Agriculture Awareness Day 2015

  

Yesterday was the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Ag Day at the State Capitol in Honolulu.  As always, the ag community came out to educate the public and our politicians about farmers and food.

I took off of work to help my dad out for the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association table.  Instead of slicing papayas this year, we handed out the whole fruit.  The papayas we gave out were the Rainbow type from a new field my dad bought up in Haleiwa.

Off grade fruits that are too small to sell in the stores but perfectly delicious to eat.

I even brought along my Biofortified plushies of Frank N. Foode and Lanakila Anuenue Papaya.  These were total hits and awesome conversation starters.   

    

                

Courtesy of Sarah Thompson.

Courtesy of Mae Nakahata.

  

Courtesy of Mae Nakahata.

  

Courtesy of Janelle Saneishi.

Mahalo to all of our friends and supporters who stopped by for a papaya and came with an open mind to learn more about papayas.  The more people support local farmers, the more they can produce those locally grown foods.  

Never forget to be grateful for the food you eat and the things you wear and use. You can bet that a farmer had something to do with it!

 

Rise Up People: Redefining What It Means

 

My grandfather with his grandparents, my great great grandparents, dated in the 1920’s.

 
My grandfather literally was dirt poor.  His parents, my great grandparents, left Okinawa seeking a better life for their family and Hawaii was that opportunity.  They left their familiar home to start a journey to make a better life for themselves.  It’s a story that many of us here in Hawaii share regardless of our ethnicity.

What helped to get my grandfather ahead and to provide for the family was hard work on the farm.  He started off raising pigs, then onto dairy, and finally to producing vegetables and finally papayas.  This was very hard and laborious but he did it for his family.  

All of his kids including my dad was required to help on the farm.  If he wasn’t on the farm, he was with his dad scouring the dump for metal hardware that might be usable again.  It wasn’t fun to walk a dump but to a little kid, it was fun.  If he wasn’t at either of the places, he was supposed to be at school.  

My dad’s childhood as well as his time in the military, as a minority, taught him many lessons.  He learned what it meant to work hard, do a quality job, respect the elderly, and make the family proud.  He learned appreciation for what he had.  Some of these values are ingrained into Asian culture, and local culture to some degree from the plantation days.

As a result of his upbringing, I too was raised with these values.  I was raised in the old fashion way of having very strict parents with tough rules and high expectations.  We were not to do anything to shame our family name and do our best to make the family proud.  We were expected to get an education and go beyond what our parents achieved.  That is my cultural upbringing.

It was stressed upon my siblings and I that we do better than our parents.  They were the first generation of college graduates and we were expected to surpass them if we could. All of us did complete college with 3 of us getting master’s degrees.  I paid for my own graduate education with loans and scholarships.  This made my parents proud even though they never stated it to us.  My dad would say, ” Well, that’s what I expected of them!”

When one comes from nothing, once you find the key to success, you embrace it.  They key for our family was getting an education that set the foundation for my future.  Education provided a wealth of opportunities and options.  It opens your eyes to the world and what’s happening as well as gives one a strong base to critically evaluate the events around us.  

My dad stressed to me that with this education, I had a responsibility to be a contributor to society.  I always keep it in the back of my mind and exemplify this with volunteering with elder care organizations and advocating for my day job profession.

When I hear the slogans used by protests calling to “rise up,” I have a different concept in my mind.  I see rising up as getting truly educated at a higher institution of learning and not via Google.  Rise up as people who started from nothing and figure out ways to be a genuine contributor in this world.  Embrace your cultural values and demonstrate it in all you do.  It is each of our duty to make this world better through real education and using a factual basis to solve real world issues.  Ask yourself if you have truly done your due diligence researching the issue to see the whole picture to voice your stance upon.  Using misinformation doesn’t help the cause, it just weakens it.  

The world already has too much discord and turmoil and adding more doesn’t improve anyone’s situation.  Being steadfast in your beliefs drawn from misinformation doesn’t leave much in the way for collaboration.  If you’re finding your information being challenged as false, be willing to accept it instead of fight on a weak stance. True discussions and dialogue are much more productive that way.

People can continue to take the literal course of action of rising up or take the symbolic meaning to rise up that can sustain itself from each generation to the next.  We all have those choices and opportunities.  Which path do you think will have the most impact with the issues at hand?

Mahalo to the House Agriculture Committee

As a kid, my folks always told me to say thank you when someone helps you out.  I am indeed thankful for lawmakers making the hard and unpopular decision to stand with facts and reason.

