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Hug a Farmer

Hug a Farmer

Monday, October 12 is National Farmers Day. How would we survive without our hardworking farmers?

Sure, it’s easy to connect the dots between farmers and the food we eat, but farmers are also important in the creation of jobs. Agriculture is the largest job provider in the world from soil science, horticulture, packing and processing and technology to the produce stocker of your favorite local grocery store.

A recent census by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows the backbone of the agriculture industry are still family-owned farms. In fact, 97 percent of the 2.1 million farms in the U.S. are family –owned and 88 percent are small farms.

This national data mirrors the agriculture state of our very own island. There are a lot more small, family-owned farms on Maui than corporate-owned including us. Our grapes are grown on 16-acres of land owned by a local family who has been cultivating the lands in Ulupalakua for more than 50 years.

Maui is home to more than 600 farmers, growers and ranchers, and we work with a few to create our wines. One in particular is Maui Gold Pineapple Company known for their sweet pineapples. The pineapple juice is used in our pineapple wines including our famous “Hula o Maui” sparkling which is now one of the most successful Maui-made products today that also supports our local economy.

So take the time today to hug your favorite farmers. I know we’ll be doing a lot of hugging and celebrating with our fellow farmers today!

2012 Census of Agriculture Farm Typology

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