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Legislative Testimony by the Chancellor on HB 1496 Relating to Agribusiness

Testimony Presented Before the
House Committee on Higher Education
February 10, 2011 at 2:00pm
By
Donald Straney, Chancellor
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
and
Virginia Hinshaw, Chancellor
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
and
Sylvia Yuen
Interim Dean and Director of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

HB 1496 RELATING TO AGRIBUSINESS

The purpose of HB 1496 is to require the University of Hawai‘i to convene a task force to conduct a study on whether an agribusiness cooperative program should be established to:

1. assist local farmers in increasing the distribution of products to large retail establishments; and
2. develop feed mills located in this state to lower farm expenses and minimize the carbon impact of transporting feed imports to local farmers.

The bill also requires a proposal on the means by which the agribusiness cooperative program may be permanently funded through private and public funds and a recommendation on the appropriate state agency or department under which the program should be established.

A thorough study on the above will entail the gathering and analysis of data, which will require resources. However, no resources are provided for the mandates in the bill.

We support HB 1496 provided that funds are available to support the task force and its work, and provided that its passage does not replace or adversely impact priorities as indicated in the University’s Board of Regents Approved Executive Biennium Budget.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

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