Ulupono Initiative

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July 13, 2020

Stories from Hawaii's farmers and ranchers

Categories: Food

In this story series, hear from local farmers, ranchers, and other food producers about their crucial efforts to sustain our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the source that sustains us, as we work to support one another through this crisis, look ahead toward recovery, and help make Hawaii more resilient in the future.


‚ÄčA solution for boosting local beef production (Hartung Brothers)

July 17, 2020

Joshua Uyehara of Hartung Brothers shares how a farm in Kekaha, Kauai, is producing alfalfa as a cost-effective, high-quality livestock feed for local ranch operations.


Kakaako specialty farm finds a new niche (MetroGrow Hawaii)

July 09, 2020

Urban Honolulu is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think about Oahu farms. But in the heart of Kakaako lies MetroGrow Hawaii, an indoor vertical farm that is the first of its kind in Hawaii to use nontraditional growing methods requiring no soil or sunlight to grow specialty crops like microgreens and shoots. 


Kuleana and resilience anchor Maui venison farm to the community (Maui Nui Venison)

July 02, 2020

Like many farm owners across Hawaii, 2020 has posed extraordinary challenges for Maui Nui Venison CEO Jake Muise. He’s had to furlough employees, which means he’s in the field more, doing more with less — even as demand for wild-caught and sustainable USDA Axis deer has increased. He is continually striving to expedite harvesting in an attempt to keep up.


Finding his audience is music to his ears (Lydgate Farms)

June 26, 2020

Will Lydgate, owner and chief executive officer of Lydgate Farms on Kauai, shared his experiences and challenges harvesting cacao on his 46-acre specialty chocolate farm in Kapaa.


Ulu seen as a key ingredient in Hawaii’s food security (Hawaii Ulu Producers Cooperative)

June 11, 2020

Cultivation and distribution of this Pacific superfood is led by a core group of individuals who make up the Hawaii Ulu Producers Cooperative, including founding members Noa Lincoln and Dana Shapiro. 


Windward Oahu ranch takes to heart the lessons of the pandemic (Kualoa Ranch)

June 4, 2020

Taylor Kellerman, Kualoa Ranch’s director of diversified agriculture and land stewardship, hopes the swift shift to diversify Kualoa’s operations serves as a community model that continues well beyond the pandemic. 


Through uncertainty, Hawaii rises (Kunia Country Farms and Manulele Distillers)

May 28, 2020

Jason Brand and his business partners have made some swift decisions to pivot operations at Kunia Country Farms, one of the largest aquaponic farms in Hawaii, and Manulele Distillers, home of Ko Hana Rum. 


Lessons of resiliency and forward-thinking from a rural ranch (Kuahiwi Ranch)

May 20, 2020

Sprawled across 9,000 acres in Kau on Hawaii Island, three generations of the Galimba ohana work tirelessly to keep up with the growing demand for Kuahiwi Ranch’s grass-fed and free-range beef. 


Farmers’ markets and direct sales offer lifeline for Oahu’s only mushroom farm (Small Kine Farm)

May 12, 2020

Established in 2009, this Waimanalo-based Small Kine Farm, the sole Portabella farm in the state, implements multiple strategies to keep its mission alive. The team is facing this challenge together. 


Through crisis sprouts a heartening realization (Kahanu Aina Greens LLC)

May 4, 2020

The Mina farming ohana on Maui spreads aloha with healthy food and community spirit. Sometimes our most compelling realizations emerge from the most challenging situations. 


Follow this series highlighting the vital work of the dedicated farmers, ranchers and other growers throughout the islands and their contributions to our state’s self-sufficiency and resiliency.