Agriculture

Become a FoodCorps Member

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

FoodCorps is currently recruiting service members throughout Hawaii who are passionate about teaching children what healthy food is, where it comes from, and expanding hands-on nutrition education programs. This includes Sust`aina ble Molokai, which is recruiting for new service members to serve on Molokai at our island schools.  The deadline to apply for the 2015–2016 school year is March 31.

FoodCorps is a national organization addressing childhood obesity and food insecurity in underserved communities, and currently operates in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Through its partnership with AmeriCorps, FoodCorps recruits, trains, and places emerging leaders, known as service members, into limited-resource communities for a year of service.…

Understanding Soils Workshop

Friday, February 20th, 2015

UH CTAHR release

Hawaii has more than 140 different soil types, the most diverse of anywhere on the planet. Each soil is managed differently and responds to different nutrients and amendments. The formation of soil is influenced by temperature, rainfall, slope, and also age and content of the parent material from which the soil is formed. Volcanic eruptions are all unique in what types of soil it will create over time, some very rich in nutrients and others devoid of key nutrients. Having this knowledge your unique soil will help farmer and gardener better manage their soil for optimal growth of food, utility and ornamental plants.…

Students Earn GIS Certificate

Friday, January 30th, 2015

UHMCM News Release

University of Hawaii Maui College, Molokai (UHMCM) is proud to announce that in the Fall 2014 semester, four of our Agriculture students successfully earned a certificate in Geographic Information System (GIS) in Ecosystem Management.  These students are Kristen Coelho, Patricia Pali, Kawaila Purdy and Tyson Pactol.

To earn this certificate, students must pass the Introduction to GIS as well as GIS in Ecosystem Management.  Both classes required the students to collect an intense amount of localized geographic data through a computerized software and use the data for in-depth analysis, planning and mapping.

GIS is a useful skill in today’s world and frequently used in many careers.…

Learning the Business of Farming

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

A group of Molokai farmers were looking to cultivate something beyond bananas and broccoli on Nov. 20: their business and marketing abilities. About a dozen local farmers and ranchers gathered at Hikiola to attend the Agriculture Business Development Training workshop to refine their skills at winning customers and securing funding.

With the county moratorium on genetically engineered crops currently on hold, many farmers are uncertain about the possible effects on their businesses. Although the workshop’s guest speaker, Nicole Milne, didn’t have concrete answers, she said laying out and following smart plans will keep farmers on the right path.

“I feel like people’s goals for their businesses and their farming ideals are fairly secure,” said Milne, associate vice president for programs for The Kohala Center, a Hawaii Island-based research and education organization.…

Judge Orders Hold on GE Enforcement

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

A federal judge in Honolulu has ordered a temporary hold on enforcement of the moratorium on genetically engineered crops passed by Maui County voters on Nov. 4. Last week, Monsanto and other parties filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui, challenging the moratorium. Judge Barry Kurren granted Monsanto and other plaintiffs in the suit a temporary injunction until Dec. 5.

The county stated last week it was preparing to enforce the moratorium pending the Election Officer’s certification of election results, but the judge’s injunction will put a hold on enforcement until further court action.

Injunction is a court order for a party to do, or refrain from doing, specific acts.…

Featured Farmer

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Featured Farmer

HTFG Molokai News Release

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) is a statewide nonprofit organization, dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion. The Molokai Chapter is made up of members that are home gardeners, small scale farmers and interested community members who meet monthly to share ideas about promoting products, skills and agricultural opportunities.

This month’s featured farmer is Michigan-born Jamie Ronzello who runs her family-owned Barking Deer Farm off Maunaloa Highway. Years ago, her college degree focused on cultural anthropology, and she is right at home farming on Molokai with its rich history. Jamie is a super busy, young farmer who delivers her “Beyond Organic” fresh vegetables to Molokai stores and Paddlers Inn and enjoys being a beekeeper.…

County Poised to Enforce GE Moratorium, Lawsuit Expected

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

County Poised to Enforce GE Moratorium, Lawsuit Expected

Molokai agricultural land. Photo by Edwin Mendija

A highly disputed voter initiative to ban the growing of genetically engineered crops passed in Maui County in last Tuesday’s General Election by a narrow margin of 50 percent to 48 percent, with just over 800 votes’ difference.

On Molokai, all of the island’s four precincts voted no by a ratio of nearly two to one, with 63 percent voting against the moratorium and 34 percent favoring it island-wide, according to stats from Hawaii’s elections website.

The initiative calls for a moratorium until a detailed environmental impact study of the harms associated with growing genetically engineered organisms has been completed and reviewed by the County Council.…

GMO Moratorium Survey Results

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

GMO Moratorium Survey Results

The MOM Hui News Release

Out of a total of 219 Molokai residents who participated in an online survey, 109, or 49.77 percent, are in support of a moratorium (temporary suspension) of all GE operations and practices within Maui County. The moratorium would last until an environmental and public health impact study is conducted and finds the proposed cultivation practices to be safe and harmless.  Of the total survey participants, 110, or 50.23 percent, were not in favor of this bill.

Chart courtesy of Mom Hui

One of those in favor shared that, “because of their history of contamination, collusion, coercion and endless greed for capital and control, companies like Monsanto cannot be trusted, and therefore independent studies need to be conducted to insure these practices taking place on our island are safe for its inhabitants and future inhabitants.”

Another individual argued that, “the State Constitution protects the public trust.…

Farm Tax Workshop

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Kuha`o Business Center News Release

There will be a Farm Tax Workshop held Nov. 6, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) Business Development Classroom.  Michael Holl will be the returning to Molokai to speak to farmers and ranchers about business taxes. This workshop will help you manage your labor, financial and legal risks. Holl, who is from Oahu, is an enrolled agent who is a federally-authorized tax practitioner, licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of taxpayers.

The Molokai Farm Tax Workshop is designed to enable farmers to lower their tax liabilities by a better understanding of business deductions, tax preparation and record keeping to minimize taxes and chances of an audit, business entities for your farm, how employment laws and independent contractor requirements affect your business, and special provisions in the tax code regarding farm income averaging to significantly lower taxes resulting from “bumper” crops.…

GE Crop Debate Shakes Molokai

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

GE Crop Debate Shakes Molokai

Photo by Edwin Mendija.

A single initiative on the November election ballot has the Molokai community in such a heated debate that “vote yes” and “vote no” only refer to one thing: whether or not the cultivation of all genetically engineered crops in Maui County should stop while studies are done examining effects on human health and the environment.

The “vote no” campaign opposes the initiative, highlighting the hundreds of jobs on the line that could be lost in Maui County if a moratorium on growing genetically engineered (GE) crops goes through. Supporters of the initiative say they don’t want farming practices they believe are detrimental to land and people to continue without a comprehensive, independent study completed.…