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Molokai Resident New Crop Assc. President

HCIA News Release

Recent Molokai resident Kirby Kester is the new president of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA), as well as Dow AgroSciences’ Hawaii R&D Leader.

With nearly 20 years’ experience in the seed industry on Kauai, Kester now resides on Molokai and serves as site Leader for Dow AgroSciences’ R&D Station on Molokai, as well as provides oversight for Kauai’s Seeds and Traits R&D program.

Kirby holds a M.S. of Agriculture degree from Iowa State University and a B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  He has been a member of HCIA since 1995, and will serve a two-year term as president.

“We know our industry is under siege,” Kester said.  “We are already working hard to tell the story of Hawaii’s seed industry and we intend to do this even more over the coming months. We’re going to spend more time showing people why they have nothing to fear from modern agriculture and the tools created with biotechnology.”

Kester was installed as HCIA president at the association’s recent annual meeting.

Bennette Misalucha was also introduced as HCIA’s new executive director.  Misalucha has an extensive 17-year background in banking and finance and sits on a number of local non-profit boards.  Shepreviously served as regional director for government and community affairs at Actus Lend Lease, and spent time as a local television news reporter and producer with KHON Channel 2 News.

“We’re thrilled to have found someone with Bennette’s vast experience to take over the executive director position at HCIA,” Kester said.  “Bennette brings the type of business-savvy expertise we were looking for, as well as a history of success engaging and educating stakeholders on the issues.  I look forward to working with her as HCIA moves forward.”


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