Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Hawaii Island returns Sept. 29, 2018

Hawaii Island’s largest agricultural showcase reformats for its 22nd year.

Hawaii Island’s largest agricultural showcase returns in 2018 with a new twist at a different location. In its 22nd year, Taste of the Range is changing its focus to share the importance of all types of Hawaii agriculture. It also hopes to acquaint keiki with farm animals and teach agriculture as the science, art and practice of producing food. 

“In the past, Taste was geared to inform chefs and attendees on the benefits of using grass-fed beef, while encouraging ranchers to produce it,” explains Dr. Russell Nagata, co-chair and retired CTAHR Hawaii County administrator. “Our committee has come up with a new event emphasizing agriculture in a more broad and comprehensive way. We want to share how our local ranchers and farmers take pride in producing our high-quality food.” 

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A past Taste of the Hawaiian Range event.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Mana Christian ‘Ohana (MCO) hall and the adjacent YMCA Minuke Ole Park in Waimea. The 2018 Taste offers outdoor agricultural-themed fun and educational activities 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. before culminating in a tasting event (from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.) showcasing locally-produced food at the MCO hall. 

“We’ve changed up Taste to share info with our community ohana about our local agriculture,” says event co-chair and rancher Jeri Moniz. “We will still have our popular, evening food tasting event to showcase pasture-raised meats, but we will also offer earlier activities geared for the general public, including keiki.”

Daytime fun includes agricultural-themed exhibits and activities, farm and ranch tours, local product vendor booths and the viewing of livestock animals. Community school groups and ag-related organizations are invited to provide food concessions for daytime attendees. Admission to the park exhibits is free. 

Free daytime classes geared toward farmers and ranchers are offered in the MOC classroom building. Presentations will delve into the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the cutting-edge GMO research and technology involving CRISPR-Cas9, Smart Yields Technology, invasive species and Worker Protection Standards for ag personnel. In addition, there will be a demonstration on best-use practices for beef carcass utilization by Dr. Dale Woerner and Dr. Keith Belk of Colorado State University.

The 2018 installment of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 will be presented by chef Edwin Goto of Waimea’s Village Burger and Noodle Club. Admission to the 2:30 to 4 p.m. culinary demo with sampling is $10. 

Featuring over 20 culinary stations, the evening Taste will be open to 500 attendees. Admission to the alcohol-free event is $50 presale.

Tickets for both the gala and Cooking 101 are available online at www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com

Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. Volunteers and sponsors are welcomed; contact Dr. Russell Nagata at rnagata@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com

Mana Christian Ohana is located behind Parker Ranch Center at 67-1182 Lindsey Road. For more event information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com or contact Gina, 808-322-4892. Stay connected via Facebook at TasteoftheHawaiianRange and at @TasteHI on Twitter and Instagram. 

This story appeared in the Fall 2018 print issue of Hawaii Farm & Food Magazine, a quarterly publication published by AIO Media in partnership with the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation. For questions or comments, please contact editor Martha Cheng at marthac@gmail.com.