State Grants Available to Farmers and Ranchers

March 2, 2019, 3:00 PM HST · Updated March 1, 10:09 AM
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The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications for grants to help Hawaiʻi farmers and ranchers with the cost of bringing their operations in compliance with state and federal food safety regulations aimed at preventing foodborne illnesses.

During the 2018 session, the state legislature appropriated a total of $475,000 toward the grant program to help local food producers comply with the US Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act and other state food safety requirements.

Hawaiʻi farmers and ranchers may apply for reimbursement of costs up to $5,000 which will be distributed on a proportional basis depending on the number of applicants and reimbursements costs submitted.

The application deadline is April 15, 2019.

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“All farms, regardless of size, should follow good agricultural practices to prevent foodborne illnesses,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, acting chairperson of the Hawaiʻi Board of Agriculture. “For many commercial farms, compliance is mandatory and this grant program will help to defray some of the costs associated with implementing the required food safety practices.”

Costs that are eligible for reimbursement include, but are not limited to:

  • Training in FSMA and costs of audits for good agricultural and handling practices
  • Installation of water systems, sanitizer treatment supplies and monitoring meters
    Bacteriological analysis of water, raw produce or the facility
  • Personal hygiene equipment and supplies, including portable restrooms and hand-washing sinks, and worker protection clothing.

Wildlife fencing, pest deterrents and traps

  • General clean up and removal of hazardous materials
  • Food traceablity software

Agricultural producers may find more information on the grant program requirements and the application form on the HDOA Food Safety website.

Information on FMSA is available on the FDA’s website.

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