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Photos represent similar grass-fed grazing models in New Zealand

May 02, 2014

Letter of Support: Kauai Chamber of Commerce

Read the full letter of support here.

The Kauai Chamber of Commerce submits this letter in support of Hawaii Dairy Farms to establish the state's first grass-fed dairy operations on 582 acres of Mahaulepu next to the Haraguchi Taro Farm. The Chamber has reviewed the proposed operational components of Hawaii Dairy Farms and participated in a site-visit/field trip to view and learn first-hand about the location, facilities, and related issues raised by some businesses, individuals and other stakeholders. From an economic standpoint, the Chamber is pleased to learn of the possibility of potential value-added products knowing that the milk produced will also contribute to the "buy local" concept and support local agribusiness ventures. From an economic and consumption perspective, Hawaii Dairy Farms will double local milk production to 20 percent of overall milk consumption and thus decrease the need for imported milk from outside Hawaii. This is a significant and important set toward food security, economic diversity, and sustainability for Kauai.

While there have been some environmental-related concerns raised by those in the surrounding communities, the Chamber strongly believes that Hawaii Dairy Farms will take proactive steps to mitigate these concerns, especially the odor. Hawaii Dairy Farms has also indicated that they are researching establishing water quality baselines and engaging in on-going community feedback. The Chamber suggests that the company undergo a pre-testing process to insure that any perceived impacts are analyzed and documented and, more importantly, demonstrate their proactive efforts as being both good neighbors and stewards. While this is only a recommendation and, not a requirement, the Chamber knows that Hawaii Dairy Farms has always intended to be above standards whether or not our suggestion is accepted.

The Chamber understands that Hawaii Dairy Farms will also use state-of-the-art technology and processes in order to have a farm that will not only be successful and sustainable, but, more importantly, keep the land in agricultural use for future generations. Hawaii Dairy Farms' use of Grove Farm Company land for dairy production in the form of grazing as feed for the cows will allow the land designated to be used for long-term practical and pragmatic agricultural commercial use. In closing, the Chamber strongly believes that Hawaii Dairy Farms and Grove Farm Company, as the land owner, exemplify Kauai's entrepreneurial spirit and values, and will bolster our island economy by incorporating best business practices and a sound business plan. In this way, Hawaii Dairy Farms will leave a lasting economic legacy on Kauai.

Aloha.

Sincerely yours,

Randall Francisco, President/CEO, Kauai Chamber of Commerce

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