Maui County Farm Bureau announces 2022 award winners
The Maui County Farm Bureau honored Kai Pelayo, the community affairs manager with Bayer-Maui, as its Member of the Year during a holiday gathering on Dec. 14 at the Kula Community Center.
The organization’s other 2022 award winners were:
- Friend of Farmer: Joyce Kawakami, Feed My Sheep
- Mike Lyons Award: JoAnn Inamasu, County of Maui Office of Economic Development
The Hawai’i Farm Bureau also named Pelayo as its Outstanding Active Member for 2022.
Pelayo has worked 40 years in the hotel industry and seven years with Bayer-Maui. He is part of the team that coordinates Bayer employees with the set up and breakdown of the Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair, Maui Fair horticulture and homemakers areas, and the Ag in the Classroom field trip at Haleakalā Ranch.
He also has contributed to the Hawai’i State Farm Fair, served on the Maui County Farm Bureau membership committee and volunteers his time to many community organizations.
Joyce Kawakami, founder and president of Feed My Sheep, represents one of the Maui County Farm Bureau’s most successful partnerships with a nonprofit organization.
Kawakami has worked with the County of Maui and the farm bureau to purchase produce and meat from farm bureau members and other Maui producers. This was a win-win effort provided by the CARES Act so local farmers and ranchers could provide food for the community and sell their products when they did not have a market due to the pandemic.
Kawakami also was named 2022 Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau Outstanding Friend of Farmer.
Each year, the Mike Lyons award is given to a person or organization whose support for the agriculture industry on Maui has truly made a difference.
Inamasu, who won the award this year, has shown a strong commitment to serving the needs of Maui agriculture for many years. She has been with the Office of Economic Development with previous administrations prior to her current position as Director.
Her years of experience working with farmers and ranchers gives her the insight and knowledge to address issues with practical solutions. Her support of all the agricultural organizations and agencies demonstrates a “big picture” approach for a viable agricultural industry.
Inamasu was also presented with an award from the Maui 4-H Livestock Association for her role in supporting the youth and families in Maui’s 4-H program.
“Agriculture has a long and proud history in Maui County, contributing to the economy while providing for our community,” said Warren Watanabe, Maui County Farm Bureau executive director. “It is an honor for farm bureau to recognize these individuals who unselfishly give of themselves for the betterment of agriculture.”
For more information about the farm bureau, visit www.mauicountyfarmbureau.org.