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  • Pacific Biodiesel

Pacific Biodiesel, Mana‘o Radio present live concert event to support Hawaii’s food security

Michael Elam, Manaʻo Radio board president, left, stands with Kelly and Bob King, Pacific Biodiesel’s founders, in a blooming sunflower field at the Kings’ farm in Maui’s Central Valley, where this benefit concert will be held Earth Day, April 22. (Photo: Mike Sidney Photography)

Pacific Biodiesel founders Bob and Kelly King announced March 15 they will partner for a second consecutive year with Mana‘o Radio KMNO 91.7 FM to present a benefit farm tour and festival event, this time supporting the critical issue of food security in Hawaii.

The “Sunflower Farm Music Fest” will take place in a blooming field of sunflowers at the Kings’ family farm in Maui’s Central Valley on Earth Day—Saturday, April 22—from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets went on sale March 15 and are $100 each, and they must be purchased online in advance at or

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Funds raised will support the nonprofit Hawaii Good Food Alliance for its Hawaii Food Hub Hui, a collaboration of 14 food hubs across five Hawaiian islands that provides vital support to small- and medium-sized local farms by working to aggregate, store, process and distribute locally grown, culturally preferred foods to Hawaii’s residents.

The event will also raise funds for nonprofit Mana‘o Radio, Maui’s only independent, commercial- free, all-volunteer radio station.

Focused on helping local farmers produce and earn more, Hawaii Food Hub Hui has a goal to triple the output of Hawaii’s food hubs by 2025—an increase of local production and sales for Hawaii’s food system that generates more revenue for local farmers.

This daylong festival will directly support the Hawaii Food Hub Hui’s 2023 target to raise $3 million to fund high-priority needs identified by Hawaii’s food hubs, including supply-chain logistics such as refrigerated delivery trucks, construction of walk-in freezers and other storage at food-hub warehouses, and processing equipment for value-added food products that help farmers expand their revenue potential and minimize food waste.

The Sunflower Farm Music Fest is inspired by last year’s “A Concert for Ukraine in the Maui Sunflowers” presented by Pacific Biodiesel and Mana‘o Radio, an all-day event featuring Maui musicians, which raised $72,000 for UNICEF USA to support children in Ukraine during the wartime crisis. The event, which sold out in less than two weeks, was held at the Kings’ Maui farm where 35 acres of sunflowers—the national flower of Ukraine—were in full bloom.

“In early 2022, we already had sunflower seeds in the ground when Russia invaded Ukraine,” said Kelly King. “The concert event at our farm was a way for the community to come together to stand up against the tyrannic attacks on innocent civilians. This time, the urgent and important cause is right here at home—food security. Hawaii is the most isolated population on the planet, making our food supply extraordinarily vulnerable to supply-chain disruptions, natural disasters and other emergencies. It is critical to support our local farmers and local food producers. We hope our event helps put the spotlight on Hawaii’s food hubs and accelerates the fundraising movement by Hawaii Food Hub Hui to make a significant impact on our island state’s food security.”

Maui musicians scheduled to perform at this event include George Kahumoku Jr., Drew Martin, Benny Uyetake, Sting Kong, Soul Kitchen, Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band, The Lonely Hearts-Beatles and Beyond, and Marty Dread with Gretchen Rhodes and The House Shakers. Following a blessing by Lei‘ohu Ryder, Mana‘o Radio DJs will emcee the event.

Sponsors Hawaiian Electric, Maui Tropical Planation, Fairmont Kea Lani, King Power, Michael and Deborah Rybak, Pacific Current, Gay & Robinson and Maui Screen Printing are covering event expenses, allowing 100 percent of ticket sales and other event proceeds to benefit the participating nonprofits.

During this event, attendees will be able to view the sunflowers, take part in farm tours and visit the on-site Farm Stand to purchase products manufactured from local, sustainable farming operations, including Maiden Hawaii Naturals culinary oils and Kuleana® cosmetic (including CBD) products.

Scheduled farm tours during the event will be provided by Hawaii Tours, whose team will drive guests around the blooming sunflower field in biodiesel-fueled vans.

Booths will be hosted by participating nonprofits to share information about their organizations.

Food partners, including Moku Roots and ʻĀina Tacos, will sell menu items prepared with Maiden Hawaii Naturals culinary oils and other local ingredients. Unique food experiences during the event will showcase the food-hub model.

Custom festival T-shirts will be sold online in advance and at the event. Event proceeds will benefit the cause.

“Our partnership with Pacific Biodiesel for last year’s Concert for Ukraine was a gamechanger for Mana‘o Radio,” said Michael Elam, board president of Mana‘o Radio. “We rallied in just over a month’s time to coordinate the entire lineup of musicians, sound engineers and other volunteers. Shortly thereafter we were asked by St. John’s Episcopal Church to do the same thing for their Kula Festival. That’s when we realized, we’re good at this, and it fits squarely in Mana‘o Radio’s mission as a community radio station—to bring people together in a shared love of music to benefit our Maui community. This year, we’re honored to partner again with Pacific Biodiesel to support this important food-security cause as we mark our station’s 21st anniversary.”

Also participating in the event will be volunteers from the American Red Cross Maui chapter, who will help staff the event, host the medic tent and provide information for the general public about disaster preparedness in Hawaii, an island state uniquely vulnerable to food-supply disruptions.

Only ticket holders will be admitted to the event. Parking is a $5-per-car cash donation at the gate and will benefit the Red Cross. A complimentary cut-sunflower bloom will be given with each parking donation. Due to limited parking at the farm, carpooling is encouraged. Vehicles must enter the farm through the main gate located on Honoapi‘ilani Highway just north of the Kuihelani Highway intersection. As a reminder, the state has posted no parking signs on both highways along the perimeter of the farm.

Seating under the event tent will be provided. To minimize waste, visitors are requested to bring their own water bottle to refill at complimentary water stations on site. No alcohol or coolers are allowed. This zero-waste event will be supported by Maui Huliau Foundation. Due to the outdoor farm environment, visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes, a hat and reef-safe sunscreen. No pets or strollers please.

For more information, go to or or call 808-866-5101.

Founded on Maui in 1995, Pacific Biodiesel is the nation’s longest operating and most experienced biodiesel producer, and the only commercial producer of liquid biofuels in the state. With nearly 100 employees statewide, Pacific Biodiesel established the first retail biodiesel pump in America and for more than 28 years has been an innovative leader in the renewable energy industry.

With a nameplate production capacity of 5.5 million gallons annually, the company’s refinery on Hawaii Island utilizes advanced technology to produce premium distilled biodiesel.

The company has always focused on recycling with a zero-waste philosophy that incorporates development of value-added coproducts. Today, Pacific Biodiesel’s collaborative, community-based “agriculture and energy” production model demonstrates a circular-economy approach to fighting climate change and helps Hawaii achieve a clean, sustainable energy future.

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