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 (MCFB) and other local organizations to bring agriculture to the island's schools.
MCFB Executive Director Warren Watanabe said, "hands-on" agricultural education benefits young people and the larger community."
From August 2012 through February 2013, 15 elementary schools representing more than 1,500 Maui second graders participated in MCFB's Agriculture in the Classroom in-class program. About a 1,000 of them enjoyed an educational field trip held in early March at the Maui Tropical Plantation.
Students learn about canoe crops, the first crops brought to the Hawaiian Islands, with representatives from the College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources.
Photo: Steve Brinkman photography, courtesy of Maui County Farm Bureau
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 Hawai'i; "Planting a Lavender Sprig" with Ali'i Kula Lavender; "Amazing Coconuts" with Coconut Willie, and "Value-added Agriculture" with SoMoor.
AIC will start again from August 2013 through March 2014.
For more information, visit www.mauicountfarmbureau.org.