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Tag: Collaborations & Partnerships

Scholarship benefits student beekeepers and promotes sustainable agriculture

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Left to right, Chancellor Donald Straney; scholarship recipients Samuel Clubb, Laurie Jahraus, and Shohei Yamaki; and Chef Alan Wong.”

Three University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo students from the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management have been selected to each receive an Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong Scholarship. The recipients are Samuel Clubb, Laurie Jahraus, and Shohei Yamaki. The awards were presented Feb. 23 at the “Bee-coming Sustainable” event held at UH Hilo’s Farm Laboratory in Panaʻewa

The three $1000 scholarships are made possible through the generous support of donors who have joined Chef Alan Wong in adopting beehives at UH Hilo’s Farm Laboratory in Panaʻewa in the 2012-2013 school year. Launched in the fall of 2011, the Adopt-a-Beehive with Alan Wong program builds awareness of the critical plight of honey bees and promotes local solutions to sustaining the honey bee industry.

All three students successfully completed UH Hilo’s introductory beekeeping course (Entomology 262) during the fall semester, learning to take care of beehives and to extract honey, while communicating with their assigned beehive adopters. They qualified for the scholarship by demonstrating a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and enrolling in advanced beekeeping (Entomology 350) for the spring semester.

Lorna Tsutsumi, professor of entomology, has taught the beekeeping curriculum at UH Hilo for over thirty years.

“Through the partnership with Alan Wong, the program is achieving a set of common beneficial goals,” says Tsutsumi. “We are supporting UH Hilo students and the next generation of students, giving students the opportunity to share their education with the lifelong learners in our community, and creating public awareness of the importance of the honey bee and beekeeping.”

Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: Feb. 2013

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce

February 2013

Veterans to Farmers Program

HICCI recently attended graduation ceremonies for the first cohort of the Veterans to Farmers pilot training program. Fourteen graduates received their training certificates in Waimea on Jan. 5 at an event attended by family, friends, and Hawai‘i island and state dignitaries including representatives, senators, Mayor Billy Kenoi and Governor Neil Abercrombie.

The Veterans to Farmers training program is a community-based pilot initiative that will soon evolve into a new UH Hilo Certificate in Agriculture program designed solely for U.S. military veterans. The program will provide a hands-on farming skills training curriculum, classroom-based business training, business start-up support, and health monitoring for veterans. Once the curriculum is formally approved by the Veterans Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the UH Hilo certificate program will be eligible for veterans to use their GI Bill education benefits. Local organizers are currently working with the VA on a start date of UH Hilo’s certificate program.

The State Department of Labor—and its director Dwight Takamine in particular—has been instrumental in launching Hawai‘i’s Veterans to Farmers program. Partners in facilitating the program are Rivertop Energy Solutions (a project-planning firm run by David Ruf assisting with development of the initiative), Hawai‘i Community College, the State Department of Agriculture, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Mealani Research Station, the Pu‘ukapu Agricultural Community Facility, Native Hawaiian leaders and organizations, several community-based groups, Wow Farm and other local farmers in Waimea on the Big Island. UH Hilo faculty provided technical assistance in the pilot training program.

A key goal of the UH Hilo certificate program will be to enable veterans to develop the necessary skills to farm while also addressing the difficulties many face in transitioning back to civilian life after military service. Completion of the certificate program can enable veterans to create new farm businesses, and to meet the requirements to acquire the leases and loans needed to start a farm. Some participants who complete the certificate program will be ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UH Hilo in addition to becoming farmers.

A lot of the hands-on field training in the pilot program—such as greenhouse building—took place at Wow Farms in Waimea, and that type activity will continue once the UH Hilo Certificate in Agriculture is underway. UH Hilo faculty and lecturers will teach the credit courses in Waimea, and the lab requirements—chemical analysis labs and so forth—will be held at UH Hilo’s North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center in Honoka‘a.

There will be seven baccalaureate level courses required including Value Added Ag Products or Man’s Food, Agro-Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Agriculture, Student Managed Farm Enterprise Project or Directed Work Experience Program, Farm Management, Farm Power, and Principles of Horticulture. Flexibility will be built into the program for substitutions, so, for instance, if a student wants to focus on raising cattle, his or her curriculum could be adjusted to give the student the proper education to meet those business goals.

