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Copyright 2019 Hawai`i Senate Majority

Hawai`i State Capitol
415 South Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96813

  • Hawaiʻi State Senate

MA‘O FARMS RECOGNIZED ON SENATE FLOOR


Members of the Senate today honored MA‘O Organic Farms for their work towards building a healthy, sustainable and resilient community food system.

Photo: Gary Maunakea-Forth, Co-founder and Farm Operations Dir., Kukui Maunakea-Forth, Co-founder and Exec. Dir., Kamuela Enos, Social Enterprises Dir., Derrik Parker, Farm Co-manager, Cheyanne Teixeria, Farm Co-manager, Taylor Freitas, Farm Co-manager.

Established in 2001, MA‘O is an acronym for Mala (garden) ‘ai (food) ‘opio (youth) or youth food garden and its mission is to connect the relationship between the land and people, which will in turn return strengthen families and the community.

MA‘O Farms trains new farmers and community leaders on its 23- acre certified organic farm in Wai‘anae. Through their program, young people aged 18-25 learn to co-manage the operations as they produce, process, market, and distribute a diverse array of high quality, organic fruits and vegetables. They work three days a week and go to college two days a week and the Farm pays for their tuition and also gives them $500 a month stipend to work on the farm.

“I’ve heard and felt the passion in the voices of the students I’ve met in the program who want to do something good for their families and something positive for their community,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard, chair of the Senate committee on Agriculture and Environment. “In my humble opinion, who you are looking at today is the future of agriculture in Hawai‘i. It’s my sincere hope and dream that we replicate MA‘O Farms on each of the islands in Hawai‘i nei.”

“Mahalo to MA‘O Farms for teaching our youth the value of aloha, respect, and the willingness to work hard and for connecting two of our most precious assets – our ‘āina, that which feeds us, and our ‘opio, our youth,” said Sen. Gabbard.

Among MA‘O Farms most famous visitors was First Lady Michelle Obama who spent an afternoon touring the farm and meeting with the interns in November 2011. She recognized the Farm as a successful model for increasing awareness of and access to healthy eating options.

Photo: Gary Maunakea-Forth, Co-founder and Farm Operations Dir., Kukui Maunakea-Forth, Co-founder and Exec. Dir., Kamuela Enos, Social Enterprises Dir., Derrik Parker, Farm Co-manager, Cheyanne Teixeria, Farm Co-manager, Taylor Freitas, Farm Co-manager.

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