Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Brings Conference Keynotes to Neighbor Islands

The 22nd Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference kicks off September 13-16 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus on Oahu and continues with mini gatherings for Kauai, Maui, Hilo and Kona.

Open to the public and presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG), the events are geared for farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture. In 2011, the main conference was on Hawaii Island with smaller gatherings on Oahu, Maui and Kauai.

Two, free post-conference mini meetings are set for the Big Island: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Komohana Ag Complex in Hilo and 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Kainaliu Cooperative Extension Conference Room in Kona. A 10 a.m. farm tour in Hilo is also available Wednesday.

With the theme “Producing Quality Fruit for the Future of Hawaii,” all sessions headline keynote speakers Dr. Roberto Coronel, professor emeritus University of the Philippines Los Banos, and Chef Ernest Miller of Hollywood’s Farmer’s Kitchen, a non-profit community-oriented project of Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles.

Dr. Coronel, an author and award-winning fruit researcher, will discuss “On-Farm Fruit Biodiversity Conservation.” Dr. Coronel will share his experiences as owner-curator of the four-hectare RC Fruit Conservation Farm planted with 220 edible fruit and nut species from the tropical regions of the world and 136 registered fruit varieties.

Speaking on “The Rise, Decline and Rise of Food Preservation,” Chef Miller is the lead instructor for the Master Food Preserver Program for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County. A U.S. delegate to Slow Food’s Terra Madre 2012, Miller will discuss food preservation for future security and value-added project development.

To signup for the Big Island post-conference mini meetings and Hilo farm tour, contact David Longacre, htfg.east@gmail.com in Hilo and Andrea Kawabata, andreak@hawaii.edu in Kona. Forms and fee schedule for the full conference on Oahu can be found at www.htfg.org or by contacting HTFG president Ken Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org.

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