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 County Agricultural Festival Grand Taste Education Tickets Now On Sale!

Maui County Agricultural FestivalAt the root of who we are, each of us wants food that is fresh and flavorful. At Grand Taste Education, we taste food that is Grown on Maui. this year, 12 Maui farmers and ranchers pair with chefs to cook up a series of full-flavor edibles. This event will awaken your senses. Taste is a sense. Good taste is common sense and grows a sustainable Maui.


Saturday, April 6, 2013
9:00 am – 4:00 pm  Maui County Agricultural Festival
11:00 am – 2:00 pm Grand Taste Education
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm  Live Chef Competition & Awards Presentation


Maui Tropical Plantation
1670 Honoapiilani Highway
Waikapu, HI 96793

Grand Taste Education is collaboration between Maui County Farm Bureau and Slow Food Maui. The mission of Maui County Farm Bureau is to protect, and advance the social, economic, and educational interests of the agricultural community of Maui County.
Maui County Ag Fest Farmers
We look forward to seeing you at the event! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Rat Lungworm Info


Hawaii Farm Bureau Member Alert

In light of confirmation of a Rat Lungworm case on Oahu in August, 2017, HFB is sharing the following updated information on the disease and its prevention.

The source of the individual’s infection is not yet known. This is the first case on Oahu since 2010. As you know, the disease is caused by the parasitic nematode Angiostrongylus cantonesis, which can be transmitted to produce by certain organisms like snails and slugs.

It is a good time to make sure your farm is in order.

Here is a CHECKLIST to quickly determine that all bases are covered.

Communication between you and your vendors/customers is key. Let them know what you do and the care you take to prevent rats, slugs and snails on your farm. We have attached a template for you to help communicate with your vendors. To those selling directly to customers, remind them to wash REGARDLESS of where they purchase their produce or pick them from their gardens.

Please find more information about the disease and management practices at the links and websites below. on-rat-lungworm/
​ ctahr/farmfoodsafety/rat- lungworm/

Hawaii Maui Rat Lungworm Disease Info

Hawaii Maui Rat Lungworm Disease Info


Hawaii Maui Rat Lungworm Disease Info

Here are some additional resources on information about Rat Lungworm:
About the disease. Signs & Symptoms, Prevention, Transmission, Treatment

Rat Lungworm Disease Info

Star Advertiser: Local Produce is Safe to Eat [PDF]

Rat Lungworm Disease Information

Further Reading:
Aquaponic – On Farm Food Safety [PDF]

University of California Guide on Rats [PDF]

Packing Shed Storage Rodent Control [PDF]

2017 Maui County Ag Festival

Maui Ag Festival

Maui County Agricultural FestivalThe 10th Annual Maui County Agricultural Festival, Maui’s prime event to raise awareness about Maui ag while invigorating Maui ag, will take place on Sat., April 1. The entire industry, its allies, and supporters come together on the lü‘au grounds of Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapü to share what each group does for the collective good of agriculture in the County, and to showcase ag’s vital role in the economy, environment, and lifestyle of Maui.

Hosted by Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) in partnership with Office of Economic Development, generous sponsors and industry allies, here is the opportunity to learn about agricultural issues and their impact on our day-to-day lives. Event hours are 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; admission is $5 for adults (kupuna 65 and over free and keiki under 18 free as well). Free parking and shuttle transfers from Ma’alae’a side parking lot to main entrance to AgFest.

Families won’t want to miss this year’s “Maui Legacy Pancake Breakfast” from 8 am – 10:30 am. It’s bingo, a raffle and time to honor three Maui farmers who have contributed greatly to Maui’s agricultural industry. They are Peter Baldwin, Piiholo Ranch, Richard “Dick” Cameron, HC&S, Doug MacCluer, Maui Pineapple Company and Maui Gold Pineapple Company, and Dr. Wilbert Yee, Yee’s Orchard famous for its Goldenglow mangoes. One of the big highlights this year is the expanded “Keiki Zone” complete with bouncers, farm games, livestock exhibit, pony and horse rides and family-friendly food by Chef/Owner Chris Schobel of Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse BBQ. Alaka’i Paleka, Maui’s Morning Goddess of KPOA Radio returns as emcee at the entertainment stage with an awesome lineup and great giveways throughout the day.

Expanding on activities for the whole family, check out the “Keiki and Teens Cook for Heart” from 10:30 am – 1:30 pm. Chefs Paris Nabavi of Sangrita Grill and Cantina, Rob Mason Lyndon Hondon, and Riko Bartolome lead culinary classes from 10:30 am – 1:30 pm centered around three crops – avocado, tomatoes, bananas. This is all part of an American Heart Association program called “Keiki & Teens Cook for Heart”. The chefs have been in the several West Maui schools earlier this year teaching culinary classes in elementary schools and Lahainaluna High School.

