Categorized | Agriculture

Onishi named Hawaii Farm Bureau ‘Legislator of the Year’


Freshman Big Island Representative Richard H.K. Onishi (Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano) has been named as 2013 Legislator of the Year by the state wide Hawaii Farm Bureau.

Onishi serves as Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, and member of the Finance; Economic Development and Business; Tourism; and Veterans Military Affairs & International Affairs committees.

Among his priorities is the development of agriculture on Hawaii Island with efforts focused on securing funding sources, increasing opportunities for the industry, making it more available and competitive.

The Hawaii Farm Bureau’s Legislator of the Year awards are given to state lawmakers who demonstrate excellence in leadership and a demonstrated initiative to advance the interests of Hawaii’s farmers and ranchers.

The recipients are formally recognized at Hawaii Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting and after being nominated and voted upon by a committee comprised all of Hawaii Farm Bureau County chapters, representing agricultural stakeholders from across the State.

In addition to Onishi, Sen. Clarence Nishihara was also selected as an awardee for his work as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

Onishi has diligently worked towards the passage of important legislation to improve agriculture in the state and especially on Hawaii Island.

This past session, notable contributions include an appropriation of $800,000 to combat the coffee berry borer infestation, $1,500,000 for agricultural livestock feed subsidies, $1,750,000 for the new farmer and biosecurity loan programs, and $600,000 for a bio digester to convert food waste to livestock feed.

Additionally, he has supported $75,000 annual appropriations for two youth education initiatives, the Department of Education’s Future Farmers of America Program and the University of Hawaii’s 4-H Program, programs that support the development of Hawaii’s youth in the field of agriculture.

“I am extremely honored to have been selected as this year’s awardee — especially in my first year in office. I appreciate the recognition of my colleagues in the agriculture industry and will continue working towards the development and cultivation of our essential agriculture industry,” Onishi said.

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