Hawai‘i Agriculture Conference focuses on economic growth, supporting local farms, and sustaining the aina

Hawai‘i Agriculture Conference focuses on economic growth, supporting local farms, and sustaining the aina

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 400 participants are expected to come together for the Hawai'i Agriculture Conference (AG2017), the premier all-agriculture conference in the state. Hosted by the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai'i (ALFH), AG2017 will take place at the Hawai'i Convention Center from August 29-30, 2017. Registration is now open and available online at www.hiagconference.org. Registration is $250 through July 15, and then increases to $300.

"Our team has been working hard to identify the industry's most current challenges and how to strengthen Hawai'i agriculture moving forward," said Mark Stoutemyer, president, Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai'i. "We encourage anyone with an interest in agriculture to attend this conference. Hawai'i agriculture cannot succeed without engaged stakeholders, thus AG2017 is filled with opportunities to learn, get inspired, share ideas, and collaborate."

A diverse planning team of agricultural stakeholders including producers, aggregators, landowners, educators, and non-profit administrators are working to plan the 2017 Hawai'i Agriculture Conference to address:

Our $300 Ag Million Opportunity – Replacing just 10% of the food Hawai'i currently imports could generate $188 million in sales, $94 million for farmers, and create 2,300 jobs.

Support Your Local Farms and Ranches – Demand for locally grown products are on the rise, yet re-establishing local food systems has never been more challenging.

Sustain Our ?Aina – For Future Generations: If we take care of the land, the land takes care of us. Hawai'i is on the front lines of climate change. We could be a world leader in sustainable food and energy production.

Keynote speakers at AG2017 include: Nainoa Thompson, President, Polynesian Voyaging Society, President Hilda C. Heine, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Ben Hartman, Farmer, Entrepreneur and Author, "The Lean Farm" and more.

New to the conference are: Grower Buyer Meetup – Facilitated 8-10 minute exchanges between growers and buyers. Growers stationed at tables will share product list, photos, certifications, and samples. Buyers will move from table to table and share requirements for volume, insurance, delivery terms, and specific product needs, the AGxChange – Learn about innovative practices, discover resources that can help grow business and connect with others who believe agriculture is an important part of Hawai'i's future. Businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations will all be represented at the AGxChange—offering up exhibits, poster presentations and café-like seating areas, with free wi-fi, food and beverages, and  Farm to Table Tastings – Network and enjoy delicious locally sourced and prepared cuisine at the Hawai'i Convention Center Rooftop Garden on August 29. Participating restaurants include 12th Avenue Grill, Forty Carrots at Bloomingdale's, D.K. Steakhouse, Hawai'i Convention Center, Kaka'ako Kitchen, Poke Stop - Mari's Garden, Tango, and Town.

A robust schedule of 22 breakout sessions will cover a diverse and engaging spectrum of issues. Topics at AG2017 will range from clearing the hurdles of labor and affordable housing on farm land, to growing agriculture with technology and tourism, to talking story about water and climate change, and much more. AG2017 aims to bring stakeholders together to unite in focus and support of agriculture's interests; to advance significant sector initiatives; and to build capacity, knowledge and collaboration across the sector.

For more information about AG2017 or to register for the conference, visit www.hiagconference.org.

Copyright 2017. Hawaii News Now. All Rights Reserved.