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Jumping into the first day of our very first YEAR LONG Farmer Apprenticeship Program!! ???????? ✨We are SO excited to have these activated, intelligent haumana with us to nurture the land and grow food for the community. ✅

Last month Kohala High School (KHS) students from the Natural Resource classes gathered on a beautiful and sunny day to plant 50 fruit trees in their school orchard. This event was made possible in thanks to the generous donation from The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF), a partnership formed through the Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture (HIP Ag). The crew of 32 students planted all 50 trees over four hours with help from KHS administrators, Principal Janette Snelling and Vice Principal Trisha Burns, HIP Ag staff, community volunteers, and state legislators such as Lt. Governor Doug Chin, Senator Lorraine Inouye, and Councilman Tim Richards. KHS was the last of six schools to receive a tree donation on the Big Island for 2018. Founder and "Tree-EO" of FTPF Cem Akin shared, “Hawaii is one of the best places in the world to plant fruit trees.

On July 5th, HIP Ag traveled to the capitol in Honolulu to meet with legislators, DOE food service, nonprofit organizations, and local food producers to celebrate the revolutionary work of the Aina Pono Farm to School Program. The program’s focus is to bring farm fresh and local foods into Hawaii’s schools. As the logo symbolizes, the program brings local agriculture into school cafeterias, and in the process, educates students and school administrators about the taste and value of fresh, locally-grown food versus processed food. HIP Ag has been a part of the pilot ‘Aina Pono Farm to School program since 2015, in partnership with The Kohala Center and the Kohala Complex. We are happy to share that HIP Ag has contributed loads of bananas, papaya, citrus, lettuce, lau leaf, and carrots over the past year to the Kohala Complex. We were proud to celebrate Priscilla Galan, School Food Service Manager and Kohala High School Principal Janette Snelling as they were recognized and awarded for their trailblazing work sourcing locally and developing seasonal menus that both reflect the abundance of variety in our community and have been well-received by our students.

Pacific Quest Foundation helps to steward a healthy island community by contributing to existing 501(c)(3) organizations on Hawai’i. Over the years since our founding, Pacific Quest has developed relationships with over 60 local non-profit organizations through donations from our company, employees and clients. The PQ Foundation was created to continue this tradition of stewardship.

The Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture (HIP Ag) is honored to have been chosen as a beneficiary of the 2018 Big Island Chocolate Festival hosted by Kona Cacao Association (KCA). HIP Ag was awarded $6,000 in contribution to its youth education programming focused on teaching about the importance of agriculture including the basics of nutrition, where food comes from, and how to grow it. Specifically with this funding HIP Ag is developing a module as part of their place-based farm field trip programming which explores “life of a cacao tree” where students tour HIP Ag's farm and tropical agro-forest orchard, which includes 20 cacao trees. Here students will learn about the anatomy, life cycle, propagation techniques, and the desirable environment for a cacao tree in addition to gaining insight regarding the processes involved in creating cacao products such as chocolate, cacao nibs, and the deliciously rare cacao juice.

The end year is always a flurry of excitement between the longer days, final assignments, May Day preparation and performances, and graduating students. HIP Agriculture was excited to be a part of that energy within the Kohala Complex through farm field trips, pa’i’ai pounding, a health fair, and farmer mentorship. We are so honored to have a community that embraces agriculture and nutrition education as we strive towards increasing food sovereignty in N. Kohala and beyond. 

On April 4th, the Kohala High School’s Natural Resources classes came together with HIP Agriculture on a beautiful sunny morning like they do every Wednesday and Friday. What was different about this day, in particular, was the classes had a big “kuleana” to harvest 125lbs of lau (kalo) leaf for the Kohala Cafeteria Complex. A large feat for anyone in the farming industry! If you had visited the school farm at the beginning of the school year, you would most likely presume that this request would not be possible.


To practice and teach ecologically conscious agriculture, empowering individuals and communities to cultivate alternative systems of living that restore human and environmental health.

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