THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

246

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THAT A WORKING GROUP BE CONVENED TO DEVELOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING THE REVITALIZING ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE.

 

 


WHEREAS, for Hawaii to achieve food and energy security, timely and catalytic actions must be taken to establish solid āina-connected foundations and provide viable pathways for growers to succeed in expanding markets; and

 

WHEREAS, catalytic actions are coordinated efforts, in which farming needs to be:

 

(1) A priority to achieve food and energy security;

 

(2) Practical and a vital component of economic and environmental recovery; and

 

(3) Profitable; and

 

WHEREAS, the Revitalizing Economy and Agriculture Leadership (REAL) initiative is a multi-phased, catalytic change initiative that empowers Hawaii farmers to become self‑sustaining, for-profit businesses with local, nutritional grass feedstock production and direct access to local and export off‑taker markets; and

 

WHEREAS, this multi-phased, transformative initiative creates entrepreneurial businesses with industry partners; provides market connections to attract capital assets to Hawaii; facilitates access to a sustainable food supply and feedstock for ranching; promotes clean energy, restorative and precision agriculture, and environmental conservation; and provides jobs for skilled agricultural technology workers; and

 

WHEREAS, the REAL initiative is composed of members from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Department of Education, Kamehameha Schools, Future Farmers of America, Hawaii Agriculture Resource Center, Molokai Homestead Farmers, Lanakila Pacific, and North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership; and

 

WHEREAS, the REAL initiative is currently underway and its proponents are taking necessary actions with community and industry partners to stabilize Hawaii's small farming businesses impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic; and

 

WHEREAS, the timing and urgency of the initiative requires immediate attention, action, and collaboration from governmental regulatory agencies, landowners, and industry participants, so that the initiative may:

 

(1) Singularly or collectively obtain from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the University of Hawaii a fifty-year lease on certain land for purposes of production infrastructure expansion, including an equipment maintenance center, training hub, and grass feedstock processing center;

 

(2) Establish a grow hub structure and operations, which would include a learning center from which homestead farming and ranching businesses would receive technical assistance and essential wrap-around service support for marketing, branding, fiscal management and operational support from federal agencies (including the United States Small Business Administration); state agencies (including the Department of Agriculture; Agribusiness Development Corporation; Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Department of Land and Natural Resources; and the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources); non-profit organizations (including the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center and Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations); and private organizations, such as Kamehameha Schools and energy, food, and restaurant industry organizations;

 

(3) Establish farmer and rancher grow hub resources to increase access to local soil and water testing resources, nutritional trials, researchers, and entities that are necessary to meet industry timelines for soil and water resource management and validation and promotion of Hawaii-sourced products (including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and Hawaii Agriculture Research Center); and

 

(4) Coordinate and access assistance from state agencies to support the successful implementation and diversification of state economic development into restorative agriculture and the ecosystem management of land, water, and the environment; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, or the Chairperson's designee, is requested to convene and serve as the chair of a Revitalizing Economy and Agriculture Leadership working group; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following individuals or their designees are requested to serve as members of the Revitalizing Economy and Agriculture Leadership working group:

 

(1) The Administrator of the United States Small Business Administration;

 

(2) The Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture;

 

(3) The Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources;

 

(4) The Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism;

 

(5) The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Development Corporation;

 

(6) The Dean and Director for Research and Cooperative Extension at the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources;

 

(7) The Mayor of each of the counties; provided that if any Mayor declines to be a member of the working group and declines to appoint a designee to the working group, the Chairperson of the respective County Council or the Chairperson's designee is requested to serve on the working group;

 

(8) The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Kamehameha Schools;

 

(9) The President of the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center;

 

(10) The Chairperson of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations;

 

(11) Representatives of energy, food, and restaurant industry organizations invited by the chair of the working group; and

 

(12) Other stakeholders who may be invited by the chair of the working group; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Revitalizing Economy and Agriculture Leadership working group is requested to consider and develop recommendations regarding the implementation of the Revitalizing Economy and Agriculture Leadership initiative; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group be dissolved on June 30, 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Administrator of the United States Small Business Administration; Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture; Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Development Corporation; Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission; Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources; Dean and Director for Research and Cooperative Extension at the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu; Mayor of the County of Maui; Mayor of the County of Hawaii; Mayor of the County of Kauai; Chairperson of the Honolulu City Council; Chairperson of the Maui County Council; Chairperson of the Hawaii County Council; Chairperson of the Kauai County Council; Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Kamehameha Schools; President of the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center; and Chairperson of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations.

Report Title:

DHHL; Agriculture; Land; Farming; Food; Energy; Working Group