BFRDP Projects

Beginning Farmer-Rancher Training Program: Hawaii Island
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $564,000
Grant Program: 2016 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Melanie Willich
Organization: The Kohala Center


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

While Hawai‘i has abundant agricultural lands and a 12-month growing season, the state imports >80% of its food from markets located at least 2,300 miles away. Despite the increasing interest in local food production, few farms become established by beginning farmers due to a lack of agricultural and business knowledge and the inability to access start-up capital. The objectives of this project are to (1) train beginning farmers/ranchers, with a particular focus on socially disadvantaged farmers, (2) facilitate access to financial and production input resources, including farm leases and microloans, and (3) expand TKC's online database of resources. We initially developed a 20-session training program, including 39 hrs of classroom instruction, 30 hrs of on-farm instruction, and 36 hrs of farm visits. The total program comprised of 188 hrs, including BFRDP-supported workshops island wide. Addressing evaluations, we adjusted our training program to an 18-session format that includes 45 hrs of classroom instruction, 45 hrs of on-farm workshops, and 30 hrs of farm visits. Sessions were held twice a month. For graduation, participants fill additional 68 hrs instead of the 83 hrs in 2017 with additional workshops supported by the BFRDP or offered through CTAHR or other appropriate agriculture-related workshops, online education, business planning, and farm internships and development, depending on the individual participant's needs. Across the three cohorts, a total of 61 individuals started the program and 49 of those participants completed it. A total of 23 public additional island wide public lectures and workshops attracted 447 community members. Technical assistance including business planning, agricultural production, and farm financing was provided by TKC's Rural Cooperative Business Development Services (RCBDS) team to 45 individuals and businesses.

Number of Participants: 61


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success