Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

Ka`u residents interested in the Food to School movement, which includes school gardens like this one at Na`alehu School, can attend an upcoming conference. Photo by Nalani Parlin
STATEWIDE HAWAI`I FARM BUREAU FEDERATION PRESIDENT CHRIS MANFREDI, of Na`alehu, is seeking funding for a $400,000 campaign. According to Manfredi’s proposal posted online by Civil Beat, “Farms and ranches are being targeted for increased regulations, moratoriums and outright bans on modern farming practices, including the use of biotechnology, pesticides and herbicides.” Manfredi wrote, “Hawai`i’s political landscape has made our state and farming industries across the country vulnerable to these strategic battles.
      “We are losing ground and need your help,” Manfredi said.
      Manfredi cited cases across the state, including Hawai`i County’s registry requirement and partial ban of GMO crops; Kaua`i’s requirement for biotechnology and pesticide disclosures and buffer zones; a ballot initiative on Maui that he said “could lead to a county Charter Amendment banning biotechnology” and bills introduced at the state Legislature “on GMO labeling and glyphosate ban.”
Current statewide Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation President
Chris Manfredi was on the cover of the organization's
publication, Agriculture Hawai`i, in the Oct.-Dec. 2008 issue.
      Manfredi also wrote about the Center for Food Safety, which recently held a meeting in Pahala which he attended. He  described the nonprofit, which brought to Ka`u a Filipino physician and farming advocate who work internationally on GMO, pesticide and land security issues for farmers, as “a leading and well-funded anti-agriculture activist organization.” Manfredi noted that the Center for Food Safety has “partnered with Earthjustice, a law firm founded by the Sierra Club and specializing in environmental litigation.”
      Manfredi wrote, “The saddest parts of these attacks are the divisions created within the ag sector; pitting food against non-food, organic versus conventional. These divisions weaken our industry and deter investment. Worse, farmers and ranchers are demonized to the point where young people are further dissuaded from entering careers in agriculture – while activists selfishly attempt to advance their own agendas and political careers.”
      Manfredi also said, “Across the nation, farmers and ranchers have been caught off guard by extremist activists that will stop at nothing to realize their utopian, misinformed and unsustainable vision of how you should farm.”
      According to the appeal letter, money raised would be used for a communication plan that includes messages delivered by print, radio, TV, Internet and social media. The campaign would also use what Manfredi referred to as “guerilla marketing techniques.”
      The HFBF document obtained by Civil Beat listed the guerilla tactics: customized temporary tattoos issued to children and teens at school presentations; face painting for children and others that would create “photo opportunities” at events; and talk story sessions with school program members where farmers would discuss their operations and “provide talking points to share their campaign message.” Other guerrilla tactics listed are op-ed pieces for newspapers and magazines, “strategically timed” letters to editors and online comments that highlight campaign messages.
      The plan also calls for bringing back publication of Ag Hawai`i, HFBF’s quarterly magazine, as a “full color, glossy” publication with “more human interest stories as well as timely, issue-oriented pieces.”
      The organization’s website would also be updated and feature interviews with farmers from across the state and a blog “to illustrate how (a) farmer lives the campaign message.”
      “Please join us in thwarting these efforts by countering with positive fact-based messages before you find yourself fighting these same issues in your communities,” Manfredi concluded.
      John Hart, a political analyst and professor of communication at Hawai`i Pacific University, told Civil Beat reporter Anita Hofschneider, “This is bringing in the big guns” and that “certainly in an issue like this that is very contentious, I would expect this kind of money would have an effect. This is gunning for attitude change.”
      According to Hofschneider, Manfredi said he contacted Farm Bureau chapters in other states as well as the national organization to seek funding for the campaign.
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

