Agriculture is essential to Hawaii's economy and quality of life. Hawaii's farmers and ranchers provide us with locally grown food; produce fresh and value-added products for export (flowers, macadamia nuts, coffee, sugar, etc); good jobs; and enhance our quality of life by providing open space. Aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important industry, with Hawaii as a technological leader in open-ocean water cage aquaculture and technologies utilizing deep ocean water.
I have actively sought appropriations to support Hawaii's agriculture and was very engaged in securing provisions favoring Hawaii in the last farm bill. These include a new Agricultural Management Assistance program to help our farmers more effectively manage water, country of origin labeling for macadamia nuts, and authorization of a center for bioenergy research (Pacific Sun Grant center) at the University of Hawaii.