Program Seeks Aspiring Big Island Farmers

August 16, 2017, 10:13 AM HST (Updated August 16, 2017, 10:13 AM)

Sean Robb of Robb Farms tends to a field of red-leaf lettuce at his familyʻs certified-organic farm in Waimea. Photo by The Kohala Center.

The Kohala Center will once again serve as the host site for the second Hawai‘i Island cohort of the state’s largest farmer training program.

GoFarm Hawai‘i @ The Kohala Center will offer students classroom instruction, tours of local farms, and hands-on experience in small-scale farming with support from UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Sponsored in part by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ulupono Initiative, Kamehameha School, and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, the program is divided into three phases starting with an AgCurious introductory informational session, followed by four AgXposure site visits. AgXposure participants may then apply to AgSchool, an intensive, hands-on, five-month farmer training program.

Applicants interested in GoFarm Hawai‘i @ The Kohala Center are required to attend the free AgCurious session on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center in Honoka‘a.

AgCurious will provide an overview of the GoFarm program and the current state of farming in Hawai‘i.

Attendees who are interested in the full program can apply for AgXposure, a free four-session course that will meet on Saturday mornings from Sept. 30 to Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The second phase of the GoFarm program gives participants a sense of the farming lifestyle and the essential knowledge areas required to succeed.

AgXposure students who demonstrate a sincere commitment to pursuing careers in farming will have the opportunity to apply for AgSchool, a hands-on, 17-week course starting on Nov. 1 that meets Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Topics covered will include soil nutrients and plant health management, propagation, variety selection, farm equipment, irrigation, pest control, post-harvest storage and handling and food safety.

AgSchool tuition is $340 for the five-month course.

More information about GoFarm Hawai‘i is available online. Applicants may contact Derrick Kiyabu at to register.

About The Kohala Center
Founded in the year 2000, The Kohala Center is an independent, community-based center for research, conservation, and education. We turn research and ancestral knowledge into action, so that communities in Hawai‘i and around the world can thrive—ecologically, economically, culturally and socially.



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