STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2036
RE: S.B. No. 3030
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 3030 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to improve food security and self-sufficiency in the State by establishing a farmer apprentice mentoring program that teaches and provides mentoring on a whole farm system approach to agriculture in Hawaii.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Farmers Union United, Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association, Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and two individuals.
Your Committee finds that the development of a whole 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. Your Committee finds that currently there is a shortage of qualified teachers for these farm methods; therefore, a farmer apprentice mentoring program will fulfill this need by bringing the students to the farm and providing qualified farm mentors with funding to serve as teachers and mentors.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 3030 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair