How is it responsible to import 85-95 percent of our food when we have the resources to produce more of our own food?
It’s no secret: we live in the middle of the ocean. And because of this reality, it would make sense for our island home to be more self-reliant; capable of producing enough food for our people. Hawaii Island represents 55 percent of the state’s landmass and water systems for irrigation with potential for even more growth and 3,000 of 7,000 agriculture jobs in the state. Despite the fact that we have the land, resources and the workforce to not only become self-reliant, but to become the state’s breadbasket.
Up until the 1980s the County of Hawaii as well as the state was 100 percent self-sufficient in fluid milk production. Over the last 25 plus years we all but lost the entire dairy industry largely in part to public policies that drove the industry out of business. Fast-forward to today, Hawaii County is once again almost 100 percent self-sufficient on milk production. The dairy industry is strong but its future is fragile.
I hope you’re ready to get those #RubberBootsontheGround and get to work, I know I am.
Together on Hawaii Island, we can overcome these truths. We can create an economy that is in part powered by an agricultural industry that produces affordable and locally grown food for generations.
We must create policies that support our farmers and provide them with the necessary resources to expand their operations. We don’t need public policy that legislates and mandates certain land stays in agriculture, we need public policy that removes obstruction so all agriculture can flourish.
We need innovative thinking, determination and resiliency to overcome the challenges we face today to build a stronger agricultural industry. I believe these qualities define the people of Hawaii County.
Now is the time for us to become more self-reliant. Send me to Hawaii County Council and I’ll work tirelessly to bring your hard-working spirit to your local government. Together we can build a Hawaii that sustains itself. I hope you’re ready to get those #RubberBootsontheGround and get to work, I know I am.