|First place in the county Department of Water Supply Keiki Poster Contest for the artists in fifth|
grade is Kira Agular. See more below.
OWNERS OF THEIR OWN FARMS is the future faced by the majority of Kaʻū Coffee growers at Cloud Rest and Pear Tree above Pāhala. They are are becoming owners of their farms, after years of worry that their famous orchards would be sold out from under them on the open market for prices beyond their reach. Buying the farms comes after decades of work, following the closure of the Kaʻū Sugar plantation in 1996. The farmers worked the former sugar land under rental agreements, with numerous restrictions on what they could farm and an uncertain future in their land tenure.
After negotiations with Resource Land Holdings, which bought and subdivided the property under the name Kaʻū Mahi, the farmers were able to buy lots that largely conform to their farms. The farmers
|Cory and Connie Koi, one of the first to become owners of|
their Ka'u Coffee farm, after years of renting the land.
Photo from Ka'u Coffee Festival
John Ah San and Gloria Camba credited Punalu‘u resident Julie Enriques for representing the majority of the farmers as the buyers’ Realtor. Ah San said, “She really went to bat for us, from working with farmers on qualifying for the loans to working out details on easements tied the properties and looking over the accuracy of
|Ka'u Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba with husband and|
partner in coffee, Rogelio Aquino. Photo from Ka'u Coffee Festival
Enriques said that many of the farmers were born and raised here and that working with them has been one of her most rewarding projects, particularly since the locals buying the farms means “roots in the ground for generations to come.”
Camba also recognized USDA Farm Service Agency’s Jennifer Balderas, Ka‘ū Coffee Growers Co-op member Miles Mayne, The Kohala Center, the state Department of Agriculture, Congressman Kai Kahele, County of Hawai‘i and County Council Chair Maile David for their assistance, as well as Ka‘ū Coffee Mill and Pāhala Plantation Manager’s House for meeting venues. She said she expects more than 40 farms to be owned by coffee growers.
|Olamau Miyashiro took first among second graders in the Keiki Water Poster Contest, sponsored by the County.|
Aviva Rose Ruderman took second in the kindergarten division of the county's keiki water conservation poster contest.