GoFarm Hawaii marks a decade of training the next generation of farmers

The program was launched a decade ago.
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:19 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A statewide program teaching the public how to farm is reaching a milestone ― 10 years of putting farmers into the community.

GoFarm Hawaii is described as a “beginner farmer training” program.

Gina Kanekoa used to spend her days working in an office as a Human Resources specialist, but now spends her time farming at Go Farm Hawaii’s Waimanalo site — one of three locations on Oahu.

“I was very committed to human resources long-term care but I find that plants are a lot more easier to manage than people,” said Kanekoa.

Gina is one of more than 500 people who have graduated from the sven-month program since it opened to the general public in 2012.

After they graduate, they can apply to lease land from Go Farm Hawaii at a reduced cost.

At the Waimanalo sit, it’s around $400 an acre a month.

“One of the largest barriers for any beginner farmer is land access in the state and its preposterous how much that costs,” said Go Farm Hawaii couch Rachel LaDrig.

The non-profit is under the University of Hawaii but LaDrig says its 1.6 million dollars in yearly funding comes from federal, state and county grants ... along with private donors.

Matthew and Haily are program graduates, who are leasing half an acre for around $200 a month.

““Never thought farming was going to support me for a lifestyle,” said Haley Miyaoka. “But now that I’m here we are able to support ourselves.”

Applications for the next cohort open in the fall.

For more information about the program, click here