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About Maui County

Maui County covers 1,171 square miles, with many scenic vistas including the summit of Haleakala, verdant pastures above the central Maui isthmus filled with sugar cane, gentle landscapes of Lanai and Molokai that are reflected in the relaxed lifestyle of residents, and of course the wonderful beaches and resorts of on all three islands. Maui County has 210 miles of coastline, some of it home to the finest surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing spots in the world.

In 2004, the population was about 140,000, with the ethnic distribution being: White 34%, Asian 31%, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 11%, Hispanic/Latino 8%, and persons belonging to two or more races 22%. As for Hawaii in general, Maui’s population consists of one of the most diverse in our country.

Maui County is a dynamic, rapid developing county. During the past decade, Maui County's communities have experienced transitions with shifts in the economic foundation from agriculture to tourism. Still, Maui County produces about one-quarter of the state’s agricultural output. Economic and social change have and continue to impact the social structure and highlight the need for human resource programs that build strong family units and enable individuals to participate in community decisions that will impact their future.

Maui County produces about one-quarter of the state’s agricultural output, about $162 million. Transferring technology to Maui County's agricultural industry remains a major role for CTAHR. Tropical agriculture programs remain to target vegetable, fruit, and flower producers, livestock producers as well as landscapers and farm/commodity organizations. Additionally, homeowners get expert help from the Cooperative Extension faculty and from Master Gardener program volunteers.

Maui is the only island in the State where sugar and pineapple are still alive and well. The seed corn industry is also thriving on Maui and Molokai, with Monsanto and Mycogen growing year round crops.  Production of biofuels may be in Maui’s future with both Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company and Maui Electric Company contemplating production and use, respectively. The Maui Cattle Company has a grass finished beef product in high demand, and its continuing success is important to many ranches and our vast pasture land. Diversified agriculture remains strong in other areas, including vegetables, flowers, fruits, and the significant landscape, turf and ornamental production.

Cooperative Extension and the Maui Agricultural Research Center have been part of Maui County for decades. Today the county is served by Cooperative Extension agents specializing in range and pasture production, weed management, vegetable and melon crops, turf grass, ornamental and flower production, soil fertility and plant nutrition. Our Nutrition Educator focuses on preventing obesity in children and promotes healthy eating, as well as food safety. The 4-H / Youth Development program stresses citizenship, leadership, and life skills for our youth. We also have Intergenerational Programs to meet the increasing challenges and demands faced by our youth and elderly populations. CTAHR’s researchers in Maui County devote their efforts to developing new varieties of protea, overcoming disease and insect problems of tomatoes, onions and taro, and on developing efficient nutrient management systems for the ornamental and greenhouse producers.

For Maui County to be competitive in the global economy, the continuous discovery of knowledge, development of technology, and transfer of science-based information is essential. The science and technology necessary to support economic activities in the county’s unique setting are not readily transferable, making a state-assisted research and learning program essential to enable our agriculture to be economically viable, environmentally compatible, and sustainable for rural communities and families.