 Here’s the message I sent the committee:

Aloha Chair Tsuji and Vice Chair Onishi and AGR committee members, 

 I wanted to send out a quick mahalo for supporting farmers like my dad with your deferral of HB1514. For nearly 3 years, there has been what feels like an onslaught of poorly crafted legislation that has brought my dad and brother to the Capitol to defend their work. There are many people in the activist movement that are trying to attack the large corporations not realizing that farmers like my dad becomes the collateral damage. There is a lot of fear being spread by these same people creating a hysteria among a poorly informed population. 

 My dad’s morale has been pretty low the last week upon finding out about all of these anti-farming bills. I have never heard him talk like that. Farmers are ways optimists but get worn down with misinformation attacks. By your decision to stand with facts and reason, it restores hope for my dad to see my brother to take over the farm in the next few years. 

He should be retired by most standards but is a lifelong worker, 7 days a week most times. This is his life and passion and no activist can take that away by being dishonest. 

 Our family appreciates your brave decision to support farmers over the activists. It’s this kind of message that gives us the incentive to continue farming. That’s how we grow Hawaii! 

Mahalo for doing the right thing!



The Hawaii Democratic Party Wants Farmers Out of Business

The Hawaii Democratic Party Wants Farmers Out of Business

Either the legislative caucus of the Hawaii Democratic Party doesn’t read bills properly or are missing a few screws. They apparently have made it clear that they want agriculture out of Hawaii.

Read their testimony below:

Thursday, February 5, 2015
Relating to House Bill 1514 Testifying in Support

Aloha, Chair Lee, Vice-Chair Lowen and Members of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection,

The Democratic Party of Hawaii supports HB1514 Relating to Environmental Protection, which requires disclosure relating to outdoor applications of pesticides by certain commercial agricultural entities, especially in areas that impact Hawaii’s Keiki and Kupuna. The establishment of reasonable buffer zones where regulated pesticides are dispersed and the necessary funding for enforcement by relevant State agencies are imperative. The good agricultural practices that are described in this bill should be commonplace for all of Hawaii’s responsible farming community.
As is evidenced by the many resolutions adopted at numerous State Conventions, the Democratic Party of Hawaii has long been dedicated to the promotion and protection of all of Hawaii’s people, food sustainability and our island environment. Therefore, we encourage the committee to vote favorably on this bill.

Mahalo for the opportunity to testify, The Legislation Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii

Well, Democrats, apparently you are wanting food sustainability but then want to make it harder for farmers. You want to protect the keiki and kupuna from pesticides but won’t regulate all others who use it including the state and county. You want to protect the environment without pesticides and let invasive species overrun the aina. You also feel it’s okay for farmers to be sued and have to pay for these lawsuits. Wow.

Well, I guess I can add the Democrats to the list of people who want to put farmers out of business. I guess papaya and produce grown in Mexico is better than the locally produced foods. That’s how we will help our food sustainability goals Democrats!

What Will I Tell My Kids?

What Will I Tell My Kids?

Every Sunday, my dad and I get to talk story about what’s going on in the agricultural scene as well as the latest science research that we’ve heard about. We are avid followers of the latest findings and both follow the politics pretty closely. I’ve been having these chats with him for several years now and it’s usually pretty upbeat and positive.

Today’s one was unlike any other talk story time. He’s usually talking about how my brother is learning the ropes of the farm and loves to reminisce about the way he was when joining the farm with my grandfather. He’d say that young farmers come in with lots of bright ideas about how they are going to change this and that because the new way is better, only to realize that some old ways are good because they are tried and true. Today was different as I heard him mention that with all these additional laws being targeted at ag and farmers, he would not be surprised if my brother decides to throw in the towel.

I have to say that I have never even given thought to seeing the end of my dad farming. This is his passion! It was something that never made him rich but it is what he loves to do. He essentially worked two full time jobs for decades to support the family and keep the farm. My brother also realized my dad’s passion and wanted to continue his legacy. If he gives up, there will be no more Kamiya Papaya.

It seems farming was once a noble profession but in this day and age, it is no longer respected apparently. With all of this targeted legislation being proposed by politicians and activists, of whom have never even had decades of farming experience, one gets tired of defending their work and continuing to reiterate the need to incorporate science into it. It’s easier to read stuff off the Internet as truth and then rile up people for the cause than to produce a crop. The farmers or the 1.5% of the population have a hard time getting their message loud enough over the 99%. Who will step in for us?

I’ve got to say that I really felt saddened after hearing my dad say that today. The days where politicians did research into the issues and sometimes did what was right but against popular opinion is over. They have to listen to the loudest of folks first and foremost. Leaders no longer have the integrity to protect the folks who are doing the right thing but have the lesser number. There are some but they are far and few between because of the attacks by activists upon them.

Ten years down the line, I don’t want to have to tell my kids the story about why they can’t go down to papa’s farm. Nor do I want to tell my youngest daughter that there are no more real tractors to play on because the farm is gone. Least of all, I don’t want to have to tell my youngest why we have pictures of a farm and nothing else. I’m hoping that by doing my part, I can stop that from becoming a reality. The farm is my dad’s legacy and our family’s heritage and no one can take that away from us without a fight for truth.

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The Real Bullies: Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety Attack the Local Farmers

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Will justice ever be served for the Hawaii County farmers?

It’s interesting that the activists’ groups like Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety always claim that the agribusinesses are liars and bullies. I guess they forgot the rule that when you point fingers at others, 3 more point back at oneself. “We want honesty,” is their followers’ rallying cry. The problem is that these groups can’t even be honest and don’t recognize the bullying they do themselves when they attack Big Island farmers in the courtroom.

Case in point is how CFS is ramping up its efforts with the Vandana Shiva blitz and garnering the attention of the media this past month. This group picks the most fraudulent of speakers to “educate” others, when in reality all she does is indoctrinate in ideology with very little evidence based information. She also is an extremist who supported Natural News’ Mike Adams’ call to murder scientists and journalists who supported biotechnology! It’s no wonder the local activists here do exactly the same thing in their commentaries but then are called the extremists of the movement.

The Center for Food Safety isn’t even honest in what they tell the media with their interviews. Many news stations were reporting that they are Honolulu based last week. This group is nothing close to being locally based and is essentially a satellite office of their Washington, D.C. one which started up last year. There were no corrections being made to these stories either so many people think that this is a local grassroots movement. They are clearly here to work on their financial sustainability if anything.

Like other activists, Ashley Lukens, CFS director, loves to play up the doctor bit too and neglects to mention that she’s holds a political science degree, not an ag one and has no experience or related education. She of course flaunts around the Dr. title as if it gives her added credibility. It’s no different than how they use Dr. Stephanie Seneff, aka RoundUp causes all diseases in the world fame artificial intelligence engineer, to tout their “education.”

The politicians are also jumping on the CFS dishonesty train too. Senator Josh Green brought in activists to “educate” political leaders on the issue of pesticides. Forget the fact that there are millions of acres of GM crops grown in the Midwest and these same crop protection products have been used for 40 years with no documented evidence that it causes autism, activists’ science is what our politicians prefer to use to make laws here.  On top of that, I just read the other week in an interview with Rep. Chris Lee that what they are attempting to enact in Hawaii will not affect small farmers regarding the pesticide issue. He’s been wined and dined and apparently repeating the rhetoric of CFS. Today, the Senate ag chair, Russell Ruderman, too is lobbying for his activists’s friends to defend Hawaii County.  Ruderman has his nose stuck in anti-Monsanto conspiracy theories and no sense of fairness or accountability and chooses to meddle in a level of government that is not in his scope.  These groups and the politicians they use don’t care who they attack seem to enjoy catering to the factless fear feast.

It’s no surprise that these groups always say one thing and do another. Center for Food Safety expressed to politicians that they aren’t going after the small farmers. Earthjustice attorney, Paul Achitoff, also stated that he fights for farming communities but is fighting against it now. Turns out that it’s not true because they are joining with the San Francisco based Earthjustice to appeal Judge Kurren’s ruling on the Big Island GMO ban. The agribusinesses aren’t affected by this ordinance in Hawaii county because they have no operations there at all. It’s the small papaya farmers and other local farmers who are having to defend their livelihoods! Of course they are going to state that Monsanto mantra against the organization who is helping to defend these farmers.

To fuel the fire, CFS loves to smother it’s news posts with the same old corporate hate. Instead of actually naming the true plaintiffs in the Big Island case, they title their post with, “Chemical Companies Undermine the Will of the People of Hawaii County.” There is no mention of the real local farm groups involved in the case at all and it closes the post with the same chemophobic messages used to take advantage of people’s ignorance on agriculture.

