STAND. COM. REP. NO. 971
RE: H.B. No. 487
Honorable Donna Mercado Kim
President of the Senate
Twenty-Seventh State Legislature
Regular Session of 2013
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 487, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to expand the livestock revitalization program by, among other things:
(1) Providing subsidies for feed used in the production of goat's milk, sheep, lamb, fish, and crustaceans;
(2) Lowering the required minimum flock or herd size necessary for a producer to qualify for the livestock subsidy;
(3) Providing grants to qualified feed developers; and
(4) Appropriating funds to the livestock revitalization program.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Big Island Dairy, Maui Cattlemen's Association, Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association, Ulupono Initiative, Petersons' Upland Farm, Maili Moa LLC, 4 Ag Hawaii, and twenty-one individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from six individuals.
Prior to holding a hearing on this measure, your Committee made available for public review a proposed S.D. 1, which amended the measure by adding the contents of S.B. 753, S.D. 2, which:
(1) Authorizes the Department of Agriculture to dispose of lands to and negotiate and enter into leases with the Agribusiness Development Corporation; and
(2) Exempts non-agricultural park lands disposed of by the Department of Agriculture to the Agribusiness Development Corporation from section 166E-8(b)(2) and (5), Hawaii Revised Statutes, under certain conditions.
Your Committee received comments on the proposed S.D. 1 from the Agribusiness Development Corporation.
Your Committee finds that one of the biggest challenges to the livestock industry is the rising cost of feed for livestock production. Numerous dairies and egg farms have closed down in recent years due primarily to rising feed costs. Providing a subsidy for feed development and costs will revitalize Hawaii's livestock industries and help keep fresh, locally produced milk, eggs, beef, pork, poultry, sheep, goat, fish, and crustaceans available to Hawaii residents.
Your Committee further finds that maximizing the Department of Agriculture's ability to lease lands under its control to the Agribusiness Development Corporation will assist the Agribusiness Development Corporation in administering a cooperative and comprehensive agribusiness development program that, among other things, will provide farmers with land, create jobs, and reduce the State's dependence on imported foods.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by adopting the proposed S.D. 1.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 487, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 487, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair