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For Immediate Release: December 3, 2003


U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary to Visit Hawaii

Honolulu - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary William T. Hawks, will visit Oahu and the Big Island this week to meet with local federal and state officials, farmers and agricultural industry groups.  Hawks is in charge of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs, including the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Hawks will also meet with Governor Linda Lingle on Thursday, December 4, and tour several Oahu farms.  Hawaii Board of Agriculture Chairperson Sandra Lee Kunimoto will accompany Hawks on Oahu and when he visits the Big Island on Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6. 

"We are grateful to Secretary Hawks for making the long trip from Washington, D.C. to help address some of the unique challenges we experience in Hawaii, especially in the areas of exporting and marketing," said Chairperson Kunimoto.  "I have met with Secretary Hawks on the mainland and he is truly interested in helping Hawaii agriculture overcome some of the barriers we face in taking our produce to mainland and foreign markets." 

While in Hilo, Hawks will visit the Hawaii Pride irradiator and will also meet with livestock and nursery industry leaders and visit a nursery, the Hilo Farmers Marketand Volcanoes National Park.

Hawks was sworn in as the under secretary by Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman on May 24, 2001.  Throughout his career, Hawks has operated and managed farming operations, including a dairy farm and various agricultural crop farms.  He was elected to the Mississippi State Senate in 1994, where he served for five years.  He has been active in many agricultural boards and commissions, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association.


For more information, contact:

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