The Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai‘i (ALFH) has opened 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 are posted on ALFH’s website here. The application deadline is March 2.
“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 current board President of ALFH.
The ALP will commence in May 2015 and conclude in October 2016. It is composed of a series of seven seminars and a two-week national trip. The four-day seminars are held around the State about every eight weeks. 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 aquaponics specialist at Mari’s Gardens.
“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.
Tuition is $5,000, which is roughly one-quarter of the estimated value of the program. Scholarships are available for applicants with financial hardships, made possible by generous donors.
The ALP has been conducted since 1982 and this is its 15th class. Over the past 30 years, the more than 165 ALP graduates have come from various agriculture and natural resources-related backgrounds from across the state and many have become known leaders in their respective industry.
“This program has provided me with many advantages, from developing more confidence in my area of work and in group situations, to understanding styles of communication to work towards facilitation and better listening,” said Lisa Zeman, recent graduate and manager of the agricultural park at Kunia.
The ALFH, a Hawai‘i not-for-profit organization founded in 1982, was established to develop and support effective leaders in the agricultural industry, through a multi-disciplinary leadership training program. ALFH is also a host of the Statewide Agriculture Conference that features training and networking opportunities for all of Hawaii’s agricultural sectors. For more information call Lisa Soong at (808) 947-2914.