MAHA’ULEPU — Hawaii Dairy Farms has decided to discontinue plans for a pasture-based dairy farm on Kauai and is now working with landowner Grove Farm and third parties to explore alternative food production in Maha’ulepu.
“It is disappointing we were unable to find a path forward to help bring a more sustainable model of dairy farming to Hawaii,” said Amy Hennessey, director of communications for investor Ulupono Initiative, in a Thursday press release.
She continued: “Our proposal for the dairy farm was based on best management practices proven from around the world to create a more environmentally sustainable model of dairy farm that utilized active pasture management to minimize runoff and use grass as a low-cost source of feed. But rather than incentivizing local food production to meet our state’s food goals, Hawaii’s environmental regulations seem to unfairly place dairies and other similar animal agriculture operations in the same category as wastewater treatment plants.”
HDF’s core mission is still to increase local food production, “in any form,” Hennesey said, and that’s the next step for the organization.
“If our state is to achieve its ambitious goal of doubling local food production, more must be done to create an environment in which commercially viable agriculture can succeed. This is why we are working with Grove Farm and others to find an alternative path forward for local food production in Maha‘ulepu Valley,” Hennessey said.
Look for more information in Friday’s edition of The Garden Island newspaper.