Put Agriculture Department issue on November ballot

There is a very real need for a Maui County Department of Agriculture to serve the small farmers on Maui.

It is a false flag to state it is another level of bureaucracy to place on the farmers. Far from it, it is instead a locally sourced, Maui-centric capacity to help Maui farmers envision their own future. And it is a resource and a support in a time of great uncertainty. It is being envisioned as a small department with minimal funding and has a very important job that isn’t being addressed today in our local government.

Anyone believing in home rule can see the deep bureaucracy built into the state system. Inept and noncaring, especially when it comes to determining Maui’s future in farming. We do not need the status quo — we need an effective arm of the administration that can respond to and support a changing food environment where Maui can take major strides in becoming self-sustaining.

There are great ideas and a lot of talent here in Maui County. Farming is hard work and farmers simply do not get the level of help they need to take it to the next level of productivity. A Maui County Department of Agriculture would be a supportive arm to help. It will be manned and funded locally — laser focused on our needs, not beholding to Oahu-centric dictation, and a vocal advocate for our farming needs. This is vital to the future of our county.

Ask council members for a charter amendment on the November ballot.

Sean Lester



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