More hands on activities found in flower tent. The general public is invited to make fresh flower lei, ipu, along with Gayle and team from Na Kani O Hula.

It’s good to know who grows our food. The market also shows the importance to ag of value-added products such as taro chips, pickles, and teriyaki beef: They stretch the season, absorb surplus, and provide extra farming revenue. Also check out MauiWine and Maui Gold tent and Maui Coffee Association. Both demonstrate the process of growing an agricultural product and producing a value-added product.

Humble crops transform into satisfying meals when carefully prepared. Sample the best of all natural beef – hamburgers, poke bowls and smoked meat, Fork to Salad, Roselani Ice Cream, Shaka Pops and local favorites chow fun and smoked meat and 100 % Maui beef burgers and fries. Look for Maui Fresh Streatery and Three’s Bar & Grill Food Truck.

Kids learn about ranching and food production while at play. Join us for barnyard games favored by children around the world and learn about livestock. Horseback and pony rides, bouncers and Livestock Exhibit throughout the day. Keiki entertainment stage with live musical performances, magic show and more.

Healthy soil and plants are key to successful farming. Maui can bring soil samples for analysis and learn about plant health or peer through a microscope for a close-up of bugs affecting our crops. With the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources specialists.

Taiko drummers, Kamehameha Schools Maui Campus –Ensemble, Honoka’a Jazz Band, Lehua Kalima and Shawn Pimentel, Napua Nakasone Greig and Halau Nalei Kaumaka O Uka, Kaina Country Band on stage from 9 am – 4:30 pm.

Maui Tropical Plantation offers Tram Rides.

Maui’s famed regional cuisine is based on locally grown produce: Meet local chefs and farmers who are creating menus that matter. Fees apply. NEW time from 2:30 pm – 4;30 pm. Purchased tickets online in advance $30 at the event $40. Sponsored by Edible Hawaiian Island, a Live Chefs Challenge is planned from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Grand Taste Tickets

Tickets on sale for “Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast” $10 adults / $5 keiki (12 and under), Grand Taste $30 before March 31 and $40 day of the event and Chefs Collaboration Dinner limited to 21 years and older $75 per person/$600 table of eight. Purchase HERE


2015 Friend of Agriculture Award goes to ….

Chef Francois Milliet captures the honor at 13th Annual ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards

The Westin Ka‘anapali’s Executive Chef Francois Milliet received a special honor: the Friend of Agricultureaward. Unlike the majority of ‘Aipono Awards, whose winners are determined by the readers of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine, Friend of Agriculture is sponsored and its winner selected by the Maui County Farm Bureau.


“Chef Francois wraps his menus around local ingredients, says Farm Bureau President Warren Watanabe, noting Milliet’s support of Maui agriculture in ways big and small, from participating in events like the Maui Onion and Maui County Agriculture festivals, to fostering relationships between the island’s chefs and its farmers and ranchers. “For example, he paired with Lynn and Russell DeCoite of Moloka‘i’s L&R Ranch to create a sweet potato gnocchi for his restaurants.” The hens at Theo Morrison’s small-scale Neighborhood Farm don’t lay enough eggs to supply The Westin’s restaurants, so Milliet supports her endeavor by featuring the eggs in the hotel’s gourmet market. “Chef Francois also added a Grown on Maui salad to his menu,” Watanabe says, “and donates a dollar to the Farm Bureau’s Growing Future Farmers program each time a diner orders that item.”

On Sunday, April 26, Pulehu: an Italian Grill earned its third consecutive Gold ‘Aipono Award for Best Italian Restaurant, tying with Sale Pepe in that category. The win brings to eight the number of ‘Aipono Awards Pulehu has won since 2010, including four Silvers for Best Wine List and one Silver for Best-kept Secret. Pulehu is located in the Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas at Ka‘anapali Beach Resort.

Sister venue Ocean Pool Bar & Grill made its ‘Aipono debut that evening, winning the Silver award in a new category, Best Fish Taco.

   ‘Aipono combines the Hawaiian words ‘ai (food) and pono (excellence) to encompass the theme of exceptional dining. Sponsored by Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine, and held this year at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, the ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards recognize the best of Maui’s food, wine and hospitality industries.

More than 400 restaurant professionals and industry supporters attended the 2015 ‘Aipono Gala — the largest in ‘Aipono history. Each year, the event raises substantial funds for Maui Culinary Academy at the University of Hawai‘i–Maui College, and provides a rare mentoring opportunity for Academy students, who spend the day of the gala working side by side with professional chefs in a real-world restaurant environment.

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Maui Chefs’ Collaboration Dinner

Nine Maui chefs are joined by Chef Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen San Francisco and chefs from Orange County and Los Angeles.

