Maui County Farm Bureau names new board members
For the new two-year term, Maui County Farm Bureau retained some current board members and elected some new ones, including Bobbie Patnode and Jayson Watts.
Bobbie Patnode is the “mom partner” in Patnode Family Farm, together with husband Jack and son Ben. The Patnodes have been farming commercially on Maui since 2012. Their farm on Crater Road grows mostly root vegetables such as Japanese and Korean daikon, beets, watermelon radish, onions, and more, all using organic methods. Being up high (3,700 feet), they are able to grow fruits like peaches and apples, with close to 50 fruit trees.
Bobbie grew up in the Northeast, where her father’s family farmed for generations, and met fellow farmer Jack in Minnesota. Bobbie is also a board member of the Kula Community Association, vice-chair of the Police Commission, and a member of the Ag Working Group.
“I’m particularly interested in working to help our Maui County farmers work better with the county administration, such as Planning, Water and Real Property Tax departments, so we all receive the support the county has enacted for us,” said Patnode.
Jayson Watts serves as Director of External Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at Mahi Pono, LLC. The farming company aims to transform approximately 41,000 acres of vacant sugar cane land into a thriving, diversified agriculture hub in Maui’s central plain.
A graduate of Baldwin High School and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Jayson has a history of building sustainable community development initiatives and public-private partnerships.
Before joining Mahi Pono in 2019, Jayson served as a special assistant to the Director of the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations; and as senior advisor to Hawai‘i Lieutenant Governors Shan Tsutsui and Doug Chin. Prior to that, he served as deputy sergeant-at-arms of the Hawai‘i State Senate; as legislative director to Shan Tsutsui; and as a congressional intern and staff assistant to the late US Representative Patsy T. Mink. He is from and currently resides in Wailuku.
Warren K. Watanabe is the executive director, for Maui County Farm Bureau. The Board of Directors meet on the last Wednesday of each month. General membership meetings are held in March, June, September, and December. The full board members include the following:
- President: Kyle Caires
- Vice President: Joshua Shyloh Stafford-Jones
- Secretary: Jayson Watts
- Treasurer: Tim Stevens
- Rodrigo “Rudy” Balala
- Brendan Balthazar
- James “Kimo” Falconer
- Teena Rasmussen
- Heidi Watanabe
- Bobbie Patnode
Maui County Farm Bureau is a grassroots 501(c)(5) organization of farms and ranch families, agricultural industries, and associated organizations dedicated to supporting agriculture in Maui County. It is affiliated with both the statewide Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.