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Hawaii’s Farmers Need Our Help

Growing tomatoes at Kauai Glory Farms. Daniel Lane photo

Growing tomatoes at Kauai Glory Farms. Daniel Lane photo

A note to our residents from our friends at Hawaii Farmers Union United:

We are now into the part of the 2017 legislative session where your participation as a citizen of the great state of Hawaii is requested and appreciated. This message is requesting you take a few minutes of your time to testify online in support of 5 bills.  The deadline is Monday morning by noon, but the sooner the better please.

If you have not already done so, please log on to the http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov website and create a user name and password for yourself.  This will allow you to testify for, against or comment on bills that come before our Representatives and Senators in the legislature.  Your written testimony is entered into the permanent record, and can be browsed at any future date for reference as our government process moves forward.  Your mana'o is very important in this process, so please take the time to learn it, if you are not familiar with it.

Once again, our Farm Apprenticeship Mentoring program bill is being heard in the Senate Agriculture and Environment committee. This measure provides support for mentors and their apprentices to teach and learn whole systems farming practices that use regenerative practices. We are asking that the Legislature appropriate $1M to the HDOA for the purposes of funding a state wide farmer apprenticeship program.  

See the the Maui FAM program (see FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1623372981301000/)

Please testify in support here: http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=356&year=2017  

Click "Submit Testimony," (after you log in to the site) and testify as an individual, unless you represent an organization, then testify for that organization.  

Please also support the Regional Nutrient Cycling pilot program for Maui County.  This program will help lower farmer production costs by creating large amounts of affordable certified organic compost and other soil amendments.  Essentially this is a fertilizer factory that will have a teaching element to it, that will educate farmers and agriculturalists how to create their fertility on farm. This program will help Maui's transition from sugar cane to the family farming model many want to see. We are asking the legislature to appropriate $2M to the HDOA for the purposes of a regional nutrient cycling center for Maui Island. This is part of our 5 point strategy to make sustainable farming an affordable career choice for our next generation, see here: https://hfuuhi.org/about/5-point-strategy/

Please testify in support here: http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=350&year=2017

Click"Submit Testimony, (after you log in to the site) and testify as an individual, unless you represent an organization, then testify for that organization. 

The Senate has three measures we ask you to support to increase the capacity for the HDOA to regulate and enforce pesticide regulations.

Please support the implementation of the HDOA's Joint Fact Finding Study Group on Pesticide Use.

Please testify in support here: http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=778&year=2017

Click "Submit Testimony," (after you log in to the site) and testify as an individual, unless you represent an organization, then testify for that organization. 

Please support an expanded pesticide advisory committee Here:

http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=779

Please support an increase in funding for the HDOA to monitor and enforce pesticide regulations here:

http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=804

There are many other bills to check out on the Senate Agriculture Committee's docket here:

http://capitol.hawaii.gov/committeepage.aspx?comm=AEN&year=2017

Please note that each hearing date is easy to find, and you can testify throughout the session as the bills come up for a hearing. you can also track legislation with the advanced tracking option here: 

http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measuretracking.aspx  

When you track a measure, you will get an email when it comes up for a hearing, and you will be sure not to miss it.

Mahalo Citizens of Hawaii, for participating in our democratic process and being a part of the solution!

Me ka ha'aha'a

Simon Russell

HFUU-State Legislative Committee Chairman

 
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