Every year, the Kauai farming community gets together and hosts students for an Agriculture and Environmental Awareness Day at the UH experimental station in Wailua. Kids and adults alike always seemed to enjoy the opportunity to talk story and learn.
This year, however, things took an ugly twist when Hanalei School fifth graders combatively questioned Syngenta and Pioneer employees — and secretly videotaped the exchanges.
Really? Is this what we're teaching kids these days? That it's OK to violate someone's privacy and record them without their permission? That civil discourse is not valued? That adults don't garner any respect? That an agricultural process they don't understand is something to be feared and reviled? That there's only one acceptable way to grow crops?
Not surprisingly, the adults who love to fill kids' heads with poisonous platitudes and devious deeds were quick to weigh in:
Oh, yeah, it's funny, alright. Funny as a heart attack to brainwash young kids, turn them into mini-demagogues, inspire the next generation of ignorant punks to follow in the footsteps of Dustin Barca.
The brainwashing continues this summer, with Malama Kauai offering paid agricultural internships at places that know a lot about scoring grant money, but zilch about producing a successful commercial crop. Because doncha know that farmers aren't supposed to make money? Perhaps that's why previous internships and woofer jobs have attracted only mainland kids, who are keen to surf and see Kauai.
So this year they're limiting it to Kauai residents. Says Megan Fox, the non-farmer who runs Malama Kauai:
The purpose behind offering these kinds of internships is to infuse the knowledge and love of agriculture into the next generation of the island’s leaders.
Funny, how that runs so counter to the stunt pulled by the Hanalei School kids. They could have learned a lot if they'd approached the seed company reps without their smug know-it-all attitudes. Because face it, those kids don't know shit about GE agriculture.
Though Malama Kauai is desperately seeking to “localize our ag workforce and increase our own food production,” there's no escaping reality: farming, even when it's the free ride kine practiced by Malama Kauai and Waipa, is hard work with limited economic returns.
Why, just the other day, Punaluu farmer Dave Burlew took to the comment section in Civil Beat to defend the tax credit that slipped through the Lege via the repugnant “gut and replace” process:
This tax credit is for a very few number of farmers who are ( or want to be) "certified" organic by the USDA. Most of us organic farmers in Hawaii are not certified (myself included), so this may be an incentive to follow through with certification. Organic certification (and organic farming) is expensive and certification carries an arduous amount of paperwork and a legal oblication [sic] to follow the rules. Most farmers may have marginal success running a certified organic farm, let alone be profitable at it.
Gee, he makes it sound so appealing. But hey, if the anti-GMO activists and farm idealists have their way, that's the only kind of ag that will be allowed in Hawaii. And when it fails, as it will, houses and hotels will quickly take its place.
Speaking of farm idealists, I see that Surfrider once again was featured in The Garden Island. It seems that reporter Jessica Else has embedded herself with the group and thus feels compelled to report its every move, even when it's a couple of self-proclaimed non-experts telling people how to create ocean-friendly yards.
Curious, how Surfrider isn't taking on the oceanfront resorts, golf courses and TVRs, with their pesticide-intensive landscape practices. But then, those guys are allies now, united in their fight against agriculture.
And while we're on the topic of TGI, could they please stop printing letters from Glenn Mickens extolling the virtue of the county manager concept? Though TGI has yet to cover it, that proposal is dead, and will be duly buried on Wednesday. Time for Mickens to let it go and spare us all his tiresome tirades.
Maui has also been infected by the county manager bug, spread by the same transplants who are convinced Hawaii could be better, if only it became more like someplace else. By which is meant a place where they might gain some power. Hopefully the Maui Council will be similarly apprised of HRS 76-77, which would require the manager to go through the civil service process, thus keeping the appointment out of any Council's power-hungry grasp.