Agriculture in the Classroom 2014


Second graders in five classrooms at Princess Nahi’ena’ena welcomed Maui County Farm Bureau to their classrooms today for its annual Agriculture in the Classroom program. Charlene and Ka’ eo presented the lesson plan “Where would we be without seeds”. The focus was on parts of seeds and lifecycle of plants.

The Ag in the Classroom program is available to all second graders on Maui.  To sign up contact In-class presentations run Tuesdays and Thursdays December through February. The second part of Ag in the Classroom is a field trip planned in March.






Agriculture in the Classroom reaches 1,500 2nd graders

Did you know the average Maui farmer is over 60 years old? Since 2006 concerns about the future of local agriculture have prompted the Maui County Farm Bureau and other local organizations to bring agriculture to our schools. MCFB Executive Director Warren K/ Watanabe says, “hands-on” agricultural education benefits young people and the larger community”.

During MCFB’s August 2012 – February 2013, 15 elementary schools representing more than 1,500 Maui 2nd graders participated its Agriculture in the Classroom in-class program. About a 1,000 of them enjoyed an educational field trip held March 7 & 8 at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

#2 AKL planting

The field trip allows students, teachers and chaperones to meet Maui farmers and ag educators. This year’s field trip included “Canoe Crops” with the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; “Daily Nutrition” with Maui Electric Company;  “Seed to Seed” by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company; “Parts of a Plant” with Monsanto Hawaiʻi; “Planting a Lavender Sprig” with Aliʻi Kula Lavender; “Amazing Coconuts” with Coconut Wilie, and “Value-added Agriculture” with SoMoor. Maui Tropical Plantation provided a tram tour.

Canoe crops with College of Tropical Ag & Human Resources (CTAHR)For MCFB, its youth education program in grade school focuses on building awareness of where food comes from. In high school and college the emphasis shifts to career opportunities including plant and animal science, agricultural economics, human nutrition, and environmental stewardship.

In 2006 Maui County Farm Bureau launched Agriculture in the Classroom and it has been growing ever since. Designed as an eight-month series of in-class farmer presentations titled “Where Would We Be Without Seeds”, students learn about the life cycle of plants. AIC was developed for second-graders of any public, private, or charter school willing to participate. AIC will start again in August 2013 – March 2014.

Maui Agriculture & Natural Resources Industry Day Friday, September 23

Lani Weigert, Aliʻi Kula Lavender

Lani Weigert, Aliʻi Kula Lavender

In partnership with Maui Economic Development Board, UHMC Agriculture & Natural Resources Department, Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) will present Maui Agriculture & Natural Resources Industry Day on the lawn of the Hoʻoulu (ag) Building on the UHMC campus on Friday, September 23, from 9 am – 1 pm. The first annual Maui Agriculture & Natural Resources Industry Day is planned for students enrolled in agriculture programs at Maui county high schools as well as UHMC.

Following the 9:00 a.m. welcome address, the day is planned in three blocks: Agriculture & Natural Science Fair with informational booths by Maui agriculture sectors, agencies and associations from 9:15 am-10:05 am, Agriculture & Natural Sciences Breakout Sessions scheduled at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. The breakout session will cover seven topics: Ag Today / Diversified Ag, Culture in Agriculture, Natural Resources, Higher Education, Science of Agriculture, Landscape and Flower Industries and the Hawaiʻiʻs Sheep & Goat industry. The day concludes with a Grown on Maui lunch from noon–1:00 p.m.

Hokuao Pellegrino, Nohoʻana Farm

Hokuao Pellegrino, Nohoʻana Farm

“As part of MCFBʻs Educate the Educator program managed by Maui Economic Development Board, this event is purposefully planned to bring students and teachers together to meet Mauiʻs farmers, ranchers, educators, and agricultural experts,” said Warren K. Watanabe. “Our focus is to create the pathway for agriculture students to higher education then to meaningful, skilled and often high-paying careers in agriculture on Maui.”

Watanabe says the average age of a farmer in Hawaiʻi is 62 years old. Nationally the average age is 60. MCFB, MEDB and UHMC along with many other groups have been working for many years to draw attention to this statistic while working to grow the next generation of ag leaders in Maui County.

“An important piece is connecting what is being taught in the classroom and its real world application,” said Isla Young, MEDB Women in Technology. “We are trying to shift the view of agriculture to high science and a place for students to help sustain their land and resources. It is exciting that the continuum from middle, high school, college, and eventually job placement will be showcased.”

In total, more than 220 students plus their teachers from Maui (including Hana), Molokai and Lāna’i have registered. The students will each choose two breakout sessions where they will have quality time with presenters who are experts in agricultural fields which interest them most. There will be 20 – 25 students in each breakout session.

“Agriculture & Natural Resources is one of the career pathways high school students can choose to direct their academic plans. Therefore it is important for these students to learn about the range of fields and careers that are in this pathway,” said Ann Emmsely, UHMC. “The Agriculture & Natural Resources awareness day brings professionals from a variety of areas together in one place so that students can learn about different career tracks within this pathway. UHMC students can also use this time to explore career opportunities and interact with professionals. This day provides students an opportunity to broaden their horizons.”

