March 16, 2013 //
About 120 guests attended this year's A Tour and Taste of Ag held in Kunia. The event began with a tour of Hawaii's seed farms, where guests were able to get an up-close look and learn about the seed company farming operations in Hawaii. Guests then enjoyed a brunch featuring locally grown and raised produce from farms on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and the Big Island.
Following brunch and opening remarks by Hawaii Farm Bureau President Dean Okimoto and HCIA President Mark Phillipson, visiting farmers from across the United States, whose farms span thousands of acres and provide food to just as many people, shared their experiences about farming and how utilizing agricultural biotechnology improved the way they farm. In addition, Dr. Dennis Gonsalves explained the importance of biotechnology as a tool to meet challenges, such as his development of the Rainbow papaya, which saved Hawaii's papaya industry from collapse when papayas were being destroyed by the ringspot virus. Iowa State Farm Bureau President Craig Hill also spoke about farming challenges and the use of agricultural biotechnology.