Mayor Michael Victorino thanked the Maui County Council for its unanimous approval today of Rogerene “Kali” Arce as the first director of Maui County’s new Department of Agriculture.
Arce is a Molokai resident and Hawaiian homesteader with more than three decades of experience in Hawaii’s agriculture industry. Mayor Victorino’s appointment of Arce was confirmed today by the full Maui County Council.
“Mahalo to Councilmembers for their unanimous approval of Kali Arce. Her leadership of this important department is crucial in advancing Maui County’s self-reliance and economic diversification,” Mayor Victorino said. “Director Arce has the knowledge, education and experience to strengthen Maui County’s farming, ranching and food production sectors.”
Kali Arce took on her new position in July of this year and has been meeting with farmers and ranchers throughout the County’s three islands to determine needs and priorities.
“I love my job,” Director Arce said. “As someone who has supported the ag industry for 30 years on Molokai in various capacities, I understand and empathize with the challenges and rewards of working in agriculture. We want our farmers and ranchers to succeed at what they do best, putting fresh food on our tables while reducing our reliance on faraway places for what’s for dinner.”
Deputy Director Weston Yap was appointed in July, but his position does not require confirmation by the County Council. Before joining the County, Yap served as the Hawaii Produce Safety Program Manager with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. He has a decade of experience in food production, risk management and safety experience.
In 2020, voters overwhelmingly approved a Maui County Charter amendment to create a new Department of Agriculture to help farmers and ranchers succeed in their businesses while increasing locally grown foods.
The Department of Agriculture office is at 2154 Kaohu St. in Wailuku. Its phone number is (808) 270-8276. Email is email@example.com. For more information, see www.mauicounty.gov/2473/Department-of-Agriculture.