GoFarm Hawai'i gets additional funding and two new locations

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Steven Chiang, (808) 956-3530
Director, Agribusiness Incubator Program
Frederika Bain, (808) 956-3092
Writer/editor, Office of Communication Services
Posted: Jan 27, 2014

A GoFarm class on irrigation systems
A GoFarm class on irrigation systems
A GoFarm student prepares the soil
A GoFarm student prepares the soil
CTAHR Extension staff Jensen Uyeda (left) examines a tomato plant
CTAHR Extension staff Jensen Uyeda (left) examines a tomato plant

The GoFarm Hawai‘i beginning farmer training program, a collaboration between the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Windward Community College, and UH’s Agribusiness Incubator Program, received over $250,000 in funding from the Ulupono Fund at the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and Kamehameha Schools. GoFarm Hawai‘i is aligned with the Ulupono Initiative’s support of increased local food production and Kamehameha School’s 2009 Strategic Agricultural Plan Goal 4: Growing Hawaiian Farmers Initiative. This money will allow GoFarm Hawai‘i to purchase equipment, access facilities, and fund support operations. New GoFarm Hawai‘i sites at Kaua‘i Community College and Leeward Community College are also launching this spring, expanding GoFarm Hawai‘i’s reach and impact on developing new farmers for Hawai‘i.

GoFarm Hawai‘i is a comprehensive and practical training program built around the real-world needs of tomorrow’s farmers. It involves several stages of increasing commitment and learning, from an initial AgCurious seminar to a series of AgXposure workshops to a nine-month AgSchool course, followed by two years of incubation support for the new farmers while they grow crops on land provided by the program. All aspects of farmer training from crop selection and farm equipment instruction to pesticide information and business plan guidance are covered. The program’s goal is to develop aspiring farmers who can provide local food and other agricultural products for Hawai‘i while being compensated fairly for their efforts

The program, started in 2012, recently graduated its first cohort of students and is halfway to graduating its second cohort. A third cohort kicks off with the AgCurious seminar to be held at Windward Community College on March 3.

GoFarm Hawai‘i is currently supported by significant in-kind contributions from the collaborators as well as grants from the U.S. Department of Labor and indirectly through a grant to the Agribusiness Incubator Program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture division.

For more details and dates, see http://www.gofarmhawaii.org/programs.html.

A 2013 UH System video detailing the program can be found here: http://www.hawaii.edu/news/2013/01/29/new-farmers-cultivated-by-gofarm-Hawaii/