Hawaiʻi Agricultural Foundation’s new program promotes the business-side of
ag and culinary

Honolulu, HI — The Hawaiʻi Agricultural Foundation (HAF), with support from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) and Hawaiʻi Tourism & Lodging Association (HTLA), launches a new statewide education program, Young Entrepreneurs. Beginning this 2019-20 school year, middle and high school students will have an opportunity to create real-life businesses using locally-sourced materials. More than 20 culinary and agriculture classes from public schools statewide are expected to participate in the program. The student-run businesses and their products will be featured at the Hawaiʻi Food and Wine Festival’s (HFWF) HMAA Presents Keiki in the Kitchen® Family Sunday in the Zippy’s Presents Made in Hawaiʻi Marketplace for Kids by Kids on Sunday, October 27, 2019.

Working with their teachers, students will be tasked with developing an abbreviated business plan. Once approved, the class will receive up to $1,200 in startup costs to cover supplies, materials, design, packaging, signage, pricing, and other business-related expenses. Revenue earned from each business at the Marketplace will go back to the respective high school programs.

HAF hosted a professional development session on May 1, 2019 with 40 teachers from 25 academies and career technical education (CTE) programs to learn about the program and how to help their students develop a business plan. On August 16, 2019, teachers had a second professional development opportunity by attending the Made in Hawaiʻi (MIH) Festival to see first-hand how small local businesses market their products and learn the best practices. “At this Made in Hawaiʻi Festival, I was able to see how local vendors market their products,” says Jackie Tichepco, Ag Learning Center Natural Resource teacher at Leilehua High School. “Being able to see how each vendor took the time to display their items to attract their customers really inspired me to focus on that aspect for our booth this upcoming October!” The Hawaii Food Industry Association (HFIA) supported the program by offering the teachers early access to interact and engage with business owners before opening to the general public.

“We are proud to support Hawaii Ag Foundation’s Young Entrepreneurs because we see value in encouraging entrepreneurship in Hawaii’s youth. Entrepreneurship is a staple of our economy, especially the tourism industry, which is made up of business owners who provide attractions and activities for our visitors to experience our islands,” said Chris Tatum, President and CEO of HTA.

Mufi Hannemann, President and CEO of HLTA stated, “This is not only an invaluable experience for our students but for our dedicated public school educators as well. They play a pivotal role in teaching and motivating our youth in their culinary and agriculture classes. Furthermore, we are pleased to work with HAF to ensure that our schools from throughout the state have an opportunity to be a part of this wonderful initiative.”

Young Entrepreneurs will be featured at the 2019 HFWF Keiki in the Kitchen® Made in Hawaiʻi Market Place for Kids by Kids on Sunday, October 27, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Victoria Ward Park located in Kakaʻako. Admission and parking are free.

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.

About Keiki in the Kitchen®

Keiki in the Kitchen® is a nonprofit family-friendly event founded by Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival to provide the local community with an opportunity to interact with the Festival’s celebrity chefs, learn about healthy eating and lifestyles, and gain knowledge about Hawai‘i’s history and local agriculture. Created in 2014, Keiki in the Kitchen® is organized annually as part of the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival and is targeted at visitors and residents. Presented by HMAA on O‘ahu, and in 2018 launched on Maui in partnership with Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association and Whalers Village, Keiki in the Kitchen® engages children in hand-on activities through safe trick-or-treating, sweets decorating and autograph sessions with celebrity chefs, food and fitness challenges, interactive cooking demonstrations, and a student-run marketplace.