Ruderman’s Support for Board of Ag Reappointment

Richard Ha writes:

I very much appreciated Senator Ruderman’s support for my reappointment to the Board of Agriculture.

From Big Island Video News (video here):

HONOLULU, Hawaii – The reappointment of Hamakua farmer Richard Ha to the Hawaii Board of Agriculture was confirmed by the State Senate on Friday.

The unanimous vote was not without some initial controversy. Puna State Senator Russell Ruderman, adverse to Ha’s support of GMO farming, devised an email and social media campaign against Ha’s return to the ag board when it first came up for a vote.

Ha received a flood of support from across the state.

Eventually Ruderman changed his tune. There was even a meeting between the two at the Capitol in which the two bonded over Ha’s support of organic farming and even Ha’s tomatoes, which Ruderman purchases for sale at his Hawaii Island market chain, Island Naturals.

On the floor of the Senate during the final vote, Ruderman rose to clarify his position and his apology to Ha…. See the rest

When Senator Ruderman and I met and talked, I made it clear that my agenda is always about what happens to the rubbah slippah folks.

It’s also important to note that my agenda is not “pro-GMO,” as Ruderman states. I am pro-science, and I will go wherever science takes us.

One of his concerns, he told me, was regarding supporting organic farmers. I wrote about this, back in February, in my blog post Why Organic & Conventional Farmers Need Each Other:

…Both organic and conventional farmers in Hawai‘i are at a disadvantage. And we need to work together to lower each other’s costs, not fight about methods and labels and all that. Read the rest

I appreciate Senator Ruderman’s positive vote and I look forward to working with him.