Kaʻu, Hawaii – Representative Tulsi Gabbard spent the day on the Big Island on Monday. The Democratic U.S. Congresswoman made six stops on what her staff called an “agriculture and farm tour”, starting with meetings and briefings at research facilities in Hilo, followed by farm visits in Volcano, Pahala, and Kaʻu.
Gabbard also hosted a “Tulsi in Your Town” meeting with Kaʻu farmers, with details shared in this media release.
While serving in Congress, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has worked to secure sensible, transparent food policy, support Hawaii’s local farmers and agriculture industry, and strengthen Hawaii’s food security. This morning, she met with researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Komohana Research and Extension Center and the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center to discuss ongoing efforts to control and combat invasive species that cost our state millions of dollars annually, rapid ohia death, and other challenges facing Hawaii’s agriculture industry.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also met with Hawaiʻi Floriculture Nursery Association president Eric Tanouye to discuss the importance of biosecurity, the challenges and opportunities surrounding regulations on importing and exporting agriculture products, and protocol to ensure pests are not entering or exiting Hawaiʻi. They also talked about greenhouse certification, federal support for research, and growing the agriculture industry. The meeting was held at Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, a family-owned farm and shop in Volcano that has been serving the community and visitors since 1974.
The congresswoman visited Matsui Farm in Pahala’s Wood Valley, where she met with local coffee growers, farm managers, and researchers from the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Hawaiʻi to discuss their research and legislation she’s introduced (H.R.3893) to help control the coffee berry borer and other invasive species.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard wrapped up the day at Kaʻu Coffee Mill and Macadamia Nut Farm, where she met with the workers, toured the property, and hosted an informative “Talk Story with Tulsi” meeting, addressing more than sixty farmers and residents. She delivered a congressional update, shared the latest on her work to support the viability and success of local coffee farmers and producers, answered questions, and listened to feedback on legislation she’s introduced.