Function: Hawaii Foundation Seeds (HFS) is a foundation seed organization that manages collections of foundation (parent) seed stocks. It oversees collection, evaluation, purification and seed increase of several crops and provides foundation seed samples and services to the community. Certification of seeds is performed in Hawaii by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA). Foundation seed agencies are primarily associated with universities in the USA.
Founding: HFS was founded in 1977 at the annual meeting of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA). HCIA had been established in 1970, evolving from CTAHR’s Seed Industry Council formed by Professor J. L. Brewbaker in 1964. CTAHR’s corn trials prompted interest of Illinois Foundation Seeds and Cornnuts, Inc., who invited seedsmen for winter nurseries in Hawaii.In 1969 CTAHR’s Seed Industry Council convened the 1st Seed Industry Conference on Molokai with the theme “Corn Seed Production in Hawaii; Present Problems and Future Potential” (Brewbaker, ed., 1969).
Facilities: Financial support for a seed research building was requested in 1978 by HCIA from the State’s Governor. In 1980 the Hawaii Foundation Seed Facility was dedicated at Waimanalo Research Station on Oahu with Pastor Abraham Akaka’s words “Life Begins With The Seed”. Brewbaker became director and the Seed Industry Council served as it Board. Later a greenhouse and walk-in freezer were obtained to complement the seed research building. The seed industry has grown from “on the order of a half-million dollar industry” (Brewbaker, 1969) to Hawaii’s largest (>$150 million annually).
Location: Waimanalo Research Station is a 500A farm located 2 miles from the ocean in Waimanalo, Oahu--elevation 20m, latitude 21º20’ N, longitude 158º20’ W, 15 miles from UH Manoa campus. Mean annual temperature 24.6ºC (range 22 to 27), mean annual rainfall 1380 mm.; mean solar irradiation 1600 j/m²/sec.
Fiscal Policies: HFS provides pedigreed foundation seeds and associated services that are invoiced to a CTAHR fiscal account. Material transfer agreements (MTA) are provided if requested for commercial use of Hawaii-bred germplasm with appropriate royalties to CTAHR.
Commitment: HFS is committed to international plant improvement and is focused on the development and provision of superior tropical and subtropical germplasm and breeding materials. Largest collections are those of corn and tropical legume trees (Acacia, Leucaena).