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 For Immediate Release
May 13, 2003

Statewide Public Seminars To BE HELD ON Protecting Farmland and Promoting Agriculture

HONOLULU—“Protecting Farmland and Promoting Agriculture: Tools and Techniques from Across the Nation” is the topic of a series of statewide seminars by Bob Wagner of the American Farmland Trust.  The seminars are open to the public and will provide information on the range of tools and techniques being used by states and counties across the country to sustain agricultural viability and to protect farmland.

The seminars are sponsored by the Office of Planning, Hawaii State Department of Agriculture, and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii.

With recent legislative interest in agricultural land use issues, the sponsors felt this information would be useful in developing strategies to promote sustained agricultural development.  "This is an exciting time for agriculture, with tremendous potential for expansion in crops and value-added products,” stated Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.  “The State is at a critical juncture in how we plan for a sustainable agricultural industry for Hawaii.  An important part of this is ensuring that agricultural lands and other resources are available for continued diversification now and in the future.”

Public seminars are scheduled for:

Maui:            Thursday, May 15, 2003, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Maui Community College, Ka Lama Building, Room 103
310 Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului

Honolulu:    Friday, May 16, 2003, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
State Capitol #325 (entry from the basement)

Hawaii:         Monday, May 19, 2003, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Cooperative Extension Office
875 Komohana Street, Hilo

                        Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Cooperative Extension Office
79-7381 Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua

Kauai:            Wednesday, May 21, 2003, 5:00-7:30 p.m.
Kauai Community College
3-1901 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue
Office of Community Services Classroom/Elections Bldg.

Founded in 1980, the American Farmland Trust is a private, nonprofit organization that works to protect the nationÂ’s strategic agricultural resources, assisting in the development of collaborative programs that stop the loss of productive farmland and promote farming practices that lead to a healthy environment.


For more information, contact:

Janelle Saneishi
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Phone: (808) 973-9560