Hawaii seeks lessees for state ag land – Pacific Business News (Honolulu):

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it is accepting applications for lease negotiations on five parcels of ag land.

Two parcels are located in Hanapepe, Kauai, and three are in Waimanalo, Oahu. They range in size from 1.4 to 6.7 acres.

Potential lessees must be U.S. citizens who have been Hawaii residents for at least three years, and bona fide farmers as defined in Hawaii Administrative Rules.

The leases are for 35-year terms and are limited to diversified agriculture use.

The deadline to submit applications for the parcels to the state’s Agricultural Resource Management Division is Jan. 14.

For more information, visit hawaii.gov/hdoa/info.

Hawaii seeks lessees for state ag land – Pacific Business News (Honolulu):

Biorefineries Get A Boost

Rentech (AMEX:RTK) and partner Clearfuels Technology will get $23 million in grants to add a gasifier to existing facilities. This will help in the process of turning woody biomass into diesel and jet fuel. Other partners in the Aiea, Hawaii plant include construction company URS Corporation (NYSE:URS) and utility Hawaiian Electric (NYSE:HE).

The United States recently moved one step closer to energy independence this past Friday as the Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced the first wave of grant money towards biofuel. While the corn ethanol dream in America is pretty much over, as many of the main producers have filed for bankruptcy or had their assets folded into more traditional oil companies (such as VeraSun into refiner Valero (NYSE:VLO)), biofuel from non-feed stocks or from waste are another matter.

Federal aquaculture grants being made available to Hawaii farmers | San Francisco Examiner

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HONOLULU — Aquaculture farmers in Hawaii are now able apply for federal stimulus money to help offset high feed prices experienced by the industry last year.

The state Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated $150,000 as Hawaii’s portion of $50 million feed stimulus funding.

The Hawaii grants are being administered through the state department’s Aquaculture Development Program.

State officials say reimbursement amounts are limited to available funds. That means if the amount of eligible applications exceeds the grant amount available, recipients will receive a prorata adjusted amount.

Federal aquaculture grants being made available to Hawaii farmers | San Francisco Examiner

USDA Grants for Farmers Transitioning to Organic — Hawaii Department of Agriculture

The USDA has announced a grant program to help farmers transition to organic farming. The deadline to apply is May 29, 2009. To view the USDA news release, click on the headline.

Release No. 0146.09

Contact: Terry Bish (202) 720-5974 

AGRICULTURE DEPUTY SECRETARY MERRIGAN ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR NEW ORGANICS INITIATIVE

$50 Million in Funding Available Nationwide

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2009— Speaking today to the USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced $50 Million for a new initiative to meet the Obama Administration’s promise to encourage more organic agriculture production. Funding for the initiative is being made available as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

"Assisting organic producers is a priority of the 2008 Farm Bill as well as for Secretary Vilsack and the Obama Administration," said Merrigan. "The objective of this initiative is to make organic food producers eligible to compete for EQIP financial assistance."

The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide special initiative to provide financial assistance to National Organic Program (NOP) certified organic producers as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under general EQIP.

Hawaii agriculture and farming grants : Hawaii Business Grants

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Small business grants in Hawaii are somewhat tough to come by just like everywhere else. However, there are eleven federal government agencies that do have grant funding for small businesses depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your business. These eleven federal government agencies reserve some grant money and they have research and development topics that will accept proposals. Small business owners or people looking to start a small business in Hawaii may want to look in these areas for grant funding. In this article I am going to list a couple of these agencies and give a brief overview of what they deal with so that you can see if it would apply to your small business in Hawaii.

The Department of Agriculture in Hawaii has current concerns that Hawaii is currently importing about eighty-five percent of the food that is consumed in Hawaii. They would like to increase the self sufficiency of Hawaii. If you were looking at starting a farm that would assist in this concern it may assist you in receiving a grant. Under the department of Agriculture you will also find information you can find grants for rural development. The Small Business Innovation Research Program grant is another possibility for one that wants a small business grant in Hawaii that will be dealing with various science based business.

Beesource Beekeeping » Providing Subsidies for Beekeepers

Joe Traynor

In appealing for government assistance, the bee industry (and bee researchers) emphasize the “billions of dollars” in value that honey bees are worth to agriculture – that without subsidies, bee colony numbers will continue to decline, causing severe economic consequences for the production of many agricultural crops.

Certainly the bee industry is undergoing major problems, most notably from parasitic mites, but the “billions of dollars benefit to agriculture” argument should be abandoned. Here’s why:

Over the past 20 years, CA’s almond acreage has increased to the point where one million bee colonies are now required for February pollination (at the rate of two colonies per acre). Because almonds bloom in February and because bees are released from almond orchards by mid-March, the one million colonies coming out of almond orchards represent a pool of bees that can be transported to any area of the U.S. for crop pollination purposes – provided the growers of such crops are willing to pay for transportation and related costs.

Almond growers pay dearly for their bees – rental fees are up to $50/colony and rising as new acreage goes in. Almond pollinatlon has completely changed the face of the U.S. beekeeping industry – without almond pollination income, many US. beekeepers would be out of business. Indeed, some beekeepers are increasing their colony numbers solely to supply bees for CA’s increasing almond acreage.

In essence, CA’s almond industry is subsidizing the U.S. bee industry to the tune of millions of dollars a year. Any government subsidy would be dwarfed by the infusion of money that the bee industry has already received and continues to receive from the almond industry.