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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 3:16 p.m., Friday, December 28, 2007

Kau coffee growers donate coffee to U.S. troops

Advertiser Staff

Ka'u coffee growers sent 375 pounds of coffee to the troops serving in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan this holiday season.

The coffee was delivered to the troops by Hawaii Air National Guard General Robert Lee during visits to the area last week.

"We wanted to give something back," explains John Ah San, a Ka'u coffee farmer who has led the gift-giving effort. "We are thankful every day for the sacrifice of the men and women who serve so bravely in our Armed Forces. They are especially on our minds during this holiday season."

In December 1997 Ka'u coffee growers received their first reimbursement for the Ka'u Coffee project from the Rural Economic Transition Assistance Hawai'i program. The program assisted in the transition from plantation agriculture to diversified agriculture by funding agricultural infrastructure and demonstration projects. Ka'u coffee farmers, many of them ex-sugar plantation workers, receive the assistance for clearing land and planting coffee on land once used to grow sugar cane.

Ka'u Farm and Ranch Company, LLC, the land management company that oversees most of the coffee acreage in Ka'u, helped by providing logistical support, and subsidized the processing of the coffee in concert with Greenwell Farms in Kona.