East Hawaii News

KTA’s Kurisu Being Honored by UH Ag School

April 10, 2014, 10:25 AM HST
* Updated April 10, 12:13 PM
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A Big Island grocer is being honored by the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s agriculture school for his advocacy of agriculture products in post-sugar Hawaii.

Derek Kurisu, executive vice president at KTA Super Stores, will receive the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Ka Lei Hano Heritage Award on May 9 at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu.

Also taking part in the ceremony will be Thomas Lumpkin, who has been named the 2014 CTAHR Outstanding Alumnus.

Kurisu created the Mountain Apple brand, a private label that partners with producers to feature items grown or made in Hawaii.

“The CTAHR alumnus draws on his plantation roots, his employer’s commitment to the community and his own ability to come up with creative solutions and forge partnerships to diversify and promote local agriculture, expand availability of locally produced food, encourage small vendors and preach customer service,” CTAHR said in a press release.

A college spokeswoman said Kurisu has also created two cable television shows to promote the aloha spirit and intergenerational sharing.

Kurisu, who averages 50 speaking engagements a year before business, student and community groups, has chaired the Hawaii Food Industry Association and serves on the university’s advisory council and on the board of directors of the state Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Development Corp.

Lumpkin, a former professor of crop and soil sciences at Washington State University, is being honored for his work improving corn and wheat production in developing countries.

Lumpkin is currently director general of the Taiwan-based AV RDC-The World Vegetable Center, and has since 2007 chaired the board of directors of the Global Horticulture Initiative, which fosters collaboration in research, training and technology.

Reservations for the banquet will be accepted through April 24 at www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/banquet.

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