On October 7, 2016, our last day of instruction, we met with Peter Adler to revisit our visions of Hawai’i agriculture in the future and compare it to what we envisioned when we started the program in May 2015. Some things were the same but there were clearly more informed perspectives having gone through this 16 month program. Seeing how many of our own cohort members faced job changes during this time period, we knew that agriculture has changed and will continue to change. Some predictions were sobering, yet others held promise, especially if we can adapt and use our collective strengths and wisdom to chart a new course for agriculture that has the backing of government, business, and community.
We closed out the day by making our Capstone project presentations. It was great to see and hear about the diversity of projects, ranging from studying the feasibility of composting a valley-full of invasive species, to using video media to bolster the cattle industry, to growing the great white “polar bear” pumpkin! We all stretched our minds and comfort zones — and learned that we all have creative juices flowing. Most of these Capstone projects will turn into fully fledged projects in the near future, which is very exciting, indeed!