East Hawaii News

Kokubun Retiring; Enright New Head of Hawaii Ag Department

December 26, 2013, 3:32 PM HST
* Updated December 27, 9:26 AM
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Known for a variety of farming, the Big Island is turning out to be a top producer of agriculture administrators, too.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced that Scott Enright will be taking over as the head of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Enright, who lives in Ookala, is replacing current DOA director Russell Kokubun.

Kokubun, a Volcano resident, and former state senator and chairman of the Hawaii County Council, is retiring at the end of the year.


Russell Kokubun, the outgoing head of the state Department of Agriculture. File photo.

The head of the state Department of Agriculture also serves as the chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.

Enright has been serving as Kokubun’s deputy since February 2012. In that post he administered the DOA’s divisions of Plant Industry and Agricultural Development, managed the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant funding program, and directed Human Resources.

He also directed bio-security programs, led initiatives to revitalize the state’s livestock industry with special focus on developing dairy industry and grass-fed beef industry, and provided direction for improving infrastructure for irrigation systems statewide, Abercrombie said in a press release today.

Enright previously served as cultivation and irrigation superintendent for the Hamakua Sugar Co. He also previously worked as a consultant for the Hawaii Sustainable Agriculture Renewable Energy Project as well as the project manager for the ITC Water Management Inc. and orchard superintendent for Kilauea Agronomics, both of which are located on Kauai.

His experience also includes serving as a former chair and current ex officio member representing the DOA on the board of the Agribusiness Development Corporation.

He has also served as:

  • Past member of the Governor’s Council of Neighbor Islands Advisors for East Hawaii, during which he championed sustainable energy with emphasis on sustainable bioenergy fuel stock
  • Past member of the Community Development Plan Steering Committee for the Hamakua District
  • Past chair of the Hawaii County Environmental Management Commission
  • Past member of the Hilo-Hamakua Community Development Corporation Board
  • Member and founding president of the Ookala Community Association

Enright earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

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