The Veterans to Farmers program is good for veterans and good for the state. Farmers will play a crucial role in the future economic stability of our island and our state as we move toward food security. The U.S. Veterans Benefits Administration wants to see veterans earn advanced degrees to open up opportunities that allow for full participation in society. The Veterans to Farmers program gives veterans the education they need to create their own small businesses on their own farms—it gives them work in which to thrive while supporting their families. I see great potential for this program to grow and expand throughout our island and state.

Aloha,
Don Straney

Veterans to Farmers pilot training program graduates first cohort

Pilot Veterans to Farmers program is a community-based initiative that will evolve into a new UH Hilo certificate in agriculture designed solely for U.S. military veterans.

The first cohort of the Veterans to Farmers certificate program.
The first cohort of the Veterans to Farmers training program.
A graduate receives her certificate and congratulations.
A graduate of pilot training program receives congratulations.

Chancellor Don Straney recently attended graduation ceremonies for the first cohort of the Veterans to Farmers training program. The 14 graduates received their training certificates in Waimea on Jan 5 at an event attended by family, friends, and Hawai‘i island and state dignitaries including representatives, senators, Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Governor Neil Abercrombie.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports:

Among Saturday’s attendees was University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Don Straney, who described the program as an “anti-plantation.”

“A crucial question is, how do we recruit the next generation of agri-business people?” Straney said. “After the (sugar) plantations left, farming has almost become a dirty word. … We’re showing them that that’s not the kind of farming we’re doing today. They’re not working for someone else’s farm. They’re creating their own small business from the land. Something to thrive with, and to support their family.”

The Veterans to Farmers training program is a community-based pilot initiative that will evolve into a new UH Hilo certificate in agriculture designed solely for U.S. military veterans. The program will provide hands-on farming skills training curriculum, classroom-based business training, business start-up support, and health monitoring for veterans. Once the curriculum is formally approved by the Veterans Administration, the UH Hilo certificate program will be eligible for veterans to use their GI Bill education benefits. A start date of the UH Hilo certificate program has not yet been finalized with the VA.

Veterans to Farmers
Governor Neil Abercrombie and other dignitaries stand with a graduate of the training program.

Partners in facilitating the Veterans to Farmers program are Rivertop Energy Solutions (a project-planning firm assisting with development of the initiative), Hawai‘i Community College, the State Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Mealani Research Station, the Pu‘ukapu Agricultural Community Facility, Native Hawaiian leaders and organizations, several community-based groups, Wow Farm and other local farmers in Waimea on the Big Island. UH Hilo’s involvement in this first pilot training program was limited to technical advice.

A key goal of the UH Hilo certificate program will be to enable veterans to develop the necessary skills to farm while also addressing the difficulties many face in transitioning back to civilian life after military service. Completion of the program can enable veterans to create new farm businesses, and to meet the requirements to acquire the leases and loans needed to start a farm. Some participants who complete the certificate program will be ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UH Hilo in addition to becoming farmers.

One of the goals of this graduating cohort is to become teachers for subsequent cohorts. A group of community leaders and government officials met after the day’s festivities to talk about expanding the training program to Molokai.

Training in greenhouse building and grants to pay for greenhouse materials for every participants who needs financial assistance are part of the extensive program.
Graduates showed their skills in building greenhouses as part of graduation day activities. Training in greenhouse building and grants to pay for greenhouse materials for every student-farmer who needs financial assistance are part of the Veterans to Farmers program.

 

Message from UH President Greenwood

M.R.C. Greenwood

University of Hawaiʻi President M.R.C. Greenwood released a letter to the UH ʻohana today noting the many accomplishments of the university community over the past year.

An excerpt on Hilo:

We are also proud of the work going on at Hilo in addressing the future economic and educational needs of the Big Island community and beyond. UH Hilo is a partner with key community and government stakeholders supporting a new undergraduate certificate in agriculture, “Veterans to Farmer.” UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College are developing island-wide and statewide pathways to facilitate seamless transfer into UH Hilo in agriculture, Hawaiian studies, marine science, nursing, and psychology. And the College of Pharmacy has begun a grant-funded program called Pharm2Pharm designed to reduce medication-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits by establishing teamwork between hospital and community pharmacists on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui and Kauaʻi.

Read the whole letter on the UH System News site.

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