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Puna Presents – Ag Talk Story at the Pahoa Community Center

A community talk story session at the Pahoa Community Center on Friday August 23rd will feature members of the Agriculture Community and will be facilitated by Councilman Greggor Ilagan.

Ag Talk Story

Over Sixty People Attend Agricultural Talk-Story Session with Council Member Ilagan

Over sixty people gathered at the Pahoa Community Center for an agricultural talk-story session on March 22. The Interim Dean of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM), Dr. Bruce Matthews, industry experts from the Hawai’i Island Papaya Association, and County Council Member Greggor Ilagan of District 4, discussed the current state of agriculture and concerns for the future of food with the community.

Council Member Greggor Ilagan, District 4

Council Member Greggor Ilagan, District 4

The community had questions regarding issues of soil fertility, community gardening and resources available to remedy the increasing concern with food safety and sustainability.  “This right here, is what we need more of,” said Council Member Ilagan, as he facilitated communication between the community and UH Hilo Interim Dean, Dr. Matthews.

“Everyone agrees; we need more collaboration, cooperation and action between the individuals in the community, agencies and schools, and the policy makers,” said Council Member Ilagan.

Also in attendance was Representative Faye Hanohano, Eileen O’Hara, a representative from Senator Russell Ruderman’s office, and Dennis Kauka Jr., Council Aide to Council Member Zendo Kern of District 5.

Council Member Ilagan, District 4 and Dr. Bruce Matthews)

Council Member Ilagan, District 4 and Dr. Bruce Matthews)

Friday’s talk-story session was a prelude to Council Member Ilagan’s continued collaboration with community members to increase efforts and efficacy in agriculture. “It’s our time to take action. We need to hear from the community and responsibly direct dwindling resources to the highest areas of need.”

Council Member Ilagan continued, “We don’t live in a bountiful economy, but we do have the land to cultivate bounty. Talents and skills exist within every individual; collectively, we can accomplish so much. Let’s work together and creatively use what we have available to address food needs in the community.”

For more information call Council Member Greggor Ilagan’s office at 965-2712, or E-mail at gilagan@hawaiicounty.gov.

Kamehameha Schools Focus on Agriculture Family Farmers at the 40th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Media Release:

Kamehameha Schools stewards about 180,000 acres of agricultural lands as part of its statewide portfolio. On Hawai‘i Island alone, more than 72,000 acres of high-value agricultural lands help support a reliable food source, local jobs and a sustainable future for all Hawai‘i.

Prudent management of the Schools’ natural and cultural resources is essential. Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division (LAD) forged a strategic agricultural plan to provide goal-based initiatives for optimal agricultural management. Roughly 800 Kamehameha Schools agricultural tenants are actively farming a variety of crops on Hawai‘i Island. These agricultural tenants play a vital role in providing Hawai‘i’s bountiful harvest and supporting Kamehameha Schools’ mission of creating educational opportunities to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry.

Makahiki heralds this time of year where abundance and the harvest is celebrated. With more than 70% of all Kona coffee grown on the Schools’ lands, Kamehameha Schools is honored to actively participate as a sponsor of the 40th annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

According to Les Apoliona, Kamehameha Schools North Kona land manager, “Farmers are the ambassadors of the Kona Coffee brand worldwide.” And on Wednesday and Thursday, November 10-11, the Kona coffee industry gathers at the Keauhou Beach Resort to witness the prestigious judging of Kona’s finest coffees at the Gevalia Kona Coffee Cupping. The public is invited to meet these Kona coffee ambassadors and to judge a bit for themselves at the Keauhou Resort Kona Coffee Label and Website Competition. Dave and Trudy Bateman, KS agricultural tenants and owners of Heavenly Hawaiian, will be on hand alongside Kamehameha Schools to share farm information and samples of their 100% Kona coffee.

On Thursday, November 11 at the Keauhou Beach Resort, join Kamehameha Schools and their featured agricultural tenant – the family-owned Kona Coffee & Tea Company, the 2009 winner of the Gevalia Cupping Contest. The Private Reserve and Malia Ohana roasts will be available for sampling and purchase.

Following the Kamehameha Schools Kona Coffee Grand Parade on Saturday morning, November 13, the Schools will join the festivities and cultural events at the Makaeo County Pavilion. KS agricultural tenants Hawaii Island Gourmet and Kona Cowboy Coffee will be featuring delicious food pairings. With three generations of paniolo, Onaka Ranch proudly makes their special Kona Cowboy Coffee available for all to taste and savor. Hawaii Island Gourmet, known to many for their signature Atebara potato chips will also be available for sampling and purchase including taro, sweet potato and shrimp chips and cookies.

Also this week, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs is convening their annual convention at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort. Kamehameha Schools will be exhibiting and sharing their land stewardship and strategic agricultural plans with convention attendees.

For more information on how to support local farmers or to view Kamehameha Schools agricultural tenants with commercial businesses, visit www.ksbe.edu/land.