As farmer and environmental activist Wendell Berry famously pronounced, “Eating is an agricultural act.”* That agricultural act was prominent at this year’s Ag Day at the Capitol, with all the delicious samples on offer, from beef sliders provided by the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council to cups of poke from abalone producers.
The annual event draws not only legislators, who are educated about agriculture’s critical impact on the local lifestyle and economy, but also members of the public, who come in crowds to eat, talk, and learn. And many CTAHR faculty, staff, and students were there to help with the learning.
They brought hands-on displays and interactive exhibits to show how relevant the work of the college is. They described their projects with knowledge and interest, from revitalizing the Islands’ ornamental flower industry to growing and using ‘olena, or turmeric.
And every bite of the food samples only underscored the message. The work CTAHR does in the lab, the classroom, and the fields had almost certainly helped each of the ag producers who provided them, whether by educating their owners and workers; making on-farm visits to solve problems in food safety, irrigation, or soil nutrition; doing research that helped to shape their procedures; or testing pesticides and IPM measures to keep their crops safe. It was an inspirational as well as a delicious day!
Check out the video here!
* Thanks go to Emeritus Professor Doug Vincent for the quote!