biofuel crops.  This will also be an opportunity for RMA to learn more about the risk management needs of growers in Hawaii.

Speaker: Kent Lanclos is currently an Assistant to the Associate Administrator of the Risk Management Agency (RMA) in Washington, DC. Previously, he served as the Senior Underwriter for RMA and before that, as Senior Economist.  Kent received his doctorate in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in 1994.

12. USDA-Rural Development

USDA Rural Development will be providing information on resources available to farmers regarding loan and grant programs applicable to renewable energy and value-added financing opportunities.  Discussion will also center around USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative.

Speaker:Timothy W. O’Connell is the Assistant to the State Director for USDA Rural Development.  Tim manages the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and is the Cooperative Development Specialist—providing technical assistance to agricultural cooperatives.  Tim came to Hawaii in 1990 after serving a five year stint as an agricultural loan officer in Washington State.  He graduated from Washington State University in 1983 with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics.  He is also a Class IV graduate of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii and has served on the Board of Directors since 1993 (fulfilling the position of Secretary, Board of Directors from 1993-2007.)


Integrated Farming Systems: Growing more with less through Natural Farming and Aquaponics

Go beyond aquaponic basics with CTAHR’s Clyde Tamaru and Dr. Bradley Fox who will share the latest research and developments in this emergent approach to local food and fuel production.  Dr. Fox will present on the innovative aquaponic system dubbed the "Waimanalo Prototype". This prototype, launched with several Hawaiian Homesteads communities, provides a glimpse of what it will take for Hawaii to decrease its reliance on imports while producing its own food and energy.

Catch the Natural Farming buzz with Eric Weinert who will share what drew him to this farming method and how his farming operation has improved. He will present on specifics of the development and application of the inputs, many of which can be made on-farm and will talk about crops that are well suited to these methods. Through photos from his visit to Korea, see visuals of the positive results he witnessed in Natural Farming crops in the method’s mother country and learn if this is the right approach for your operation.


Clyde Tamaru has been an aquaculture specialist with the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) since 1995 and currently heads the aquaculture extension and outreach efforts in the CTAHR through the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering. Born and raised in Hawaii and a product of the public school system, he got his BS in Biology and MS in Zoology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His doctorate was obtained from the Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries at the University of Tokyo. A graduate of the Agriculture Leadership Program (Class IX) he uses his training to forge collaborative partnerships within the public and private sectors to maintain and extensive research and extension portfolio that covers both ancient and modern aquaculture activities.  All of his efforts are focused on providing the best science based information available in order for aquaculture and aquaponic stakeholders to make informed decisions.

Dr. Bradley (Kai) Fox is a researcher at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Kai participates in extension, outreach, and conducts research in integrated farming technology at Windward Community College.  He has a BS in Biology, a MS in Animal Science, and a PhD in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering.  His primary goal is to transfer sustainable farming technologies to the public to help increase Hawaii’s food independence.

Eric Weinert has over 30 years agricultural experience in Hawaii. He helped establish the exotic fruit industry in Hawaii (Rambutan & Longan) and currently manages the Hawaii operations of Calavo Growers, Inc., the largest exporter of papaya to the US mainland. Last fall Eric toured Korea to study Natural Farming and is applying many of those techniques to crops in Hawaii including papaya.

Pau Hana Reception

This pau hana no host reception will feature more locally sourced food treats and music by Jeff Peterson. Join us as we celebrate the recently selected Heroes of Agriculture, Food and the Environment; shake their hands and give them a resounding round of applause.

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Click here for a pdf flyer with general information about the program


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The 2010 Hawai`i Agriculture Conference is presented by the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii with input from many across the state working to create a sustainable agriculture sector.