Agriculture

$2.5M in Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

County of Maui News Release

Mayor Michael Victorino is urging Maui County farmers and ranchers to apply for reimbursements of expenses for losses related to COVID-19 and for food sustainability.

“This program has $2.5 million in CARES Act funding to provide Maui County farmers and ranchers with an urgent lifeline to help them with reimbursement of their expenses,” Mayor Victorino said. “I would like to thank the Maui Chamber of Commerce for partnering with the County of Maui to help sustain our agricultural community through these difficult times.”

Farmers and ranchers can apply reimbursement on allowable expenses of up to $25,000 for those who meet program qualifications.…

County Food Distribution Friday

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

County of Maui News Release

A drive-through food distribution event will be held on Friday, Nov. 20 for Molokai residents in need, announced Mayor Victorino.

The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center in Kaunakakai.

Volunteers will pass out 150 boxes of produce on a first-come, first-served basis. Recipients are required to wear face masks.

To maximize social distancing, food distribution will be done in a grab-and-go drive-through (no walk up). Motorists will have the option of getting boxes placed in their vehicle’s trunk or rear cargo area.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped set up this food distribution event, including Molokai Community Liaison Stacy Crivello,” Mayor Victorino said.…

Wet Winter Likely to Bring Drought Relief

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

As the western half of Molokai continues to experience extreme drought conditions, weather forecasters are predicting above average rainfall to bring some relief this wet season.

Kevin Kodama of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Honolulu office said though many parts of the state began the summer drought-free due to extra wet conditions early this year, parts of Maui County, including Molokai, were an exception to that. Maui County had a drier-than-normal wet season last winter, worsening the current drought conditions.

“[Maui County] got a head start as far as drought,” Kodama said. “By the end of September, they ended up with the worst drought conditions across the state.…

What Happened to the MHS Farm?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

Many Molokai High graduates who loved FFA, The Molokai Farm, and the Ag curriculum at MHS have been and are still surprised, if not exasperated, that the High School administration, the Hawaii Department of Education, and the citizens of Molokai would let the program just die, go away and literally be plowed and grassed over, seemingly with no remorse or need.

Those of us who are grads, who were in this great program in the 50s and 60s, and who have since moved or passed away do not know what really brought about the end of Molokai High Ag Program. So we do not really know who, how or what budgets got cut, but the abandonment of the Ag Program was short sighted and a great loss for the Island.…

$2.5M in Grants for Local Farmers

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

County of Maui News Release

The County of Maui and Maui Economic Opportunity launched today a $2.5 million program to assist small local farmers in Maui County. The Agriculture Micro Grants Program provides grant funding of up to $25,000 to farmers on Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

Applications are available online at meoinc.org.

“This program will benefit local consumers by improving the availability of local produce, livestock and poultry in Maui County, while also increasing farm capacity, productivity, name recognition and income for farmers,” Mayor Michael Victorino said.

Farm qualifications include:

• Operating farms throughout Maui County (crops, livestock, poultry and products).…

Extreme Drought Conditions Continue

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Extreme Drought Conditions Continue

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

It comes as no surprise to many Molokai residents that the island is in a serious drought. With parts of Molokai suffering from conditions recently classified as extreme drought, farmers are and their crops are among those particularly affected.

According to the national U.S. Drought Monitor, with data updated on Sept. 15, the west end of Molokai is already indicated at D3, extreme drought category, and one of the only areas in Hawaii under than classification.

Those conditions will likely continue through the fall, stated an Aug. 20 outlook issued by NOAA Climate Prediction Center. Any rainfall that does occur will probably continue to favor the east-facing windward slopes, with leeward areas becoming drier.…

More Molokai Farmers Awarded Grants

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

HDOA News Release

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will be issuing a second round of grants totaling an additional $200,000 under the COVID-19 Emergency Farmer Relief Program to assist farmers, ranchers and growers who have experienced financial damage. In this second round, 96 grants were issued ranging between $2,000 and $4,000 each and will provide stop-gap financial relief to help agribusinesses during the COVID-19 crisis, including seven grants on Molokai. The funds may be used to help utilize an oversupply of agricultural products resulting from decreased demand due to closures of restaurants, schools and other businesses.

Last month, HDOA issued 106 grants totaling $270,000, of which $250,000 came from the State’s barrel tax fund (Agriculture Development and Food Security Special Fund) and made available through Gov.…

Cancelled Molokai Earth Day

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

By Edwin T. Misaki, TNC Director of Molokai Programs

Aloha and I hope you are all doing well during this pandemic. Like most events that will bring together lots of people, the 2020 Molokai Earth Day has been cancelled. The theme for this year is, “‘A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia, No task is too big when done together by all.” The theme honors the watershed partnerships in Hawaii and is the 20th anniversary of the formation of the East Molokai Watershed Partnership (EMoWP). It also emphasizes how anything is possible when we all work together as we are doing now during these times of the COVID-19 epidemic.…

Survival on Molokai

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

I share the vision and belief for survival of our life on Molokai. Farm, plant coconut, ulu, kalo, banana from our Polynesian heritage. King Kamehameha V’s vision and message to all of us was to farm, plant coconut trees, the tree of life and survival.

Look around – what is happening to life in the world?

Farm, plant our Polynesian heritage food. Create art: beautiful edible landscaping, happy fun financial hobbies. All lands are sacred, same time our survival depends on using them. That’s what the earth is all about for mankind. With care and respect, Molokai, recognize what you have.…

Farm-to-School Coordinator for Molokai Sought

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

CTAHR News Release

Through a partnership between the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and the Hawaii State Department of Health, a new position has been created for the island of Molokai. The purpose of this new position will be to provide educational support for farm-to-school activities in Molokai schools.

One of the key responsibilities will be to conduct a community needs assessment and community inventory of farm-to-school programs and activities. Responsibilities may include support for school gardens and agriculture programs, education and youth leadership, and local procurement of food for school cafeterias. Developing relationships and networking locally among educational institutions and food producers, and other food system stakeholders will be an important focus.…