A quote in today's newspaper perfectly expresses the bizarre, fantastical mindset that seems to have developed around agriculture on Kauai. It was uttered by Poipu resident Kathy Sheffield, who “questioned the motives” behind the proposed new dairy in Mahaulepu Valley:
“This is a commercial agricultural project, and so, therefore, are they doing it for the money or really because they care about the kids on Kauai getting fresh milk,” Sheffield said.
A commercial agricultural project. Like that's something inherently bad. Like it's not OK for the people who raise our food to even cover their expenses — land, water, fertilizer, taxes, equipment, maintenance, veterinary care, feed, seed, supplies, etc. — much less make a (gasp) profit from their labors.
Most us pay for our housing, electricity, water, health care, transportation, clothing and other basic needs, and we happily buy countless other non-essentials. So why in the world would anyone expect farmers to produce our food with no economic return?
Perhaps it's the notion of a larger agricultural operation that she finds offensive — as if the small vendors at the farmers markets aren't there for the express purpose of selling their produce, goat cheese, honey, fruit or what have you to make money, even though they may love what they do.
And why must only the agricultural ventures demonstrate “pure” motives untainted by thoughts of money? If they are making money and making milk, isn't that OK? Or must they banish all thoughts of profit from their minds because it somehow tarnishes the higher good of producing food?
Or in the case of the dairy, possibly not even make a profit, because billionaire Pierre Omidyar is willing to bankroll it to see if it's a viable model that can be implemented elsewhere in Hawaii.
Though people on this island love to dreamily rhapsodize about “sustainable agriculture" and fantasize about hundreds of organic farms popping up spontaneously and feeding all of us, and the tourists, too — and from the sheer goodness of their hearts, no less — it's time to wake up and smell the paraquat-sprayed Kauai Coffee.
Agriculture is an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor, whether it's a dairy in Mahaulepu or an “organic” farm on the toxic pineapple fields of Moloaa. Farmers today, regardless of the size of their operation, must be concerned about costs and whether their enterprise makes sense as a business. Agriculture has failed repeatedly on this island, both large and small scale, because it didn't pencil out economically.
And if the daydreamers and farming wannabees fail to face this fact, their dreams and farms will meet a similar fate.
I understand that some residents of this island want to have a say in everything that goes down, especially if it's in their backyard, and most recently, and particularly, about agriculture. Which is fine. But if you're going to participate, please — come down to earth first and educate yourself about the subject at hand.
Did you people read Shayme's letter to the editor today?
That evil thing is crazy then a mofo!
The FEDS need to throw her carcass in federal prison, better yet put her on Alcatraz or Gitmo so she can talk to the walls about her kind of truth.
Whew! for a while there, I thought the North Shore had a lock on the whackos.
We read Shaylene's letter to the editor. And 30,000 others will read it as well. The odious comments will get lost in the shuffle.
It's the odious poltician who should get lost in the shuffle. Never forget what Shay did folks.
A dairy on ag land? How dare they use their land for something so offensive? And they want to make money, the root of all evil? Where's the online petition? I want my tree hugging brethren on the mainland to weigh in on something that will determine where their next vacation will be. They won't stand for this desecration of all that is sacred in the universe.
oh self righteous Joan...
we all agree, binge and purge at your leisure as its your right on your forum and we all bite on a side. but belligerence camo'd as hollier than though self education on all topics gets pretty pathetic. There is plenty to bitch on the new wonderful agricultural endeavor hiding out as a dairy. Its being lowballed in all aspects, crappy feed for the bovine, minimal real mitigation for the endless doodoo, viability is secondary to just getting it in. Crap milk and hybrid soy and corn? gosh we are so great to feed the worlds growing populace all by our little selves. LOVE all the proponents claiming amazing aromas will be magically blending in the tradewinds and any and all opposition is kicked in the utters as lackluster research or lactose intolerant. There really is plenty of water, lots of great jobs being created, an honorable healthy Kauai product. sarcasm is cool.Just like Pierre, its a sham. good guy rich man glee groaning on what a wonderful world he is selflessly creating to benefit all! yea right
I wonder why nobody ever gripes about the current cattle ranching activities on Kauai. They're fed grass here, then shipped to the mainland where they're finished on grain (and it ain't organic grain) and butchered and then shipped back to us as the beef we see at costco or Safeway. End result is a huge carbon footprint. Yet people complain that milk will have to go to Honolulu for processing. Hypocrisy.
You would think that they were planning a petroleum refinery in Mahau'lepu instead of a dairy. Get a grip on yourself. If the venture comes up a crapper and pollutes the hell out of the place as you suggest, they round the cows up, drive them to the hamburger factory and build Kukui'ula Redux so they can densely stock more folks from away (no like use da "H" word).
In the meantime, someone is willing to risk a large sum of money to see if they can bring back an industry that used to thrive in Hawaii. And frankly, as a lifelong resident of Hawaii,I like cows a whole lot better than some of the crabbers who don't seem to like much that happens beyond your noses. And, if, in the words of the sustainability crowd, the boats don't come, Kauai has an extra herd of grass fed cattle. Of course, only carnivores will benefit, so we'd better chuck it for that reason.
And those opposing the dairy or any other agricultural endeavor except what they deem worthy are not being self righteous? The hypocrisy continues.
Just a note to all the antis.
It would be easier to develop Ag homesites on the Koloa 500 plus acres than to do a dairy. Ag lots also give the County more taxes. The County is broke.
Maybe it is the North Shore Realtors behind the anti-dairy miasma. They can checker board the South Side with Ag condos, just as like the North Side.
I don't know why people be a writin' 'bout Shay here, but give me 5 Shays on the Council instead of the 4 baboozes who have given Bynum, one of their own a Las Vegas Jackpot. Maybe Hooser, Joann, Jay and Chock are in cahoots so each of them get big ol' honkin' jack pots. Watch out Kauai, your County is broke and the Council is cashing out.
Ya don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
I'd like to see the Diary start off on a smaller scale (less cows), process it locally and offer organic options. Kikuyu grass used as forage has proven to be very aggressive (native to Africa) and has been listed as a noxious weed in the US. It grows so densely that it is difficult to add other companion forage species into the pasture, probably why the need to supplement with feed. Important for the community to do their homework and not have a knee-jerk reaction. Not everyone eats vegan. I buy organic milk, cheese and cream, and would love to have a local option. Malama Maha'ulepu has managed to stop resort development of this pristine coastline and if Grove Farm isn't allowed any alternative uses of their land, whose to stop them from leasing it all to the chem corporations. Animal waste entering the Waikomo watershed and into the ocean is a valid concern and we need to see that it is sufficiently resolved.
Why not make the Dairy on Luhue Grove Farm Land!!
Forgot Yeah Iliahi Estate is for the special people, They wouldn't want to SMELL up there private Estate!!!
NOT NEXT TO MY HOUSE...
Yes, we will never forget what Shay has done, is doing and will continue to do.
Actually the new landfill is going right under Iliahi.
Post a Comment