Today, in a historic first, the County of Maui becomes the first of Hawaii’s four counties to establish its own Department of Agriculture. In November 2020, Maui County voters approved passage of a charter amendment to establish the department.
Mayor Michael Victorino has selected the department’s Director and Deputy Director. They are in the process of completing their pre-employment screening process. He will announce his selections for the new department’s leadership on July 6.
“Given the historic importance of this department and its vital role in Maui’s future economic diversification, we are planning a small event to introduce the new leaders and share the department’s vision going forward,” Mayor Victorino said.
The appointed Director must be confirmed by the Maui County Council.
“I am very impressed by all of the applicants and the caliber of their qualifications. They understand the practical challenges of farming and ranching in Hawaii,” said Mayor Victorino. “I want to thank the members of the Advisory Selection Committee for doing such a thorough job of vetting all of the applications and recommending the appointees.”
Members of the Advisory Selection Committee were Vincent Mina, Bobby Pahia, William Jacintho, Warren Watanabe and Kilia Purdy-Avelino.
The mission of Maui County’s Department of Agriculture is to support the development and continued management of a sustainable regional agricultural system for Maui County, to promote resident and ecosystem health and well-being and create a thriving circular agro-economic system that can be a model for the rest of the world.
“I want to thank members of the Agriculture Working Group for their hard work and valuable input,” Mayor Victorino said. “At the onset, I was very clear with the working group that we needed a department that would be a strong voice and an advocate for farming and ranching on Maui, and I am confident we are building the team to achieve that.”
The County’s new Department of Agriculture office is located on Kaohu Street next to the rear parking lot of Kalana O Maui (County Building).
For more information, see www.mauicounty.gov/2473/Department-of-Agriculture.