Living808: Haleiwa, Molokai farms honored for conservation efforts
As a sustainable agricultural company, Monsanto Hawaii knows the importance of protecting our wildlife and preserving their habitat for the future.
Monsanto’s Haleiwa farm recently received the prestigious “Wildlife at Work” certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for conservation efforts at its Haleiwa farm. In 2015, Monsanto Hawaii was the first organization in the state to achieve WHC recognition with the certification of its Molokai farm.
“At Monsanto, one of our fundamental goals is to create and maintain flourishing wildlife habitats on our farms across the state,” said Caleb Dohrman, operations manager at Monsanto Hawaii’s Haleiwa Farm. “We are honored to be recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council for our conservation practices and we could not have done it without the commitment and passion of our team.”
The WHC is a national organization that partners with corporations, their employees, fellow conservation organizations, government agencies and community members to recognize and encourage wildlife habitat projects for conservation and education. A member since 1989, Monsanto has been working with the WHC on efforts to improve the wildlife habitats on its farms.
“Wildlife conservation is critical to the health and stability of our ecosystems and as part of our island community and stewards of the land, we take this responsibility seriously,” added Dohrman.
Monsanto Hawaii has implemented and maintains many wildlife conservation practices at its Haleiwa farm. The programs reviewed and certified by the WHC include:
- Honey Bee Program: Monsanto Hawaii has partnered with Project Apis m., Honey Bee Advisory Council, Beeologics LLC and BioDirect Technology to protect bee hives and promote bee health. Honey bees pollinate more than one-third of the world’s crops, playing a vital role in agriculture.
- Monarch Butterfly Program: Through Monsanto Hawaii’s monarch butterfly program, nearly 100 thriving crown flower (Calotropis gigantea) plants have been added to the Haleiwa farm in an effort to increase the butterfly’s milkweed habitat, an important source of food for the monarch caterpillar.
- Pollinator Berms Program: In collaboration with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D), and West Oahu Soil and Water Conservation District, Monsanto Hawaii has constructed pollinator berms to eliminate soil erosion, reduce runoff, attract beneficial insects, and maintain a strong balance of ecological diversity within the fields.
- Soil Conservation Plan: Monsanto Hawaii farms operate under a conservation plan developed in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). The purpose is to manage rain water runoff by constructing vegetative terraces, grassed waterways and sediment basins.
- Sunn Hemp Program: Monsanto Hawaii has partnered with the Oahu Resource & Development Council (RC&D) to plant sunn hemp, a widely used and tested cover crop, which has proven to improve soil, prevent erosion, conserve soil water, recycle plant nutrients and suppress weed growth.
- Native Species Conservation: Kamehameha Schools has leased more than 1,000 acres of their land in Haleiwa to Monsanto Hawaii to be used for agricultural farming. Monsanto Hawaii has dedicated a portion of this land to cultivate and protect native species as well as maintain a refuge for pollinators and beneficial insects. There are currently 27 plant species found at Monsanto’s Haleiwa farm, many of which are native to the Hawaiian Islands, including the yellow hibiscus.
Dohrman and Molokai's Kali Arce were interviewed on KHON's Living 808 about recieving the honor.
Monsanto was the first company in Hawaii to receive this national recognition. #HawaiiAg #MonsantoHawaii