VIDEO & PHOTOS: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Recognizes Next Generation of Farmers at UH Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Today in West Oʻahu, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) delivered the morning keynote address at the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Conference and Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress, held at the University of Hawaiʻi– West Oʻahu. More than 200 participants from across Hawaiʻi and around the world participated in the weekend’s events, including representatives from leading universities, sustainability and agricultural organizations, and others. West Oʻahu student leaders started off the morning with a powerful oli and a shared statement about their vision to use sustainable agriculture and the values of aloha as a means to build a stronger future for Hawaiʻi and our people. The event, held from July 27-29, was hosted by the University of Hawai‘i – West Oʻahu Sustainable Community Food Systems Program, the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association, the University of Hawai‘i System Office of Sustainability and key community partners.
In her remarks, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard thanked the students for their work to bring people together for this weekend’s conference, and shared how she has seen communities across the country suffering because of decades of bad food policy. The congresswoman talked about her recent trip to Flint, Michigan, where she saw the impact of policymakers’ decisions to put money before the wellbeing of their people, and how an entire city was poisoned as a result. She also shared how aloha and the students’ work to revitalize community farming and use food as a means of healing must be incorporated nationwide.
Following her remarks, the congresswoman received a tour of the UH West Oʻahu Student Organic Garden from student leaders who farm and work at Maʻo Farms in Waiʻanae. UH West Oʻahu’s Sustainable Community Agriculture Program is ranked as one of the top five sustainable agriculture degree programs in the nation, and incorporates hands on learning outside of the traditional classroom setting to help students develop a deeper understanding of sustainable food systems.