There are no links or documentation outlining any of the pertinent filings or details of the case also. It’s the typical cherry picking of information that these groups thrive on because they know most activists believe without questioning. A true skeptic would want to see the filings and other court or county documents also but these groups condemn any questioning of their motives or facts for that matter.  Questioning this movement will get you shunned and isn’t tolerated.  Hawaii is definitely a great place for Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety to establish due to the many industries available for them to sue and pad their coffers and a host of people that they can use as pawns.

These groups are so willing to use taxpayer dollars and farmers’ time play this conspiracy laden game with no consideration of how scare county resources really are. It’s like a game with no forethought as to the real consequences and impacts. Since when has it been a practice for activists to be held to a higher standard and code of ethics to be able to defend the county? These people show that they essentially have no ethics but can be trusted to do the right thing? With 3 bad bills passed due to the influence of these groups, it’s pretty sad that Hawaii County wants to use them to defend such a bad law. It’s pretty shameful that leaders can even consider using these people to represent them.

Then again, if these groups proceed with an appeal and follow suit with their bad track record, it many really blow up in their faces. Many of our laws are made by case law and a victory for the farmers in this case will set a huge precedent across the nation. A loss to the activists will only further strengthen the farmers’ rights to technology and even uphold scientists access to use biotech research. This would apply across the nation because of the precedent it sets for other lawsuits. Heck, it may even jeopardize their prior laws made to ban GM coffee and taro! What will they cry about that?

It’s sad that Hawaii County can actually consider using activists’ lawyer in these cases that shouldn’t have even made it this far. Politicians have a responsibility to the public to use facts and evidence to make fair and just laws. They all took an oath to act as such. When bad laws are made because of dishonest efforts, resources are wasted and everyone loses. Have we become any closer to reaching those goals of food security and sustainability when it’s taken to the courtroom? How much do we have to lose to realize it’s time to start listening to rational stakeholders who stand with facts?

If you’d like to express your opinion on this matter and get farmers back on track, please send the Hawaii County Council an email at: counciltestimony@hawaiicounty.gov

Read the Hawaii County Council Agenda here:  Hawaii County COUNCIL 02.04.2015 Agenda

Center for Food Safety & Earthjustice’s request can be read here: CFS.EarthJustice COM to Hawaii County

CFS Andrew Kimbrell’s disturbing anti-technology anti-science essay, Cold Evil.

 

Something is Wrong When We Attack Farmers

Ok, I’ll openly admit that I got misty eyed when I watched the Shark Tank video of farmer Johnny George’s Tree T-Pee sales pitch to investors. He tells them that he only makes $1 on each of his t-pees and gets pressured as to why he won’t sell it for more. He comes out with his honest answer that he sells it to farmers to help them. You can see that he’d have a hard time feeling good about making more expensive for farmers because he knows how hard farming is to begin with.

As I thought about it more, there is a lot of irony in this story. Here we have a farmer who resists trying to up his product’s pricing because of his target market is his fellow farmer. He’s also working hard on conservation efforts too. However, farmers and the efforts of agribusinesses are constantly being criticized and attacked for their efforts with being good environmental stewards and helping others. He clearly has a conscience and can empathize with his fellow farmers and their work.

Then on the flip side, we have the likes of Dr. Oz, Dr. Mercola, the Food Babe’s Vani Hari, Vandana Shiva, and Natural News’ Mike Adams, selling pseudoscience products for tons of money touting bogus claims and essentially ripping people off. I feel as if these scammers have no honest bone in their body and apparently lack a conscience to even stop and think that they are doing something questionable. These people should be called out by millions of people who wasted their money on these bogus products but they aren’t. Instead, millions follow these people and believe everything they say. These quacks have the gall to send their followers to attack farmers with misinformation perpetuated on their sites and There’s something very wrong with this picture here.

Have we as a society decided that it’s okay to reward dishonesty just to make a quick buck and take advantage of people’s ignorance? Is it okay to make up ” information” and scam folks who have gained your trust? Is it okay to propagate misinformation against farmers so that fearful folks attack their work?

It’s been ingrained in me to do what is right. The very people who decry the evil money made by farmers and agribusinesses have the dirtiest money made in reality. They took advantage of someone’s lack of awareness about basic science and agriculture, used misinformation to create fear, and took people’s money through all of this deceit to gain it for themselves. That’s the most despicable type of folks out there and yet we are rewarding them.

Honesty and doing what is right has gone out the door when we as a society attack those who give us sustenance. Its time to seek truth and justice for the many unseen hardworking folks. It’s time to bring back honor and respect to the farmers.

Farmers Will NEVER Do This Ever!

Farmers Will NEVER Do This Ever!

