Jan 28, 2014

Kaua`i CC Helps Make Farming a Dream Come True on Kaua`i

Are you interested in farming? Do you dream of being a full-time or part-time farmer or want to expand a garden hobby into a supplemental income-producing farm? To explore options and possibilities that will help turn your dream into a reality, Kaua`i CC invites members of the Garden Island community to its Free session launch, “Farm Dreams,” to be held February 4, 2014, from 5:30 pm in OCET 106 C/D. 

The program will feature talk-story time with seasoned successful island farmers: Jerry Ornellas of Jerry’s Farm; Tim O’Connor of Olana Farm; Lisa Fuller of One Song Farm, and Ned Whitlock of Moloa`a Organica`a Farm, who will each share their experience of how they got started, what is involved in farming, including challenges, opportunities, rewards, costs, benefits and the farming lifestyle as a farmer and farm worker. Steven Chiang, Director of Agribusiness Incubator Program and representative of GoFarm Hawai`i, will provide an overview of the GoFarm program initiative and how it relates to Agriculture in Hawai`i. Matt Stevenson, Assistant Extension Agent for UH Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), will chart CTAHR’s efforts to support farmers. Kathryn O`Brien, Kaua`i CC’s Sustainable Agriculture Instructor and Coordinator of GoFarm Hawai`i @ Kaua`i Community College, will provide an update of Kaua`i CC’s Agriculture programs and detailed information on upcoming GoFarm Kaua`i training to be held at the College in March and April. 

GoFarm Hawai`i is an initiative developed in collaboration with CTAHR and is aligned with the Ulupono Fund at the Hawai`i Community Foundation and Kamehameha Schools. On Kaua`i, efforts are being funded by a U.S. Department of Labor grant that supports capacity-building at the University of Hawai`i Community Colleges to develop job-training programs and pathways into Associate Degree programs in the areas of Health Care, Energy and Agriculture. GoFarm Hawai`i's mission is to enhance Hawai`i’s food security and economy by increasing the number of local Agricultural producers by offering those with an interest in Agriculture a combination of knowledge, experience, and support to become viable production growers. 

“With the current growing trends of interest in personal and environmental sustainability, locally-produced food, and in cultivating a community that enjoys taking care of itself, there exists a prime opportunity to grow Hawai`i’s Agriculture industry by capitalizing on the recent groundswell of people interested in Agriculture as a career,” said O’Brien. Kaua`i CC welcomes the opportunity to help make dreams come true. 
And support only gets better. Due to Federal grant funding, tuition for a person to attend both training sessions in March and April is only $35.00.

Upcoming GoFarm Kaua`i trainings at Kaua`i CC:

AgXposure (February 22 – March 29, Saturday or Sunday)

  • Farm Tours and hands on learning experiences on sustainable farms
AgSchool (April 17 – August 2, Thursdays 6pm - 8pm and Saturdays 8am – Noon)
  • Comprehensive hands on education in all aspects of the business and science of sustainable farming on Kaua`i
For information, contact Kathryn O’Brien at 245-0129 or email kfobrien@hawaii.edu.
To register for AgXposure and AgSchool contact the Office of Continuing Education & Training: 245-8318, http://info.kauai.hawaii.edu/training
Written collaboratively by Cammie Matsumoto with Kathryn O'Brien.


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