KS, Pauahi Foundation announce 2017 Mahiai Scale-Up semifinalists

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Brandon Lee (pictured) and Ka‘ikena Scanlan operate Kaunāmano Farm in Hilo, and raise Berkshire hogs through a holistic approach predicated on pasture management and rotational open-air grazing. The operation was named one of the three finalists for the 2017 Mahi‘ai Scale-Up grand prize of 20,000, which will be awarded on Wednesday, Nov.1.

KS, Pauahi Foundation announce 2017 Mahi‘ai Scale-Up semifinalists

To showcase Kamehameha Schools’ agricultural initiatives and highlight the stellar farmers and entrepreneurs currently utilizing the ‘āina, KS and the Pauahi Foundation (PF) are taking the successful Mahiʻai Match-Up agricultural business plan contest to the next level via Mahi‘ai Scale-Up. Awards will be presented on Wednesday, Nov. 1 as part of the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival’s “Raw & Wild in the Tank” event at Our Kaka‘ako.

KS stewards some of the most fertile and valuable agricultural land in Hawai‘i and is engaged in an ongoing effort to lease those lands to talented farmers in support of the state’s sustainable agriculture movement, and ongoing education and training for this new generation of farmers.  

Mahi‘ai Scale-Up targets seasoned individuals and entities within the agricultural industry and challenges them to expand their operations by implementing a new program or initiative that enhances the business.

The Scale-Up concept builds upon the foundation of Mahi‘ai Match-Up, which over the past several years, has awarded five-year agreements to seven startups that utilize KS lands and seed money to execute the strategies and initiatives presented in their business plans. Through this important program, KS plays a major role in decreasing Hawai‘i’s dependence on imported food and agriculture products.

KS and PF thank and acknowledge partner sponsors: ‘āina sponsor Cades Schutte LLP; wai sponsors Ulupono Initiative, King’s Hawaiian and Carlsmith Ball; and mahi‘ai sponsors R.M. Towill Corporation and Alston, Hunt, Floyd & Ing.

“Kamehameha Schools continues to look toward balancing its stewardship of approximately 364,000 acres of land to support its educational mission of serving Native Hawaiians and communities across Hawai‘i,” said KS Senior Land Asset Manager Kalani Fronda. “As a large agricultural landowner, KS believes in supporting Hawai‘i’s food security initiatives and stimulating the economy by increasing the number of local agricultural producers.”

The Mahiʻai Scale-Up semifinalists are:

‘Aina Pono Livestock & Land Maintenance LLC, a Hilo-based company that raises goats and sheep for food consumption and to keep as pets

Island Mana‘ia LLC, which specializes in the production of value-added cassava snack products and is based in Hawai‘i Kai

Ka Papa O He‘e Kalo, a cultivator of kalo (taro), ‘awa and cacao via modern and traditional farming practices based in Punalu‘u, O‘ahu

Kaunāmano Farm, a Hilo-based producer of Berkshire hogs and previous Mahi‘ai Match-Up winner that uses a holistic approach predicated on pasture management and rotational open-air grazing

Keiki and Plow, a farm in Hawai‘i Kai that grows a variety of organic vegetables and fruits in addition to offering organic eggs through immersive agriculture, and

Māla Kalu‘ulu, a cooperative business located in Ke‘ei, Hawai‘i, and previous Mahi‘ai Match-Up winner that cultivates ‘ulu (breadfruit) and ‘ōlena (turmeric) and farms via principles developed by Hawaiians applied to contemporary agriculture.

Judges will select three finalists who will present their scaled-up business plans at the Raw & Wild in the Tank event in a “Shark Tank-style” pitch. The grand prize winner will receive $20,000 to use towards implementing its plan, while another business will receive the People’s Choice Award of $10,000 based on live, real-time voting by event attendees.

“Financial support through the Mahi‘ai Scale-Up awards helps local agriculture producers and directly increases food production on KS ‘āina,” said Pauahi Foundation Director Tara Wilson. “Thanks to funds raised with our partner sponsors, we are able to provide scholarships for new and innovative agricultural leaders. Without the partnership of other like-minded organizations and individuals, our impact would be limited.

August 04, 2016

Mahi‘ai Match-Up Contest winners share $35,000 in seed money

The Mahi‘ai Match-Up Agricultural Business Plan Contest and Mahiʻai Mentorship are helping KS find talented, innovative farmers who want to grow food and help decrease Hawai‘i’s dependency on imports.

June 30, 2016

Mahiʻai Match-Up selects farming finalists

Two finalists have been selected in the 2016 Mahiʻai Match-Up agricultural business plan contest dedicated to supporting Hawaiʻi’s sustainable food movement. Tickets and sponsorships for the July 30 Mahiʻai Match-Up Fundraiser Gala are available at www.pauahi.org.

May 04, 2016

Mahiʻai Match-Up cultivates local farmers

The Mahiʻai Match-Up agricultural business plan contest supports Hawaiʻi's sustainable food movement. Find out what the contest's past winners are doing now!

January 26, 2016

Mahiʻai Match-Up agricultural business plan contest seeks innovative farmers

KS and the Pauahi Foundation invite farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural entrepreneurs to enter the contest, which will award $35,000 in seed money! The entry deadline is Feb. 29.

February 28, 2015

Mahi‘ai Match-Up contest winners share $40,000 in seed money

Two budding young businesses will share $40,000 in seed money as the winners of the Mahi‘ai Match-Up Agricultural Business Plan Contest sponsored by KS and the Pauahi Foundation.

July 01, 2014

Mahi‘ai Match-Up sows seeds of sustainability among island farmers

KS and Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation are sowing seeds of sustainability among farmers by sponsoring Mahi‘ai Match-Up, an agricultural business plan contest aimed at decreasing the state’s dependence on imported food. Business plan summaries are being accepted through August 15, 2014.

February 24, 2014

Mahi‘ai Match-Up winners share $50,000 in seed money

The KS contest is aimed at increasing the state's food production and decreasing its dependency on imported foods. Winners also received five years of waived rent on KS land.

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