Photo courtesy of The Age Cases
Photo courtesy of The Age Cases

REPORT FROM HAWAII’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded grants to five Hawaii farms totaling $285,930 today, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced. The grants allow farmers, cooperative members and business owners to better market their goods and services, ultimately adding efficiency to their operations and value to their products.

“I am pleased the administration continues to recognize the importance of supporting Hawaii’s farmers and ranchers as they continue to expand their product offerings and production practices. In this economic climate, these grants will help small businesses create and retain jobs,” said Senator Inouye. “Any businesses engaging in innovative agricultural production will create new economic opportunities in rural Hawaii and move our state closer to food self-sustainability.”

“This USDA investment recognizes that Hawaii is home to outstanding farmers, small businesses, and agricultural producers,” said Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-HI). “Having visited Noni Biotech International last August on Maui, I’ve seen the hard work and care Hawaii’s entrepreneurs put into their products and the jobs they create. The more we can support local goods and businesses, the closer Hawaii gets to self-sustainability.”

“These grants will help our farmers, ranchers, and local entrepreneurs expand their businesses while improving the quality of life in these rural communities,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. “As an island state that imports most of our goods, it is critical that Hawaii continues to work towards being more self-sufficient in food production with sustainable agriculture. I applaud the Administration for their continued commitment to supporting our local businesses.”

The following Hawaii businesses have received the Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant:

NBI Noni, LLC $48,000

Hawaii Cattle Producers Cooperative Association $58,180

Mauna Kea Tea $27,750 Kalapana Organics, LLC $12,000

MV Farms, Inc $140,000

The funds come through a competitive grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant Program.

More information regarding the Value-Added Producer Grant can be found here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm

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