STATE REP. RICHARD CREAGAN will hold a community forum on water for Ocean View on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. during the first Pancake Brunch sponsored by Ocean View Community Association. It will be held at the community center, one block off Aloha Blvd. on Leilani, which is a block below Hawai`i Blvd. off Seabreeze. To be discussed will be money from the state Legislature that has already been approved. Creagan said he wants input from the community on how to use the funding. He will also take questions on other issues concerning Ka`u. 
      Creagan said he will meet with Ha`ao Springs & Mountain House Ag Water Co-op members this month and plans another community water forum sometime this fall.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KA`U RESIDENTS INTERESTED IN THE FOOD TO SCHOOL movement can attend an upcoming conference where Re-Growing Community Food Systems is the theme. The conference will bring together education, health and agricultural stakeholders from across the islands to raise awareness and facilitate discussions about increasing the supply, distribution, and procurement of locally grown food for Hawai`i’s schools.
       Presented by Hawai`i Farm to School and School Garden Hui and The Kohala Center, the Hawai`i Farm to School Conference will be held at Kamehameha Schools’ Kapalama Campus in Honolulu from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3. Registration is $50 per person and includes breakfast and lunch. More information and registration are available online at hif2sc.eventbrite.com or by calling The Kohala Center at 887-6411.
      “Farm to school is a local, national, and international movement that is simultaneously making positive and significant strides in the areas of agriculture, education, and health,” said Hawai`i Farm to School and School Garden Hui coordinator Lydi Morgan Bernal. “This conference will promote the knowledge and best practices needed to develop and sustain a statewide farm to school program to re-grow Hawai`i’s agricultural economy, future farmers and healthy schools and communities.”
Agriculture, education and health are components of the state's school garden
program, including the one at Na`alehu School.
      Keynote speaker Kacie O’Brien, farm to school regional lead for the Western Region of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, will provide federal-level guidance and support for strengthening Hawai`i’s farm to school efforts. Featured panelists include Hawai`i Department of Agriculture chair Scott Enright, state procurement administrator Sarah Allen, Hawai`i Department of Education school food services branch director Glenna Owen, and other leaders from across the state. Slow Food of Hawai`i and many of O`ahu’s local farmers and chefs will provide an “ono and pono” breakfast, and Hale Kealoha `Ai Pono will offer attendees a model school lunch featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
      Two scholarships programs are available to help offset conference registration fees and travel costs. Educators and students may apply for scholarships of up to $200 per person (total of up to $1,000 per school) from the Kokua Hawai`i Foundation for reimbursement of conference registration fees and/or neighbor island flights and rental cars as needed. For non-educators, a limited number of conference registration scholarships of $50 each are available. More information and applications are available online at hif2sc.eventbrite.com. The application deadline for both scholarship programs is Monday, Sept. 15.
      Kokua Hawai`i Foundation will be coordinating visits to O`ahu farm to school sites for interested conference attendees on Saturday, Oct. 4. Farm to school site visits will also be offered statewide throughout October in conjunction with National Farm to School Month.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HILO HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAM travels to Ka`u High tomorrow for a match at 6 p.m. This is the Trojan team’s season opener.

FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK request that members RSVP by tomorrow for the group’s membership meeting this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Pahala Plantation House.
      RSVP by phone at 985-7373 or email at admin@fhvnp.orgor fhvnp@icloud.com.

LESS THAN TWO WEEKS REMAIN for discounted entry fees for the Ka`u Coffee Trail Run on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Ka`u Coffee Mill in conjunction with `O Ka`u Kakou’s `Ohana Day. Fees are $35 for the 5K, $45 for the 10K and $55 for the Half Marathon. All fees increase by $20 after Sept.13. High school team members can enter any event for $10. 
     The 5K is a family-friendly, run/walk trail through macadamia nut groves and coffee fields.
     The10K is a moderate run through macadamia nut grove, coffee fields and a huge eucalyptus tree forest.
     The Half Marathon follows the 5K and 10K course, then continues up to an elevation of 3,100 feet and traverses onto a four-wheel-drive access road, marked trails undulating through grazing pastures, former sugarcane fields and winds down through newly planted coffee fields.
     Awards go to the top three men and women overall (overall winners do not win top age-group awards) and the top three men and women in age groups from 19 and under to 70 and over.
     Post-race activities for the whole family include keiki games, live entertainment, live/silent auctions, local vendors, ono food, awards and great prizes (must be present to win).
     The `Ohana Day and Ka`u Coffee Trail Run are sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou, and all proceeds stay in Ka`u to benefit the Ka`u community.
      Registration for all races and a Kendama tournament is available at race360.com/21357.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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