Hawaii Island farmers and ranchers will unite in a rally in opposition of County bill 79 on Friday June 28th at 2pm in front of Hilo County building. The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Big Island Banana Growers Association, Hawaii Dairy, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council will join forces in solidarity to convey to the County Council the importance of allowing farmers, nursery growers, ranchers and retail businesses to have free choices in their livelihood.
These organizations represent approximately 600 local businesses with 2000 employees. Collectively, they contribute $130 million to the island’s economy.
“The bill contains no rhyme or reason,” according to Richard Ha, an island farmer who opposes bill 79. “We should be feeding Hawaii’s people but this bill is pitting people against farmers. We just want to have the freedom to farm.”
Hawaii Island farmers, ranchers and business members take health and safety very seriously. They believe that free choice in agricultural practices will enable organic farmers to work collaboratively with those who employ agricultural technology so that all local businesses are at liberty to earn a living, feed their families and provide for economic and food security on the local level.
The organizations that will rally, who sometimes refer to themselves as Freedom Farmers, seek a way to communicate with others about ways to come together to find solutions that allow all to farm on Hawaii Island.