homepage logo

Lineup announced for 2019 AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair

By Staff | May 23, 2019

The Grand Taste is set for 3 to 5 p.m. on June 1 at AgFest. Here are five of this year’s 12 chefs (from left): Jo Soeung of Bistro Molokini and Alvin Savella of Humuhumunukunukuapua‘a at Grand Wailea; Adam Rzeckowski of Merriman’s Kapalua; Abby Ferrer of Star Noodle; and Joey Macadangdang of Joey’s Kitchen.

WAILUKU – The hugely popular Maui County Agricultural Festival has a new name, new time and new venue in 2019 as it kicks off its 12th year in the community.

Renamed the Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair, the event now brings together two important agricultural celebrations in a larger venue at War Memorial Complex on Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Maui County Farm Bureau is pleased to partner with the Maui 4-H Livestock Program. The collaboration merges the livestock component of Upcountry Fair (formerly held at Oskie Rice Arena in mid-June) with AgFest, providing a more complete picture of agriculture’s essential role in the community. The county Office of Economic Development has supported the event since its inception.

The new expanded event, new venue and summer date will make this year’s AgFest extra special, said Warren Watanabe, executive director of the Maui County Farm Bureau.

“Bringing AgFest together with the 4-H Auction really makes a lot of sense in terms of broadening the public’s understanding of the importance of agriculture to our community,” Watanabe said. “We’re excited to share this major event with everyone, share some ag education and hopefully have a lot of fun in the process.”

The 4-H Livestock Show starts at 8 a.m., with the live auction starting at 1 p.m. in a large tent. Approximately 47 animals will be auctioned off, including steers, heifers, hogs, lambs and goats. All purchases support Maui 4-H youth and the agricultural program.

Winners from Maui move on to compete in the state competition on Oahu in July. Throughout the day, 4-H students will be competing in different competition classes to demonstrate what they’ve learned and accomplished. Interested buyers should register in advance; contact Charlene Sakamoto at chars1957@gmail.com.

A highlight of the event is the Maui Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast, sponsored once again by A&B Inc. More than just ‘ono pancakes and great local coffee, this fun morning brings the community together for a heartfelt tribute to island farmers for their lasting contribution to Maui ag. This year’s honorees include Keoki Freeland, Arthur DePonte and the Uradomo Family. Tickets for the breakfast are $10 for adults and $8 for keiki. Breakfast food will be prepared by Executive Chef Tylun Pang and the entire team at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. Coffee will be provided by Maria Holmes of OMA Coffee Roasters.

Another highlight is Grand Taste, one of the event’s most popular attractions, showcasing a fantastic lineup this year of five female chefs and seven past winners. For the price of a ticket, attendees get to taste these locavore chefs’ interpretations of Maui’s famed regional cuisine, and then vote on their favorites. Grand Taste will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets are available online for $30 until midnight on May 31, and $40 onsite. Sponsored by the Ulupono Initiative, attendees have an opportunity to interact with Maui chefs who buy local ingredients first and do their part to support a thriving local ag industry on Maui.

This year, there’s a focus on vegetables as a main dish. The chefs will serve dishes families may enjoy for dinner or add to a potluck.

The full rainbow of Maui’s agricultural bounty will be on display at the Grown on Maui Farmers Market. Vendors present their produce in smaller tents by ag sector – coffee, pineapple, cacao, taro, flowers and more – along with demonstrations of ku’i (poi pounding) and lei-making. Purchase fresh goods and talk story with the folks who keep Maui’s land productive and growing. The farmers market is sponsored once again by Bayer, crops science of Maui.

For sure, no one will leave AgFest hungry! Two popular food trucks will draw fans. Maui Fresh Streatery features locally raised beef, caught fish and fresh produce, and Three’s Restaurant offers seafood, sushi and creative takes on classics. Attendees can also choose from food booths offering Maui Cattle Co. grass-fed beef burgers, Roselani ice cream, chow fun, poke bowls, smoked meat plates, kalua pig and poi, soups and sandwiches, cupcakes and sweets, lemonade and more. A new vendor from Lahaina, Moku, will serve taro burgers, poi poppers, summer rolls, a vegan burrito, and breakfast burrito with eggs in the morning.

The “Keiki Zone” will have tractors on display, face painting, jugglers, stilt walkers and a magic show, along with a livestock exhibit (but no horseback rides this year) and family-friendly food. Haleakala Ranch will demonstrate koa seed making.

Live music on the entertainment stage and great giveaways throughout the day promise to keep the excitement going.

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources returns with a variety of information and educational stations, including Fruit Fly Demo; Plant Disease Clinic; Bugs Up Close; Virtual Reality or Grow; Eat, Think Local; and Produce Taste Tests. CTAHR will be joined by Maui nonprofits, and state and county agencies at the Educational/Informational Tent.

Admission to AgFest is free. Parking is $5 per car in the football and baseball stadium lot, the lawn fronting the Boys & Girls Club, Keopulani Skate Park lot, and War Memorial Gym and Sakamoto Pool parking lot. Handicapped parking will be available in the gym lot.

For a schedule of events and more information, follow the Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair on Facebook and Instagram. Tickets for Grand Taste and Maui Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast are available for purchase at Eventbrite.