NFU convention this year was held in the last week of Feb and beginning of March in Denver Colorado. NFU Rocky Mountain chapter was the host state. Reflective of HFUU membership numbers including myself as state president, Hawaii had three delegates on the policy floor debate, that spanned over two days. Two of our chapter presidents, Kaipo Kekona HFUU Lahaina Chapter and Andrea Drayer HFUU Ka’u Hawaii Island chapter, were the two other delegates. I along with the delegate body that covered 23 national states were most impressed with the policy additions that were moved and unanimously approved, by both of these leaders. They basically spoke to indigenous farmer issues and need for support, which got full support of the 800 member delegation.
As state president who also chairs the regenerative agriculture Local Food Committee (RALF) I was able to bring in to the convention Dan Kittredge to present on the Bio Nutrient Meter he has been developing to test for nutrient assessment in food grown.
The room was full for his provocative presentation. Having the ability to quantify the nutrient value in our food supply and is essential in support of farmers making a living at farming. The development of this meter tool, which he quips as a “Apple 2 computer, on the way to being a IMAC”, had folks attending very excited as to what this can mean for farmers moving forward. What is also very good is that he has it all open sourced in the commons, so no corporation can coop the work and it be available to our family of regenerative farmers who basically value utilizing soil health practices. Those practices that raise the level of living beneficial microbial culture in the soil.
All in all the Hawaii chapter of NFU is valued by the national members and leaders across the country and represented at the NFU table, as a chartered state chapter of NFU. HFUU became chartered in 2017 and it was the first time in eleven years that a state organization has been chartered under NFU. This basically gives Hawaii a vote at the national table when we physically meet on the mainland four times each year, representing the interests of our members. Hawaii is well poised to continuing to be on the cutting edge of agriculture, representative of our farmers best and highest interest in their ability to making a living at farming with educational outreach strategies that lower farmers outside inputs. This along with the highly valued Farmer Apprentice Program currently supported by the Mayors office and Maui County Council. This along with our chapters creating value for local agriculture in their regions, and growing our membership forward.