Hawaii Ag Conference set for next week

Sep 22, 2022

For the first time since before the pandemic, the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii will host the Hawaii Agriculture Conference (AG2022) from Sept. 27 to 28 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The theme of this year’s event is “Collaborative Leaders as Ag-ents of Change.”

Plan to join agricultural leaders and stakeholders, including two of Ulupono’s very own, for networking, learning and collaboration at this exciting event. This year’s keynote speaker is Chad Buck, founder and owner of Hawaii Food Service Alliance LLC, HFA Logistics LLC, Hawai‘i Secure Foods LLC, and Niihau Ahiu Provisions LLC. Three tracks are offered to participants, with experts from various agricultural businesses and organizations across the state.

Highlights of the conference will include:

Tuesday, Sept. 27: “Strong Roots: Understanding the producer experience to map a healthy future, a panel discussion led by moderator Greg Chun of Awa Kele LLC. The panel will describe a participatory approach to understanding the complex, interconnected factors currently influencing Hawai‘i’s agricultural system, including the challenges and opportunities from the perspective of producers. Key findings will be explored as well as early insights into areas of high potential for influencing positive, holistic change. Partners from the agricultural system will share how industry representation is reflected in this work, and identify areas of application and advocacy.

Panelists are:

  • Bailey Goldman, Principal for Community Health Systems at Engaging Inquiry LLC
  • Micah Munekata, Director, Government Affairs, Ulupono Initiative
  • Amanda Shaw, Executive Director, Oahu Agriculture and Conservation Association
  • Emily Taaroa, Owner, Punachicks Farm
  • Nathan Trump, General Manager, Island Harvest

Wednesday, Sept. 28: Financing Hawaii’s Food Systems, a panel moderated by Amanda Shaw of the Oahu Agriculture and Conservation Association. This session will cover findings from Hawaii Investment Ready’s recent research on Financing Hawaii’s Food Systems. Discussion will focus on gaps between available financing and the needs of food system enterprises and insights gleaned from the data that may help to transform the existing funding landscape to one that is better aligned with Hawaii’s long-term goal of food security. Hear government, philanthropic and private sector’s response to the research and respective perspective.

Panelists are:

  • Jesse Cooke, Vice President, Investments and Analytics, Ulupono Initiative
  • Lisa Kleissner, Co-Founder and Board Chair, Hawaii Investment Ready
  • Nicole Milne, Vice President of Agriculture and Food Initiatives, The Kohala Center
  • Denise Salmeron, Business Programs Director, USDA Rural Development. 

Listen to Hawaii Public Radio, The Conversation: Hawaii Agriculture Conference to discuss food industry resilience >>

Learn more about the 2022 Hawaii Agriculture Conference >>