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HFUU celebrates 10 years with virtual convention

The Hawai‘i Farmers Union United annual convention will offer sessions for anyone who values local food systems, including farmers, gardeners and foodies in Hawaii and around the world. Livestreamed keynote sessions and panel discussions will be led by renowned regenerative agricultural experts. — HFUU photo

Hawai’i Farmers Union United, a statewide agricultural organization and chartered chapter of the National Farmers Union, is celebrating 10 years serving Hawaii farmers and the local food economy with a special interactive virtual convention Thursday – Nov. 15.

The annual convention will offer sessions for anyone who values local food systems including farmers, gardeners and foodies in Hawaii and around the world. Livestreamed keynote sessions and panel discussions will be led by renowned regenerative agricultural experts including Paul Stamets, star of the film “Fantastic Fungi;” Dr. Elaine Ingham, who mapped the soil food web; Joel Salatin, owner of Polyface Farm; Sandor Katz, author of “Wild Fermentations”; agro-ecologist Ray Archuleta; Dr. Zach Bush of “Farmer’s Footprint”; and Jeff Moyer, CEO of the Rodale Institute. More than 50 presentations will spotlight discussion topics such as regenerative farming techniques, soil food web health, the gut microbiome, composting, cover crops, aquaponics, hemp and mushroom production and much more.

The convention will also feature farm tours and bring together acclaimed Hawaii chef demonstrations and Q&A sessions with the likes of LeeAnne Wong, Jeff Scheer, Lee Anderson, Marc McDowell and Angel Green. Entertainment sessions will include nearly two dozen national and locally based performers: Willie Nelson and the Boys, Lukas Nelson (POTR), Micah Nelson (Particle Kid Band), Edie Brickell, Michael McDonald, Ricky Lee Jones, Pat Simmons Jr. and Sr., Daniel Lanois, Rocco De Luca, Gail Swanson, Josh Klinghoffer and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Emily Turner, as well as Hawaii artists such as Makana, Jack Johnson, Mike Love, Tavana, Marty Dread and Paul Izak.

With a theme of “Celebrating Hawaii’s Agriculture,” the convention will be a regenerative exploration of our environment and how it inter-relates to humans’ well-being as individuals and as a species. The convention will feature a video series highlighting the stories of Hawaii farmers who are innovating during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with interactive Q&A sessions and networking opportunities.

“Ten years ago Hawaii’s farmers planted a seed — with the intention to bring the agricultural community together by sharing knowledge and experience, while representing existing and future food producers,” said HFUU President Vincent Mina. “Collectively we can improve our state’s agricultural future, promoting food security through a resilient whole systems approach to a diverse farm economy.”

Interactive sessions start at $10 and can be purchased a la carte. Full registration is $65 for members; $125 includes membership and viewing of all presentations for up to one year. Support is provided by individual sponsors and a grant from the County of Maui. For more information, visit hfuu.org.

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