Goal is to equip teachers with the tools they need to instill appreciation for agriculture our possible future farmers

Honolulu, HI – The start of the school year means the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation’s (HAF) education programs are gearing up to green up island classrooms, and that includes holding teacher training workshops in September.

In preparation, HAF has scheduled a series of farming and agricultural training courses for elementary school teachers from select public schools from September to October. The HAF education program provides training and resources to State of Hawaiʻi Department of Education teachers who are invited to sign up.

Aligned with the Department of Education’s goal to connect industry and education, HAF’s overall education goal is to “Build a Continuum from K-12,” to cultivate and maintain the strong workforce needed to grow and sustain Hawaiʻi’s agricultural industry.

With the average age of a farmer in Hawaii 60 years of age, it is critical that we introduce children at a young age to farming and agriculture as a viable career choice.  In addition, the number of family farming and local agricultural businesses are slowly declining, threatening the sustainability of Hawaiʻi’s food systems. The Hawaiʻi Agricultural Foundation’s (HAF) educational programs address the need to raise awareness and interest in farming and local agriculture.

“By instilling an appreciation in our youth of how food is grown, and letting them see the work it takes go from farm to fork, our education programs plant the seed for careers in farming and agriculture at an early age,” says HAF Executive Director Denise Yamaguchi.

Teacher training workshops taking place this month:

1. Veggie U Hawaiʻi
Thursday, September 6, 2018
OCISS Annex, Rm 264A
8am – 3pm
Teachers will be trained in implementing the Veggie U curriculum that introduces Grade 4 students to the vital role of agriculture in food production with hands-on studies that examine the evolutionary process of seed-to-harvest. Since the program was introduced in 2014, it has reached 25 elementary schools, engaging over 1600 students.

2. Aquapono 
Friday, September 7, 2018
OCISS Annex, Rm 264A
8am – 3pm
Designed for middle school and high school students, teachers will be trained in providing this certification program that prepares students for a career as an aquaponics technician. Aquapono has been successfully implemented at ten high schools and 25 middle schools across the state.

3. Where Would We Be Without Seeds
September 11, 2018
Radford High School Athletics
8am – 3pm
Grade 2 teachers are trained in utitlizing this program that examines seeds, plant life-cycles, growing plants for food and the fundamentals of farming processes. The program raises awareness of where food comes from and helps students understand why agriculture is important to Hawaiʻi. Since its launch in the 2016-2017 academic school year, the program has now been successfully implemented in 16 classrooms at nine different schools.

Tlearn about HAF’s education programs, please contact:
Iris Mizuguchi
Director of Education Programs

About Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation
The Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization created to promote agriculture and farming. Established in 2007, HAF’s mission is to support and sustain Hawai‘i’s agricultural industry by addressing critical needs and services of farmers and the agricultural industry in Hawai‘i, and by better connecting the farmers with the community and vice-versa.