Recruitment for the Agricultural Leadership Program Class XVI is NOW OPEN! Have you been thinking of applying or do you know someone else who may be interested? Find out the details about the program. Deadline for applications to be received is January 29, 2018.
The Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai‘i (ALFH) will soon open recruitment for its new class of leadership training. Applicants statewide are sought for the 16 month Agricultural Leadership Program (ALP) that provides leadership training for people committed to strengthening agriculture in Hawai‘i. Recruitment information and application forms will be posted on ALFH’s website in December of 2017. The application deadline will be January 29, 2018.
“Hawai‘i agriculture faces many challenges, but none as threatening as our inability to organize into a cohesive force and single voice. If you are a farmer, rancher, landscaper, or agricultural business person, the best investment you will ever make is the time you spend as a student in the Agricultural Leadership Program,” said Mark Cummings, Business Analyst and Staff Agronomist at Hawaiian Earth Products, ALP graduate, and past board President of ALFH.
The ALP will commence in May 2018 and conclude in November 2019. It is composed of a series of seven seminars and a two-week national trip. The four-day seminars are held around the State (see tentative schedule on application). The core curriculum includes training in group process and facilitation, expertly led by Donna Ching, retired Extension Specialist of the University of Hawai‘i. Educational field trips to farms, ranches, aquaculture and ag-forestry businesses, nurseries, watershed protection areas, cultural projects and other rural community endeavors are also essential to the program. The national trip includes one week in Washington, D.C. to study national and international issues, and one week in another state (of the class’ choice) to be exposed to agricultural and rural community systems.
“My time in the Ag Leadership Program has certainly opened my eyes to the diversity of agriculture in Hawai‘i, along with its many challenges and opportunities. I feel much more connected to agriculture in this state now, and have a sense that I can realistically make a positive difference in shaping some of its direction,” said Bradley Kai Fox, ALP graduate and Aquaculture/Agriculture Operations Manager for Kualoa Ranch.
“This program combines strong leadership content with exposure to organizations, agricultural operations and community networks, helping participants develop their path toward becoming the innovative problem-solvers and leaders that are critically needed in Hawai‘i today” said Pauline Sato, Program Director.
“Lucky We Live Hawai’i” is the phrase that lived up to its promise on graduation day, October 8, 2016. We were treated to a gorgeous setting courtesy of Kualoa Ranch and soon-to-be graduated Taylor Kellerman, who works as the Director of Diversified Agriculture and Land Stewardship at Kualoa. It was a beautiful day, accented by the fresh tropical flowers and delicious farm/ranch/ocean – to – table meal prepared by Chef Kealoha Domingo.
The graduation program included presentations by alumni Ron Weidenbach and Alika Napier, who were invited by current class members Taylor Kellerman and Carolyn Unser. They created a new format for graduation as part of their Capstone project. It worked!
Nearly all of the ingredients of this meal were donated by farmers and ranchers close to the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai’i, including: Kualoa Ranch, Paniolo Cattle Company, and Small Kine Farm. Chef Domingo certainly outdid himself. What an amazing treat!
Everyone, including new graduates, alumni, Directors of the Board, and family members went home with smiles and full bellies, thanks to the people behind agriculture in Hawai’i.
Congratulations, Class XV! Be the champions of ag and continue to do good for all of Hawai’i nei!
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!
We started the day (very hot by the way!!) touring at Blue Ocean Mariculture. Robyn Korte (Fish Hatchery Manager) showed us the hatching process of the delicious Kona Kampachi. It is very impressive the work done at the facility.
Second stop was at Kaʻūpūlehu Cultural Center. We met with Auntie Leinaala Lightner and talked story about the “Try Wait Initiative” implementation until now. It was very inspiring to hear about the project of 10-year rest period for Kaʻūpūlehu’s reefs.
We started our bee and honey session with a tour at Kona Queen Hawaiʻi which was founded in 1975. Gus Rouse, owner of Kona Queen Hawaiʻi showed us how to raise Queen Bees to be shipped to all over the country and also internationally. It is really amazing to learn all the hard work they put in to have a high quality bee.
Last stop of the day was at Big Island Bees. The owners Whendi Grad and Garnet Puett gave us a tour at their facility where they receive the hives and bottle the honey. Also, right on the side we visited the museum and tasting room where we could see production tools, hives, “Bee art”and also tasted many wonderful raw honey.