Arce Sworn In as First County Ag Director

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

Arce Sworn In as First County Ag Director

By The Molokai Dispatch Staff

Molokai’s Rogerene “Kali” Arce took the oath of office two weeks ago as the first director of Maui County’s new Department of Agriculture. A Molokai resident and Hawaiian homesteader, Arce has more than three decades of experience in Hawaii’s agriculture industry. 

“Under Kali Arce’s leadership, we are making progress toward re-establishing agriculture as a key segment of our economy,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “With support from our new Department of Agriculture, farmers are helping to provide our residents with fresh produce and higher-paying jobs, apart from the hospitality industry.”

Arce assumed her new position in July.…

Agricultural Micro Grant Available

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

MEO News Release 

Molokai farmers and ranchers have an opportunity for funding assistance. Applications for the popular Agricultural Micro Grant Program 3.0 – which offers up to $25,000 to Maui County small farmers and ranchers – will be available beginning Monday, Oct. 17.

The $3 million Maui County-funded program, administered by Maui Economic Opportunity’s Business Development Center, is open to operating farms on less than 12 acres and livestock ranches up to 40 acres possessing a county business or state general excise license as of July 1, 2022. Preference will be given to women and Native Hawaiians.

Grants may be used to directly impact the availability of locally-grown produce, livestock and poultry and other related products.…

Arce Confirmed as County’s First Ag Director

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Arce Confirmed as County’s First Ag Director

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Molokai’s Rogerene “Kali” Arce received unanimous approval from the Maui County Council last week when she was confirmed as the first director of the new county Department of Agriculture. After an application and selection process earlier this year, she was named the appointee for the position, pending the council’s confirmation, and has already begun her role for the department, which was launched on July 1. 

“Mahalo to Councilmembers for their unanimous approval of Kali Arce. Her leadership of this important department is crucial in advancing Maui County’s self-reliance and economic diversification,” Victorino said in a press release.…

Ka‘auwai ‘Ohana Aim for Food Security

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Ka‘auwai ‘Ohana Aim for Food Security

By Paul Hanley | Community Reporter

“Our goal is to help increase our family’s and our island’s food security by inspiring others to start growing more of their own food,” says Fina Ka’auwai. Fina and her husband Wayne, who grew up living and working on farms on Molokai, are slowly increasing food production for their family of six on their one-acre plot in Ho’olehua.

In addition to hunting, fishing, and growing traditional crops, they have expanded into chickens, aquaculture, and “rainbow” fruits and vegetables. Part of their formula for success has been diversifying their diet. Their lush gardens are bursting with variety.…

BBTV Control-Prevention Workshop

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

UHCTAHR Molokai Extension News Release 

Learn about Integrated Pest Management Benefits, and diagnosis, control and prevention of Banana Bunchy Top Virus, also known as BBTV. A workshop will be hosted by the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Molokai Cooperative Extension Service. The workshop, Benefits of IPM Practices and Sustainable Strategies for Banana Bunchy Top Virus Control-Prevention, will be held at the UH Molokai Extension Farm at 652 Huaai Road (just past Kumu Farms) on Monday, Sept. 26, from 3 to 5 p.m.  

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated Pest Management or IPM, is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. …

Emergency Loans for Deer Impacts

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

HDOA News Release 

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will open an emergency loan program to help farmers with the costs associated with the overpopulation of axis deer on Maui, Molokai and Lanai). At an Aug. 23 meeting, the Hawaii Board of Agriculture (Board) approved the emergency loan program request by the Agricultural Loan Division. Applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

In March 2022, Governor Ige issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maui County due to drought conditions. Supplementary proclamations have extended the relief period until Sept. 20. The emergency proclamations include provisions for relief from damages, losses and suffering caused by axis deer, which have decimated agricultural crops and pastural lands as they migrate to seek water and forage.…

$3M in Home Gardening Grants

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

HDOA News Release

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is now accepting applications for the second year of the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program (MGFSP), which provides support for small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations to help produce food in areas that are food insecure.

A total of $3 million will be available in this program, which includes $2 million for this year’s grant funds combined with $1 million that was carried over from the previous year. Last year, a total of 177 grants were awarded statewide. Funding for this grant program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the 2018 Farm Bill.…

Agriculture Technology and Tools Workshop

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

UH Molokai Extension News Release

Are you interested in learning the tricks and trades of using small equipment on your farm to become more efficient?  Join us for live demonstrations and a talk story session with farmers using these tools.  Tools include hand tools, cultivation tools, irrigation supplies/tools, walk-behind tractor, soil tilther and more.  

The workshop will be held on Aug. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the UH Extension Farm (old MCC Farm) located just past Kumu Farms at 652 Huuai Road.  Funding for the workshop is provided by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement.  Partners for this program include Sustainable Molokai, Go FARM Hawaii, and UH Molokai Cooperative Extension Service.  …

Molokai Homesteader Appointed New Ag Director

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Molokai Homesteader Appointed New Ag Director

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Molokai’s Kali Arce is the mayor’s appointee for the new Maui County Department of Agriculture. Arce, a Hawaiian homesteader who has been working in a variety of agriculture and conservation positions for over 30 years, will lead the department, pending confirmation by the Maui County Council. 

“I have more than three decades of experience in crop production systems, agricultural and biological education, agroforestry, land conservation and ecosystem restoration,” said Arce. “This will help me with the direction of Mayor Victorino to work with many people with various backgrounds to advocate for farmers and ranchers and serve as their voice. …

$1.5M Available for Feral Animal Impacts

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

Maui County News Release 

Lokahi Pacific is accepting grant applications from Maui County farmers and ranchers for a $1.5 million assistance program to help with crop damage and other impacts from axis deer and other feral animals.

“I encourage our farmers and ranchers to apply for these grants as soon as possible to help them with damage caused by foraging axis deer and other feral animals,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “Maui County is funding this grant program as a good beginning, but solving this problem requires a committed collaboration among the county, state, large landowners and other partners if we are to get this invasive species under control.”…