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Maui establishes the first county-level Department of Agriculture

Rogerene “Kali” Arce and Weston Yap
County of Maui / Shane Tegarden
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino introduces Rogerene “Kali” Arce, middle, and Weston Yap, left, as director and deputy director, respectively, of the new Department of Agriculture at a ceremony Wednesday morning for the department’s leadership at the Kula Agriculture Park. (July 6, 2022)

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino has picked Molokaʻi native Rogerene “Kali” Arce to head the county’s new Department of Agriculture, he announced Wednesday. Her appointment is subject to County Council approval.

This makes Maui the first county in the state to set up such a department. The department was formed as a result of a 2020 county charter amendment vote.

“Today we honor the will of the people and begin the work of creating a truly sustainable agricultural system for Maui County. Mayor Victorino has directed our department to help farmers and ranchers do what they do best — put food on our tables and help us become more self-reliant," Arce said.

The Kamehameha Schools graduate previously served as the acting program manager for Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Molokaʻi.

Weston Yap, who most recently served as the Hawaiʻi Produce Safety Program Manager with the state Department of Agriculture, was named the deputy director of the new department.

The County of Maui Department of Agriculture officially launched on July 1.

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