Dems to honor ‘Ag Country Roots’ today

Everyone invited to free afternoon event in Honokaa

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye will bring his entourage and several other politicians to Honokaa High School from 3-6 p.m. today to join North Hawaii residents in celebrating their community’s “Ag Country Roots.”

The event is paid for and authorized by the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

The community is invited to this free celebration that will spotlight many of the hard-working food producers of the region and include samplings of grilled grass-fed beef and a new sausage of Kahua mutton, Hamakua mushrooms and other foods grown or produced in Hamakua, Waimea and Kohala.

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Informational exhibits also will feature in-school programs to grow the next generation of farmers and introduce the benefits of fresh, locally grown foods from farms and ranches in the region as well as backyard gardens.

The program also will acknowledge the 40-year contribution to Hawaii Island agriculture by Milton Yamasaki, who has managed the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’s Mealani Research Station, which includes two sites in Waimea, one in Hamakua and two in Kona.

Yamasaki, who was born and raised in Waimea and graduated from Honokaa High School, formally retired from CTAHR’s Mealani Research Station Sept. 30.

USDA Announces Partnerships in Hawaii to Help Navy Achieve its Biofuel and Other Renewable Energy Goals

Release No. 0174.10
Contact: Sandy Miller Hays (301) 504-1637

HONOLULU, April 7, 2010 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced a series of public and private partnerships designed to help establish commercial production of advanced biofuels and other renewable energy systems in Hawaii for use by the Department of the Navy.

"Hawaii, with its semitropical climate, is among the states with the greatest potential to produce biomass," said Merrigan. "And, with its significant naval presence and its heavy reliance on imported fuels, Hawaii is a perfect location for growing biomass for the production of advanced biofuels and using the vast other renewable resources available to develop other advanced energy systems."

The announcement follows a day-long meeting here on Tuesday, April 6, with representatives of the Department of the Navy, the Department of Energy, the state government of Hawaii, the office of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the University of Hawaii and others to discuss ways in which USDA could help the U.S. Navy move towards greater use of biofuels and the development of other renewable energy systems.

Leading Role for HC&S in Hawaii Renewable Energy Research, Biofuels — Federal Funding to be Provided – DailyFinance

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) today announced that it is at the center of significant new Hawaii-based research initiatives on biofuels, working closely with the University of Hawaii and various federal agencies to realize the promise of expanded production of clean, renewable energy.

In today’s announcement, HC&S noted support from Sen. Daniel K. Inouye in detailing annual federal funding of at least $4 million that will be made available through two separate programs, one funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the other by the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), to conduct research at HC&S.

The DOE funding of $2 million annually will be directed to research on energy crop development and energy conversion technologies to be conducted by the University’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). The ONR funding, also $2 million annually, will support complementary crop and technology assessments, as well as an evaluation of long-term resource requirements for biomass production. In announcing the ONR portion of the funding, US Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said the USDA would direct the research initiatives, providing $2 million per year through 2015, to help Hawaii accelerate sustainable biofuel feedstock production.