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Mayor announces confirmation of first Maui County Director of Agriculture

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Rogerene “Kali” Arce Confirmed today as first director of Maui County’s new Department of Agriculture. Photo credit: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden photo

Mayor Michael Victorino on Tuesday announced the confirmation of Rogerene “Kali” Arce as the first director of Maui County’s new Department of Agriculture.

The announcement comes as the Maui County Council gave the Mayorʻs appointment of Arce unanimous approval.

Arce is a Molokaʻi resident and Hawaiian homesteader with more than three decades of experience in Hawaiʻi’s agriculture industry.

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Mayor Victorino thanked council members saying Arce’s leadership of this department is crucial in advancing Maui County’s self-reliance and economic diversification. “Director Arce has the knowledge, education and experience to strengthen Maui County’s farming, ranching and food production sectors,” Mayor Victorino said in a press release announcement.

Kali Arce took on her new position in July of this year and has been meeting with farmers and ranchers throughout the County’s three islands to determine needs and priorities, according to the mayor.

“I love my job,” Director Arce said. “As someone who has supported the ag industry for 30 years on Molokaʻi in various capacities, I understand and empathize with the challenges and rewards of working in agriculture. We want our farmers and ranchers to succeed at what they do best, putting fresh food on our tables while reducing our reliance on faraway places for what’s for dinner.”

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Deputy Director Weston Yap was appointed in July, but his position does not require confirmation by the County Council. Before joining the County, Yap served as the Hawaiʻi Produce Safety Program Manager with the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture. He has a decade of experience in food production, risk management and safety experience.

In 2020, voters overwhelmingly approved a Maui County Charter amendment to create a new Department of Agriculture to help farmers and ranchers succeed in their businesses while increasing locally grown foods.

The Department of Agriculture office is at 2154 Kaohu St. in Wailuku. Its phone number is 808-270-8276, and email is [email protected]

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For more information, visit www.mauicounty.gov/2473/Department-of-Agriculture.

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