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This past Wednesday was opening day at the Hawaii State Legislature. There was a lot of festivities including an anti-GMO protest. Forget the fact that many of these folks burned quite a bit of GMO fuel, was dressed in GMO clothing, wore hazmat suits made by the “chem cartel” and likely ate some GMOs while there, they wanted it banned and companies evicted. The protesters were there to tell our legislature that this was the most important issue to be addressed in the upcoming session.

This is one event that you’ll never see a farmer at. You won’t hear any loud chants or see huge banners or costumes on farmers. You won’t see the internet bombarded with posters and memes inciting others. He won’t be sitting at a cocktail party with a speaker worth $40k. Why?

They know that a protest and social gatherings means lots of lost time and daylight being burned away from them working in their fields or squaring away the books. The 1.5% of our population doesn’t have time for these things. One day protesting doesn’t pay their bills or their workers. Neither does it get any product to those that are depending on it. It doesn’t matter if this is a big farm or small one, both have a plethora of things to do to keep it running and growing things.

So yes, the protesters are loud and an intimidating bunch of folks whole relish being in your face. Fact is, who is really doing the work to feed and grow things quietly in the background? Who is getting their hands in the dirt daily and sweating in the sun? Who comes home everyday covered in grime with achy backs and muscles? Who sits hours at a desk after a hard day’s work to pay his taxes and make sure workers get paid? Who spends their weekend servicing delivery trucks and tractors to make sure it’s in working order for the following week? Who stays outside from before the sun is out to the early evening hours to maximize the natural light to work under?

The answer is easy. It’s a farmer who does all of those tasks and even more to grow Hawaii. When it comes time to deciding on policy making, who deserves to have the louder voice, that hard worker who actually has his hands in the earth or the numerous loud folks who stand on the earth but don’t actually yield anything from it?

This is the year to really consider the best practice for policies in Hawaii. I sure hope our politicians and the public take the time to decide what is truly best for our future. May this be the year for the farmer!

Moloka’i: A Community that Comes Together When Faced with Adversity

Photo credit: Edwin Christian Mendija

Photo credit: Edwin Christian Mendija

I find it hard to believe that little Hawaii has become the center of the worldwide GMO controversy. The global political war is taking place right here in our communities and can literally destroy it with bad policy. I refuse to sit back and let that happen without a fight against misinformation and fear. Hawaii was built upon agriculture and we are on a dangerous path to tearing apart the very fabric that brought so many of us together. The stories of the people in agriculture need to be heard and here’s one of them by April Piilani Augustiro.

 

Moloka’i is a special place. Many of us on either side will agree to that!! Our population is about 7,000 and basically, we all know each other. We’re somewhat related in sooo many ways. We call eachother aunty, uncle, cousin, even our friends’ grandparents become ours as well, and most times if you’ll know someone here related to someone. That’s good for many of us as it’s pretty easy to become family. However, we are considered very territorial people as well, we don’t like being pushed around on our own aina and we sure don’t like people coming here and taking over the little we have adapted to.

Many of us that work for these seed companies, are sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, grandparents, Tball coaches, football coaches, affiliated in many community organizations, and we too, like many on the other side claim, LOVE OUR AINA and CARE ABOUT our people!! We are normally the quiet majority, many of us wake early in the morning to begin our day by 6:30 a.m., and often times, work longer than an 8 hour shift.  We are FARMERS! Whether we work indoors or outdoors, because TOGETHER, we are the ones that “nourish” the product of our fields!!

I stand amongst some of the most respectful, dedicated, and compassionate people on our island. Many of them have toiled the fields for years and years, many are some of the most hard working I know. This initiative is hard to swallow. It’s hurtful to the many of us that work for these seed companies. It will be devastating in every which way, and will definitely hurt our economy greatly!! How can we allow others that don’t believe in what we do, take that away from us? How can we sit back and let their opinions disrupt our livelihood? Let’s talk about FACTS!! I say, you want a study done? Go fund it, go do it, but don’t STOP us from doing what we’re doing!!!

It’s time for us to TAKE OUR “SHAKA” BACK!!! We’re gathering together, one by one to do just that!

 

khorner

Was one awesome feeling! The feeling was not that we had many, but the feeling that this is PONO! That what we do is SAFE! After that was a feeling of hope, that people are being educated, and learning and understand the effects of losing jobs and the ripple effects that would happen. One thing about this island! Where the majority stands, in rumor or action, it is usually true and what we should be fighting for. Sadly, not all ended up in victory but we KNOW TRUTH! We are not hiding anything… We KNOW where this road leads, and it’s not to a happy ending if we lose this fight. VOTE NO!

