Local farmers grateful for HDOA, community supportPosted on May 29, 2020 in Capitol Connection, Featured
Farmers on six islands across the state sent heartfelt messages when they received word they were approved for emergency funds from the state Department of Agriculture (HDOA). A total of $470,000 through 202 grants from the Emergency Farmer Relief Program provided a lifeline for struggling farmers hit hard by COVID-19. HDOA chairperson Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, the market development branch and fiscal office, and the Department of Accounting and General Services worked together to process the applications and get checks into farmers’ hands as quickly as possible.
One farmer wrote: “Thank you so much! I’m crying right now. Farming is such hard labor and to have some support makes all the difference in the world.” Another said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This is great news and will make the long hours for our family a little less stressful. We want HDOA to know our farm is ramping up production and getting products out to the community.” HDOA also offers an Emergency Agricultural Loan Program that provides low-interest loans up to $150,000 at 3 percent interest. Farmers should contact their nearest HDOA office or go to http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/agl/.