S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that Hawaii is located approximately 2,506 miles from the continental United States.  About eighty-five to ninety per cent of Hawaii's food is imported, which makes Hawaii particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and global events that disrupt shipping and other modes of transporting food.  Furthermore, the economic impact of food import replacement is significant.  Food expenditures of local consumers from 2004 to 2005 amounted to $3,700,000,000.  Assuming that eighty-five per cent of the food consumed in the State is imported, this translates to $3,145,000,000 of food expenditures leaving the State each year.  Growing food within the State enables the expenditures on food to remain in the local economy.

     The development of a whole farm system approach to agriculture in Hawaii that pays close attention to soil health, specifically increasing mineral availability and improving soil structure, water-holding capacity, crop health, and food nutrition levels, will lower water usage through deployment of green manure, compost, and cover crops; reduce crop loss from pest damage; and decrease weed pressure.  This whole farm system approach to agriculture can improve food security and benefit the local economy through reducing production costs by promoting locally sourced inputs and the manufacturing thereof.  Teaching a new generation of farmers to use this whole farm system approach will create an alternative method of farming that appeals to many young farmers across the State.  Currently, there is a shortage of qualified teachers for these farm methods.  On-farm mentoring aims to fulfill this need by bringing the students to the farm and providing qualified farm mentors with funding.

     The purpose of this Act is to improve food security and self-sufficiency in the State by encouraging the development and implementation of a whole farm system approach to agriculture in Hawaii.

     SECTION 2.  (a)  There is established in the department of agriculture an on-farm mentoring program that shall teach farmers about methods to improve soil health by using whole farm systems that practice sustainable agriculture as defined by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, Public Law 101-624, title XVI, subtitle A, section 1603, that recycle locally available organic, diverse plant and animal agricultural nutrients, enhanced by fermentation and other ecological processes such as Korean natural farming as defined by the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources.

     (b)  The chairperson of the board of agriculture shall appoint one or more on-farm mentors for each island with a population greater than five thousand; provided that the chairperson of the board of agriculture may appoint an on-farm mentor for an island with a population of five thousand or fewer upon request.

     (c)  The department of agriculture shall establish curriculum for the on-farm mentoring program in collaboration with the education committee of the Hawaii Farmers Union United, which:

     (1)  Shall include instruction on:

         (A)  Farming techniques that utilize locally sourced organic and other ecological and bio-diverse agricultural amendments and techniques relying on integrated farming practices using vegetative and animal waste products and diverse crops for soil amendments, seed, and other farm inputs;

         (B)  The culturing and enhancement of indigenous microorganisms; and

         (C)  The recycling of nutrients back onto the farm; and

     (2)  May include instruction on:

         (A)  Farm management, including whole farm system farming;

         (B)  Animal husbandry, including animal and crop production;

         (C)  Crop management with an emphasis on soil health;

         (D)  Harvesting and storage for farmer cooperatives;

         (E)  Farm marketing with an emphasis on food cooperatives;

         (F)  Integrated pest management and multi-cropping; and

         (G)  The breeding and release of beneficial insects.

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $500,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 to the department of agriculture to support existing on-farm mentoring programs and for a pilot on-farm mentoring program in the county of Maui to provide mentoring on a whole farm system approach to agriculture.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2016.




Report Title:

Agriculture; Food Sustainability; On-farm Mentoring; Appropriation



Establishes an on-farm mentoring program to teach and train farmers to utilize a whole farm system approach to agriculture.  Makes an appropriation to the department of agriculture to support existing on-farm mentoring programs and for a pilot on-farm mentoring program in Maui.  (SD1)




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