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Class Participants and their companies at the start of the class:

  • Gabriel Audant*, Maui Yeshe Group – Managing Partner. Born in Haiti, Gabriel has a business degree from Puerto Rico and graduate education in economics from UC Berkeley. He enjoys helping aspiring farmers move from dream to sustainability through the delivery of customized Ag Entrepreneurship Training Programs and the incubation of socially beneficial enterprises. From 2000 to 2004 he was Project Manager for the Molokai Ag Development Program
  • Harry S. Cambra, Hawaii Commercial & Sugar – Crop Maintenance & Seed Farm Manager. Alumni of University of Wyoming. With HC&S over 20 years, Harry manages the Crop Protection Chemicals and growing of seed for the 36,000 acre plantation. He is a Board of Director for the MCFB and the Hawaii Sugar Technologist, member of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association and a volunteer leader with the 4-H Livestock Programs.
  • Doug Conners, Tropical Sales – Community activist for the Hamakua Coast and General Manager of Tropical Sales. Doug has a M.S. in systems management from USC and a B.S. in business from University of Maryland. He retired from the US Air Force in 1993. He is currently treasurer of the Laupahoehoe Train Museum where he promotes his interests of education, economic and community development.
  • Mark Cummings, Hawaiian Earth Products – Business Analyst, Staff Agronomist. Mark is a graduate of West Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Agronomy. Since 1983, he has worked as an agricultural production and business consultant identifying management strategies and developing operational systems for crop and livestock operations. As a member of the Hawaiian Earth Products team, Mark’s duties include conducting compost research trials and educational seminars.
  • Diana Duff, Hawaii Island Landscape Association, Education Director for Kona Outdoor Circle and Hawaii Island Landscape Association as well as a farm lease-holder. Diana holds a partial A.A. in Horticulture, a M.S. in Education and is a Certified Landscape Technician. She is actively involved in HILA, past president of the Hawaii Professional Gardener’s Association and a member of the Farmer’s Alliance. She also runs an organic coffee farm in Captain Cook.
  • Ranae Ganske-Cerizo, USDA-NRCS – Resource Conservationist. Ranae provides technical assistance in the development, application and maintenance of conservation measures on private lands, grows wetland taro and provides agricultural career based education to students. She obtained a B.S. in Tropical Agriculture and a State of Hawaii Teachers Certification. She is a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and Asian Pacific Islanders Organization.
  • James Henderson*, Pu‘u O Hoku Ranch – Farm Foreman. Jim has worked at Pu`u O Hoku Ranch, on Moloka’i, as a farmer since 1992 with some success growing and marketing `awa and papaya, and building a certified kitchen . His personal vision includes the renaissance of agriculture on Molokai, the growth of sustainable agriculture in the State, and the promotion of local consumption of food for security and the health of people.
  • Kevin Kinvig, USDA-NRCS. Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Coordinator for NRCS on O`ahu. Kevin’s job supports community groups in achieving their water management, community development, land conservation or environmental enhancement goals. Previously, Kevin was a watershed planner with NRCS in our Pacific Basin office.   Responsibilities included agricultural water supply projects and a variety of water quality projects.
  • Marla McCasland, Hawaiian FlowersOwner/Operator of Hawaiian Flowers.  Marla has a 12,000 sq. ft. green house in full production with potted orchids. The business also grows cut flowers, tropicals and protea. Her farm hosts tourists and larger groups. She belongs to many floral industry organizations and flower arranging groups. She served 2 years on the HOGA Board of Directors and graduated from UH Hilo with a B.S. in Tropical Horticulture in 1996.
  • John J. McHugh, Jr., Pioneer Hi-Bred, Int. and o-owner of Crop Care Hawaii, LLC a private crop consulting firm. John has an M.S. in Horticulture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Ph.D. in Entomology from Purdue University. As chair of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation Environmental Stewardship Committee John was co-recipient of EPA Region IX 2003 Environmental Award for Outstanding Achievement.
  • Steven Raymond, Hawaii Commercial & SugarManager, Specialty Sugar Operations. HC&S is a 37,000-acre sugar plantation located on Maui that produces both commercial grade sugar for future refining and food-grade sugar for direct consumption and food processing. Steven has a B.S. in Business Administration. He is the Maui Chapter president of the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association.
  • Liz Ronaldson, Growing Greens Nursery Owner. For ten years, Liz has been providing landscape material on a wholesale and retail basis. Liz has a A.S. in Ornamental Horticulture. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of Kauai County Farm Bureau and the Rotary Club of Kapaa is a member of the Kauai Landscape Industry Council, Kauai Agriculture Advisory Committee and the SCBM Council of Kapaa Elementary School.
  • Alan Takemoto, Executive Director, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation. Alan was recently appointed as Executive Director for the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation. Previously, he was in charge of the Farm Bureau’s government and community relations.  Alan is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and received his B.A. in Political Science. His administrative duties are wide-ranging from addressing various regulatory and legislative mandates to promoting Hawaii’s agricultural industry.