–Kawehi Horner

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Standing out there was a very humbling experience for me. Seeing a lot of people standing up for what they believe in was awesome! To see the faces of those this initiative will affect, brought tears to my eyes. I was grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this.

–Ka’ulaleo Balbas

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Photo credit: Piilani Augustiro

It was truly uplifting to see the unity in what was once thought to be a minority!! We are not going down so easily… fighting til the end!!

–Tarrah Horner

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Photo credit: Caroline Kuihealani Adolpho

As a family, we initially decided to be present at the sign-waving as our own unit, our own family front, our own public display of support for ALL farming and for the opportunities that my husband’s occupation has given us. But the reality was awe-inspiring. To see so many community members and fellow employees, our family unit grew to include hundreds of others. ALL these people support our same view. ALL these families have a point to make. ALL these community members have a voice and they want to use it! Looking at our children, and the countless others there, you have to wonder how this will affect them if this moratorium goes through. We left great paying jobs in the mainland, took smaller incomes and increased cost of living because it takes a village to raise a child and the village we chose is Molokai. That village was there yesterday, asking how our other family members were doing, talking story, laughing, supporting eachother, together. These are the faces we see every day, faces we know one way or another. These are the faces of Molokai, the village we will always choose.

–Caroline Kuihealani Adolpho

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Photo credit: Jessi Bicoy

It was such an amazing and hubmling experience seeing hundreds of our own Molokai people come out to support eachother. With all the craziness and division this issue has brought to our community, it was a nice break and so uplifting. Good vibes, clean and respectful signs, many of them reading “thank you for your support”, extended families, new and old friends, smiling, laughing…. Such a good reminder of why we’re all in this. It was definitely one of those moments where you just know that you’re doing the right thing.

–Jessi Bicoy

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Photo credit: Piilani Augustiro

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Photo credit: Piilani Augustiro

 

The story of agriculture comes from the people who work the lands and grow Hawaii.  These are the faces of Hawaii agriculture!  It is our heritage and a part of each and everyone of us!  We are proud to be Hawaii ag!

Photo credit: Rob Stephenson mkkrob@me.com

Photo credit: Rob Stephenson mkkrob@me.com

Did you Thank a Farmer?

Apparently, the archive post I posted back in January is causing a stir again with the anti-GMO crowd and must be hitting nerve.  I’m still getting those “just label it comments,” “you go live by a field and die,” and so on.  These people have a wonderful knack of being so lovely and have no problem throwing out insults after insults but honestly, doing stuff like that is childish and just shows me that you’re validating what I’ve been saying all a long about people’s lack of awareness of how biotech is all around us.

What exactly is biotech derived in our lives?  Let’s see…

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That’s just a small cross section of a few things that have it’s origins in biotechnology.  Most people have a lot of these items in their homes and use it daily.  The sad thing is that there are still many people who don’t realize the extent to which biotechnology is in our lives and yet continue to protest it.

The activists want to take Hawaii completely out of the future advances in biotechnology using loads of fear and misinformation.  They will take away a huge tool that so many farmers across the US and world are using to help conserve resources and inputs to maximize productivity while having the lowest environmental impact.  Farmers are embracing this tool to grow our food, fiber, and fuel products and opinionated activists want to tie their hands.  These people are using what they read on the internet to change our entire food and farm system based in ideology.

What is GE Seatle Times

 So many people just dismiss the fact that many companies are growing seeds and that’s why they shouldn’t be here in Hawaii.  Hawaii is vital for growing the seeds that turn into the daily food, fuel, and fiber products that we consume and use daily.  These large farms help make farming more economically sustainable by bringing in lots of the inputs and supplies that the small farmers rely on at a more affordable price.  Take away the seed farms and we won’t have an economically sustainable farming community.

Lots of long time farmers know this.  Many new transplant farmers who have made their millions and can farm as a hobby are quick to criticize but don’t know the true nature of sustainability of farming.  These neo-farmers are quick to tout organic farming because they have the financial backing to survive loss and less productivity because they operate from a different model.  The old timers know the facts and are the ones speaking out.

Did you eat today?  Did you drive your car or catch a bus? Did you get dressed and showered? Did you read the paper? I’m sure you did and it’s a great reminder to thank that farmer!

Someone grew those seeds that other farmers grow, and let’s not forget that Hawaii played that role!