Nine Maui chefs are joined by visiting chefs from San Francisco, Orange County and Los Angeles.

Maui Chefs’ Collaboration Dinner

Time: 6 pm – 9 pm

Venue: Maui Culinary Academy, Paina Building

Cost: $89 plus online fee

Purchase online: ORDER TICKETS HERE

Background: A memorable and delicious Localicious Maui dinner prepared by Maui’s top locavore chefs takes place April 2 at the Maui Culinary Academy Thursday, April 2, 6 pm – 9 pm.

Localicious Maui dinner includes passed appetizers by Kyle Kawakami, Maui Fresh Streatery, Jojo Vasquez, Plantation House Restaurant and Lyndon Honda, Laulima Catering. Plated courses by Marc McDowell, Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation; Riko Bartolome, Cane & Canoe at Montage Kapalua; Ryan Luckey, Leilani’s on the Beach; and Isaac Bancaco, Andaz Maui at Wailea with Chef Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen San Francisco. Dessert courses by Chelsea Whisenant of Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop and Liz McDonald, B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery.

$89 covers all food and entertainment.

Grand Taste Tickets on Sale Now!

Grand Taste 2015 – “A bite of Maui”

Annual Grand Taste at NEW time 3:30 - 5:30 pm features a dozen farmer and chef booths.

Annual Grand Taste at NEW time 3:30 – 5:30 pm features a dozen farmer and chef booths.

Presented in partnership with Slow Food Maui.

Time: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm (new time).

Cost: $30 purchased online (plus fee) by April 2 or $40 at the event.

Location: Field of Dreams/Lu’au Grounds at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.



Instructions: Print ticket/receipt and present at the Grand Taste admission tent starting at 2:30 pm. Organizers will check ID’s and issue wrist bands starting at 2:30 pm. Grand Taste will start at 3:30 pm. Ticket holders may present their ticket at the main entrance to Maui County Ag Festival. The $3 admission fee will be waived.

Background: Maui chefs pair with Maui farmers and ranchers to create localicious bites at this year’s Grand Taste. Guests will enjoy a mouthful of local, fresh and flavorful bites made by 12 Maui chefs. 12 farmer and chef stations feature six bites with a local protein as a main ingredient and six bites with a locally grown vegetable as the main ingredient.

This is an event for those who seek dishes inspired by local ingredients grown, raised by Maui’s farmers and ranchers, and prepared by a dozen of Maui’s top locavore chefs.

Other: Payment includes one bottle of water per ticket holder. Beverages will be available for purchase.

Disclaimer: No refunds, exchanges or reimbursements. Some of the dishes will be vegetarian or gluten free. Menu is subject to change without notification based on availability of produce and products.

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.






Meet Bryan Otani

Bryan OtaniA fourth-generation farmer, the wisdom of Maui’s soil in his body and soul, Otani manages all farm operations as well as sales and marketing for 17 acres of upcountry Kula land, deeply aware of the value of a farmer’s work. “People want and need to eat locally grown fresh vegetables,” he says. “That’s enough to make agriculture a career and lifestyle choice.”

Brian supplies green beans, broccoli, red cabbage, and, foremost, famed Kula onions, which have an entire festival dedicated to their name and serve as a fine example of the impact of agriculture on the local economy. “We are not there yet,” Otani says. “I would like to see agriculture become a bigger part of the community as far as developmental plans are concerned.”

Learn more about Localicious HERE

Learn more about Localicious Farmers HERE

Meet Farmer Walter Evonuk

Walter EvonukA third generation farmer, Walter Evonuk (and his wife Terry Chang) manages 30 acres of farmland in Kula, Maui. Both left their architecture careers in San Francisco to return to the family farm Walter’s parents, Edward and Joan Evonuk, started in 1975. Culinary herbs are the foundation of their operation, with over 25 different herbs under continuous cultivation. They also grow gourmet beans and lettuces.

Learn more about Localicious HERE

Learn more about Localicious Farmers HERE

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Chauncy Monden

Chauncy MondenChauncy Monden – A graduate from the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Monden could have chosen a fast-track job in finance, but turned to farming instead: In 1998, when his father retired, he took over the family farm as a fourth-generation farmer who held his first hoe at age five.

Monden and his wife, Teena, run Kula Country Farms inspired by a conscientious choice to raise their children in the country, enthused by a love for Maui’s land. Their vision transcends their 55 acres of juicy, sweet strawberries, onions, and cabbages. “One of the benefits of being a farmer,” Monden says, “is the gratification you feel when you produce a consistent product. But we farm also to ensure that we don’t lose agriculture, our farming legacy.”  Kula Country Farms hosts annual “pick it yourself” events, year round for strawberries and, in October, pumpkins. Its Farm Stand is open six days a week. Kula Country Farms.