The University of Hawaiʻi’s successful farmer-training program, GoFarm Hawaiʻi, is the only project in the state to be awarded a Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA
The $600,000 grant will support education, mentoring and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. The primary goal is to improve success through projects that provide the knowledge, skills and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations, and enhance their sustainability.
“We are so grateful to USDA-NIFA for supporting our program,” said GoFarm Hawaiʻi Director Janel Yamamoto. “This investment will help to develop more sustainable farmers in Hawaiʻi, increase our local food supply, and grow our next generation of farmers.”
GoFarm Hawaiʻi, a collaborative effort involving UH Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), Windward Community College and UH’s Agribusiness Incubator Program, provides a comprehensive and practical production and business training program, and connects aspiring farmers with CTAHR experts, existing farmers and the local agriculture community. There are six training sites statewide that support farmers and individuals who want to establish businesses in the agricultural industry.
GoFarm Hawaiʻi has been addressing the issue of food security long before the COVID-19 health crisis. Since 2012, it has trained more than 370 aspiring farmers, helping to reduce Hawaiʻi’s dependence on imported food and increase food sustainability.