ALP Class XVI at Capitol Hill, September 2019

Jayme R. Barton 

Kunia Research Station Farm Manager

Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center, O‘ahu 

Jayme was born in Oregon and lived in California and Nevada before moving to Hawai‘i in 2004. She received a M.A. in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development with an emphasis in Environmental Policy from Hawai‘i Pacific University. She began her career in agricultural research at HARC in 2009 and currently manages the Kunia research farm in addition to providing agronomic consulting services to businesses throughout the state and abroad. Her research has focused on renewable energy crop development, soil health and conservation practices, carbon sequestration potential, and developing sources of locally produced animal feed. Jayme lives with her husband and puppy as caretakers on the 108-acre farm in Kunia and enjoys sailing, traveling and spending time in the water. 

Gene Ross K. Davis 

Hawai‘i Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Moloka‘i 

Acting Homestead District Supervisor 

Gene Ross was born and raised on Moloka‘i. He is a third generation Homesteader living a rural lifestyle of farming and gathering. He continues to practice the old traditions of the Hawaiian culture and provides for his family through subsistence and sustainable farming. Gene Ross graduated from Moloka‘i High School and attended Brigham Young University of Hawai‘i, graduating with a B.A. in Biological Science. Governor Ige appointed him as the Hawaiian Homes Commissioner to represent Molokai to work statewide on Hawaiian Home Land issues. In September 2017, he became the Acting Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Homestead District Supervisor, overseeing and managing day-to-day operations of the District Office. Prior to that, he was with the Department of Agriculture for 17 years, as a Livestock Inspector II. 

Yarrow Flower 

Land Asset Manager 

Bayer, Maui

Yarrow was raised in rural northern California and received a B.A. in Sociology from Humboldt State University. She has worked in agriculture and land use in Hawai‘i for more than 13 years and currently manages land and water resources for Bayer on the islands of Maui, Moloka‘i and O‘ahu. Her duties include strategic planning, managing tenant leases for local farmers, and supporting her company’s values of sustainable agriculture. Yarrow is passionate about volunteering in her community and serves as a board director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawai‘i and she chairs the Maui County Civil Service Commission. She enjoys gardening & beekeeping, hiking, and spending time at home in Makawao with her husband and 3 dogs.

Jonathan Ho 

Acting Manager 

Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture – Plant Quarantine Branch, O‘ahu 

Jonathan was born and raised on O‘ahu and received a B.S. in Plant and Environmental Protection Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His work involves regulating the importation of plants, plant parts, non-domestic animals, and microorganisms into the State to protect Hawaii’s agricultural and horticultural industries, environment, and natural resources, and to ensure human and animal health and safety. Jonathan enjoys spending his free time with his wife and son as well as collecting and propagating a wide range of ornamental plants. 

Brian Kau 

Administrator and Chief Engineer 

Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, O‘ahu 

Brian was born and raised in Honolulu. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering with areas of emphasis in geotechnical and environmental engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His position in the Department allows him to participate in policy making for the use of public land and water resources to promote the growth of diversified agriculture in Hawai‘i. Brian is also a certified substitute teacher for a low-income public school and an avid diy’er. When not working, Brian enjoys spending time with his family, woodworking, reading, exercising, and eating at dives. 

Will Lydgate

Owner and Manager 

Lydgate Farms, LLC., Kaua‘i 

Will was born in California to a family with agriculture on both sides: The Lydgates going back to Laupāhoehoe sugar plantation on Hawai‘i island in the 1870s, and the Hibbs family who raised corn and soybeans since the early 1900s in Iowa. Will grew up with a latent fascination for plants and agriculture and a thirst to discover his family’s Hawaiian history. Also, an accomplished musician, Will has a B.M. from Berklee College of Music in Boston and an M.M. from their Valencia, Spain campus. Will runs his family’s cacao operation — pioneers of ag-tourism in Hawai‘i, and is helping to show growers the important keys to profitability contained in value-added sales. Will is an accomplished public speaker and his TEDx talk ‘Changing the Way We Think About Chocolate’ sheds light on the specialty chocolate movement, which is based on fine flavor in chocolate growing and post-harvest processing. 

Julia Nemoto 

Farmer

Hawai‘i Island 

Julia is originally from Munich, Germany and received a B.S. in Horticultural Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan. She has production farming experience in Romania, Italy, France, Germany, and Hawai‘i. Julia served as one of Hawaii’s first FoodCorps service members at Māla‘ai – the Culinary Garden at Waimea Middle School. She is currently assisting the Discovery Garden at Kohala Elementary School to develop a food safety plan. Her hope is that an increasing amount of healthy and locally sourced food can be made available in Hawaii’s school cafeterias. Together with her husband, she is starting a cacao farm in Laupāhoehoe where they also grow a broad variety of fruits and vegetables. 

Richard “Buddy” Nichols 

FSA Farm Loan Manager 

USDA Farm Service Agency, Maui 

Buddy is a 4th generation farmer of fruits, vegetables, row crops, and livestock. He has a B.S. degree in Animal Science and M.B.A. in Accounting. Buddy has served on numerous local, state, and national farm-related boards of directors in the cooperative, association, and private sectors. In addition to supporting farmers in Maui County through federal loans, Buddy ensures that his family farm in Colorado remains in operation. 