The breakout session presenters include Lani Weigert, Aliʻi Kula Lavender, Gerry Ross, Kupaʻa Farm and Steve Chaikin, Molokai Sea Farms International, for Diversified Ag Today; Hokuao Pellegrino, Nohoʻana Farm, and Joylynn Paman, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, for Culture in Agriculture; Skippy Hau of DLNR is confirmed for Natural Resources; Ann Emmsley, UHMC, and Charley Kinoshita of UH-Manoa, for Higher Education; Paul Koehler, Monsanto Hawaiʻi, Science of Agriculture; Richie Campas and Kevin Boteilho, HGP, for Landscape & Flower industries; and Jay Carpio for Hawaiʻi Sheep & Goat industry.

Maui County Farm Bureau is a grassroots 501(c)(5) organization of farms and ranch families, agricultural industries, and associated organizations dedicated to supporting agriculture in Maui County. We are affiliated with both the statewide Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

In 2006, Maui County Farm Bureau launched Agriculture in the Classroom, a 10-month series of in-class farmer presentations and on-the-farm field activities, titled Where Would We Be Without Seeds, centered around the life cycle of plants. Ag in the Classroom was originally developed for second-graders of any public, private, or charter school willing to participate. In 2011, MCFB visited more than 14 schools and hosted over 1,000 students for its annual AIC Field Trip.

MCFBʻs AIC series has branched out to middle school and high school students. Through a partnership with the College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR), Maui County Farm Bureau Ag Awareness Day occurs annually for fifth graders island wide. In addition, through a partnership with Maui Economic Development Board, Maui County Farm Bureau works with students at Maui intermediate and high schools. In September 2011, MCFB and MEDB in partnership with UHMC Ag & Natural Resources present Maui Agriculture & Natural Sciences Industry Day, an event for ag program students to meet farmers, ranchers, educators, and ag industry leaders. The students attend a trade show and breakout sessions, and everyone comes together to enjoy a Grown on Maui lunch provided by Haliʻimaile Pineapple Co, Kula Country Farm, Waipoli Hydroponics and Maui Cattle Company.

2011–2012 In-class Presentation Schedule

Farmer Date School Start  End Presentations
Gerry Ross 9/20/11 Wailuku Elementary 8:00 11:00 4
Doug MacCluer 9/22/11 Wailuku Elementary 8:00 11:00 4
Gerry Ross 9/27/11 Carden Academy of Maui 8:15 9:00 1
Greg Hopkins 9/29/11 Emmanuel Lutheran 12:30 1:15 1
William Jacintho 10/25/11 Kamali’i Elementary 9:30 2:30 5
Gerry Ross 11/1/11 Pukalani Elementary 8:30 1:25 5
Pomai Weigert 11/3/11 Kahului Elementary 8:30 11:05 5
Annette Niles 11/3/11 Kahului Elementary 8:30 11:05 5
11/3/11 Kahului Elementary 10:20 11:05 5
11/8/11 Kihei Elementary 9:45 1:30 4
Pomai Weigert 2/7/11 Princess Nahienaena 10:00 2:00 5
Pomai Weigert 2/9/11 Dorris Todd 8:30 9:15 5
2/23/11 Maui Adventist School 9:00 9:45 5
Pomai Weigert/Annette Niles 2/23/11 Kula Elementary 10:15 1:45 5
2/23/11 King Kamehameha III 8:15 1:50 5

Ag In The ClassroomAre you a farmer? Would you like to join the Ag in the Classroom committee? Would you like to sponsor Ag in the Classroom program? Contact us!

Are you a teacher? Would you like to have an Ag in the Classroom presentation at your school? Download this form to sign up!

As a complement to the AIC in-class presentation, Maui County Farm Bureau will host its annual field trip on Thursday, March 1, 2012 and Friday, March 2, 2012. Download this form to sign up!

Careers in Agriculture

Alex Franco, Maui Cattle CompanyMore than 200 different agricultural-related careers exist, and as diversified agriculture, research, and technology expand, so do new opportunities. Ag careers roughly fall into four categories. Agricultural education for many of these careers can often be found within the State of Hawaii. Visit University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources for more information.

Farming, Ranching, Agricultural Management:
Focus: Entry-level positions.
Education needed: Business- and computer know-how. Agricultural schooling is preferred.

Agricultural Engineering:
Focus: Economical solutions through cost-effective, commercial applications.
Education needed: A college degree in science, mathematics, or computer programming is helpful.

Agricultural and food science:
Focus: Development of sustainable growing practices, environmental solutions, improved delivery and safety, marketability, education, and a dynamic inventory of value-added products.
Education needed: Postgraduate knowledge may be preferred.

Maui Agriculture Industry

Focus: New findings about conventional agriculture, biotechnology, hydroponics, and aquaculture.
Education needed: A college degree and post-graduate knowledge may be preferred.

(Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)

Aquacultural farming:
Fisheries Science
Marine Science

Agricultural economy

Crop and soil management:
Maui Agriculture IndustryEnvironmental Sciences
Plant Pathology

Culinary and Agriculture tourism:
Tour Operator

Instruction and teaching
Food and science writing
Agricultural consulting
Marketing and organizational communications

Environmental sciences:
Wildlife Biology
Wood Science
Maui Agriculture IndustryLogging engineering
Nature studies
Remote Sensing

Animal Nutrition
Animal Physiology
Ranch Management
Veterinary medicine

Research, operations, and development:
Biosystems engineering
Food process engineering
Food science
Molecular biology

Agricultural engineering/mechanics
Plant Physiology
Soil Science
Turf Science
Weed Science