|Aloha HFUU Members & Subscribers,|
We are in need of your supportive testimonies for SB2989 SD1, SB2990 SD1, SB341 SD2, and SB2986 SD1! For a glitch-free experience, remember to login to capitol.hawaii.gov before clicking the Support button(s).
The committee(s) on AEN has scheduled a public hearing on 03-018-22 9:00AM; Conference Room 325 & Videoconference.
Please provide your testimony by TOMORROW 3-17-22 at 9:00AM. Talking points & sample testimony linked below.
SB3004 SD1 – RELATING TO COMPOSTING – Establishes and appropriates moneys for a compost reimbursement program within the Department of Agriculture and for one full-time permanent compost reimbursement program manager position. Requires an annual progress report to the Legislature prior to each regular session. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1)
The Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is a 501(c)(5) agricultural advocacy nonprofit representing a network of over 2,500 family farmers and their supporters across the Hawaiian Islands. HFUU strongly supports SB3004 to provide cost-sharing with farms to purchase compost.
During 2019 and 2020, the compost reimbursement pilot program provided over $300,000 in funding to farmers large and small, organic and conventional, as well as landscape and turf operations, as cost-share for purchasing compost. HFUU would like a compost reimbursement program re-established and made permanent.
The success of the pilot program is clearly demonstrated by the wide adoption, which would only grow through the establishment of a permanent program.
SD2989 SD1 – RELATING TO AGRICULTURE – Requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a Healthy Soils Program. Establishes a Healthy Soils Program Special Fund. Appropriates moneys. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1)
The Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is a 501(c)(5) agricultural advocacy nonprofit representing a network of over 2,500 family farmers and their supporters across the Hawaiian Islands. HFUU strongly supports SB2989 and the development of a robust soil health program within the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
The Hawaii Healthy Soils Program (HSP) is intended to house multiple incentives, like those for cover crops (SB2675 and SB2990) and compost (SB3004) and SB2288). This approach is similar to California’s Healthy Soils Program which funds demonstration and implementation grants that support myriad conservation agriculture practices.
The forthcoming GHG sequestration task force report will further delineate best practices that can be incorporated into future incentives. The Hawaii HSP will serve as a mechanism to expand resourcing of these and similar incentives. Conceivably the HSP, similar again to CA’s approach, could be stewarded by an expert support panel, akin to or utilizing the GHG sequestration task force.
As initial incentives, compost application and cover cropping were selected because they are among the top conservation agriculture practices incorporated into NRCS plans for Hawaii farmers and from discussion with conservation planners.
SD2990 SD1 – RELATING TO SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE – Establishes a cover crop reimbursement pilot program to provide up to 75% cost reimbursement to farming operations in the State for the acquisition of cover crop seeds, green manure, or compost. Requires the convening of a review panel to screen and rate applicants on the quality of their cover crop and green manure and composting practices. Establishes a cover crop reimbursement pilot program manager position within the Department of Agriculture to administer the program. Requires reports to the Legislature. Appropriates moneys. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1)
SB341 SD2 – RELATING TO TARO – Establishes an exclusion from the state income tax for an unspecified portion of a person’s income derived from the business of taro cultivation or production of taro products. Provides that the exclusion shall not apply if the department of agriculture determines that more than 30,000 acres of land is used for locally grown taro. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD2)
SB2986 SD1 – RELATING TO HEMP – Removes certain duplicative regulations imposed on hemp producers in the State. Retains the requirement for hemp producers to report certain transports of hemp to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture for law enforcement purposes. Allows hemp producers to sell biomass directly to consumers. Requires that hemp produced in the State be labeled as Hawaii produced and that hemp produced outside the State be labeled with the appropriate origin. Repeals 07/01/2027. (SD1)
Please submit testimony in SUPPORT of SB2986, which modifies burdensome and costly regulations for Hawaii farmers, which have kept them locked out of lucrative hemp and CBD markets. Please state your support for small batch on-farm processing exemptions and ask the House Committee on Agriculture to eliminate State inspections because USDA already has this authority, trained personnel, and a database. Duplicating inspections costs the State and farmer money. Also ask for the elimination of movement reports and instead require farmers to include a copy of their USDA hemp license, lab report, and contact information for the farmer, lab, and USDA in all movement of hemp so law enforcement can confirm the shipment is hemp with USDA if need be. State movement reports are based on USDA license and lab reports currently and are duplicative.
The Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is a 501(c)(5) agricultural advocacy nonprofit representing a network of over 2,500 family farmers and their supporters across the Hawaiian Islands. HFUU strongly supports SB2986 and seeks amendments to reduce burdensome and costly regulations for Hawaii farmers, and enhance hemp and CBD market development.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) already maintains authority, personnel, and a tracking system for ensuring regulatory compliance for hemp production and products. State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) inspections, testing, and reports are thus onerous and duplicative. In example, state movement reports are based on USDA license and lab reports. In lieu of these duplications we believe any state level regulatory additions should solely require submission of copies of a producer’s USDA hemp license, lab reports, and contact information for the farmer, lab, and USDA to enable law enforcement to confirm, if need be, hemp shipments with USDA.
Towards these ends HFUU seeks the following amendments:
1) HRS §141-42 (g): Remove Duplicative Regulation page 9 lines 1-2,
No other inspections or sampling by the State shall be conducted or required, nor shall the State…
2) HRS §141-42 (b) (a) (2): Transportation Movement Reporting page 6 lines 15-20
The transportation has been [authorized by] reported to the department. The department may require movement reports [, inspections, sampling, and testing] A copy of the Hawaii USDA hemp license and lab report provided to USDA is included in the movement of the hemp to be transported and may deny authorization if the hemp is found to not comply with any law or regulation.
3) HRS §328G-2 (b) (1): Minor Edit page 10, line 4
Producers who grow less than six thousand dry pounds of hemp annually; and or