Olelo pa‘a Faith Ogawa 

Chef, Life Coach, Educator 

Glow Hawaii, Inc., Hawai‘i Island 

Olelo pa‘a completed the Culinary Program at the University of Hawai‘i in the 1970s and has since become a highly sought-after private chef. Olelo pa‘a, a name bestowed upon her meaning “forever, the very spark of existence,” is recognized as one of the most steady and vigorous voices in support of Hawaii’s produce and ranch farming communities. Over the course of greater than 40 years, Olelo pa‘a has provided voluminous leadership skills to countless individuals seeking a better understanding of culinary excellence and how that can only be successful with a symbiotic relationship between farmers, ranchers and chefs. Olelo pa‘a is recognized as one of Hawaii’s coterie of pioneering and progressive chefs placing the cuisine of the Hawaiian Islands on the world culinary map and has recently expanded her gifts by becoming a holistic life coach. 

Nick Reppun 

Farm Manager 

Kāko‘o ‘Oiwi, O‘ahu 

Born and raised on O‘ahu, Nick has already had a lifetime of agricultural experience. Growing up on a highly diversified family farm gave Nick an intuitive understanding of cultivating and caring for the land. After graduating from Occidental College with a B.A. in Visual Arts, Nick’s creativity took root once again in agriculture, working on the family farm, running his own small nursery business, and later managing lo‘i kalo for Papahana Kuaola, a Native Hawaiian educational non-profit. Nick’s life then took him to New Hampshire, where for two years, he and his partner established and managed a diversified farm program for Sanborn Mills Farm, growing mixed vegetables, raising sheep, and making maple syrup. After spending 6 months travelling the US learning from and working with other farmers, Nick took up the position of Farm Manager for Kāko‘o ‘Oiwi. His current work focuses on wetland kalo production and agroforestry as part of a diversified system of agricultural, ecological and cultural restoration in He‘eia. 

Dana Sato 

Director, Asset Management (O‘ahu) 

Kamehameha Schools, O‘ahu 

Born on Wake Island, rooted on Maui, and living on O‘ahu, Dana earned a B.A. in Political Science from Gonzaga University and a Juris Doctorate from the William S. Richardson School of Law. She is a licensed real estate attorney with nearly 30 years of experience. Dana joined Kamehameha Schools as a Senior Counsel supporting Kamehameha Schools’ statewide ‘āina teams. In her current position, she oversees a team that manages the Schools’ agricultural, conservation, and residential lands on the islands of Maui, Molokai, Kauaʻi and Oʻahu. Dana’s passion is helping people to be successful and when it comes to ʻāina and agriculture, she’s always looking for opportunities to help farmers get to the “next level.” Dana also serves as a director on the board of the Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center. On most Saturdays, you will find her volunteering at Keiki O Ka ʻĀina’s Board & Stone classes, where she is helping to “build families” through cultural learning. 

Sarah Styan, Ph.D. 

Founder 

Kaua‘i Community Science Center, Kaua‘i

Sarah was born and raised in Massachusetts, growing up on her family’s small fruits nursery, Nourse Farms. Inc. Sarah has a BS in Plant Science from Cornell University, M.Sc. in Crop Science specializing in Plant Breeding from Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands, and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In 2019 Sarah founded SMNS, LLC and is starting a non-profit to develop a Kauaʻi Community Science Center in Waimea. She worked the last 17 years as a Scientist for Corteva Agriscience™ Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™, also in Waimea. Sarah worked at the Research Division of Ferry Morse Seed Company in San Juan Bautista, California for three years and she also worked as a post-doc at USDA-ARS Fruit Lab in Beltsville, MD prior to returning to Hawaiʻi and starting with then Pioneer on Kauaʻi in 2002. Sarah lives in Hanapēpē with her husband and 15-year-old daughter. She enjoys spending her free time with her family, gardening, and outrigger canoe paddling. 

Jonathan Tanouye 

Production Manager 

Green Point Nurseries, Inc., Hawai‘i Island 

Born and raised in East Hawai‘i of the Big Island of Hawai‘i, Jon received a B.S. in Agriculture, specializing in Tropical Horticulture from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. After graduation, Jon joined his family owned and operated nursery, Green Point Nurseries, located in Hilo, where he currently oversees production. As a third-generation nursery person, he hopes to continue the family business by promoting and sharing Hawai‘i Floriculture with Hawai‘i, the U.S., and the world. He also currently serves as the President of the Orchid Growers of Hawai‘i. 

Drew Wilkinson

Owner

Growing Together Fruit Tree Grafting

Drew grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida and graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Biology and Earth Science Education in 2006. He moved to Hawaii in 2008 and began studying and practicing permaculture design, installing edible landscapes, and volunteering as a lead designer with Permablitz Hawaii. Currently he is working on an urban agriculture project called Kaka’ako Ocean Friendly Garden and recently opened his own business based “Growing Together Fruit Tree Grafting.” Drew has a passion for surfing and cooking farm fresh local meals with friends.

View the Class XVI Video Slideshow of ALP Seminars below.

Class White Paper

Class Brochure

Capstone Project Presentations

Class XVI Final Update