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GoFarm Hawaii seeks aspiring Hawaii Island farmers: Statewide program helps new producers succeed, improves local food security

Updated: 
August 22, 2017 - 12:55am

WAIMEA — The Kohala Center will once again serve as the host site for the second Hawaii Island cohort of the state’s largest farmer training program.

GoFarm Hawaii @ The Kohala Center will offer students classroom instruction, tours of local farms and hands-on experience in small-scale farming with support from UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Sponsored in part by United States Department of Agriculture, Ulupono Initiative, Kamehameha Schools and Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the program is divided into three phases starting with an AgCurious introductory informational session, followed by four AgXposure site visits.

AgXposure participants can then apply to AgSchool, an intensive, hands-on, five-month farmer training program.

Applicants interested in GoFarm Hawaii @ The Kohala Center are required to attend the free AgCurious session from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the North Hawaii Education and Research Center in Honokaa. AgCurious will provide an overview of the GoFarm program and the current state of farming in Hawaii.

Attendees who are interested in the full program can apply for AgXposure, a free four-session course that will meet on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sept. 30 through Oct. 21. The second phase of the GoFarm program gives participants a sense of the farming lifestyle and the essential knowledge areas required to succeed.

AgXposure students who demonstrate a sincere commitment to pursuing careers in farming will have the opportunity to apply for AgSchool, a hands-on, 17-week course starting Nov. 1 that meets from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings and 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturdays. Topics covered will include soil nutrients and plant health management, propagation, variety selection, farm equipment, irrigation, pest control, post-harvest storage and handling and food safety.

More information about GoFarm Hawaii is available online at gofarmhawaii.org/programs. Applicants can contact Derrick Kiyabu at derrick@gofarmhawaii.org to register.

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