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Mahi‘ai Match-Up Agricultural Business Plan Contest's three winners announced

Kamehameha Schools and Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation revealed the first, second and third place winners of the Mahi‘ai Match-Up Agricultural Business Plan Contest at a fundraising gala on February 22, 2014 at Dole Cannery’s Pōmaika‘i Ballrooms. Winning teams receive an agricultural lease from Kamehameha Schools with up to five years of waived rent and money from Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation. The gala was a fundraiser to raise monies for agricultural scholarships and grants to help grow a new generation of farmers for Hawai‘i.

The top three finalists presented their business plans in front of judges for the $25,000 first place, $15,000 second place and $10,000 third place prizes. Judges include KS CEO Dee Jay Mailer; Kyle Datta, founding partner of Ulupono Initiative; Hamakua Springs Country Farms president, Richard Ha; KTA Super Stores’ Executive Vice President of Store Operations, Toby Taniguchi; and celebrity chef judge and owner of Town Restaurant, Ed Kenney.

Congratulations to:

  • First Place $25,000: Holoholo General Store – Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business producing vegetables in the cabbage family such as kale, broccoli rabe, and broccoli. Specialty fruit trees, mainly fig trees, will also be part of the 6-acre Pa‘ala‘a, O‘ahu farm.
  • Second Place $15,000: Kaunāmano Farms – Organic Berkshire piggery located on 9.5 acres in Pāhoehoe, Hawai’i that will implement a systems-based approach similar to Japanese methods of raising pigs.
  • Third Place $10,000: Mapulehu Farms – Organic mango farm offering agricultural farms tours to teach the community about Hawaiian-based farming practices and traditional varieties native to Mapulehu, Moloka‘i. Coconut, banana, taro, and sweet potato will also be added to the 43-acre mango orchard.

In an effort to increase Hawai‘i’s food production and help decrease dependency on imported foods, Kamehameha Schools and Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation teamed up to create the first Mahi‘ai Match-Up agricultural business plan contest hoping to attract experienced farmers with innovative ideas to grow food on vacant agricultural lands owned by Kamehameha Schools. The opportunity attracted 148 local farmers.

For more information regarding Kamehameha Schools partnering with others for a sustainable Hawai’i, visit

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