With a total of $53 million on the table, competition was fierce for the 48 spots in project funding. But in the end, GoFarm Hawaiʻi is the only project in the state to be awarded a Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The 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.
GoFarm Hawaiʻi has six training sites statewide that support farmers and individuals who want to establish businesses in the agricultural industry. Since 2012, it has trained more than 370 aspiring farmers, helping to reduce Hawaiʻi’s dependence on imported food and increase our food sustainability.
“We are so grateful to USDA-NIFA for supporting our program!” says director Janel Yamamoto. “This investment will help to develop more sustainable farmers in Hawaii, increase our local food supply, and grow our next generation of farmers.”
The CTAHR program also provides a comprehensive and practical production and business training program, and networks aspiring farmers with CTAHR experts, existing farmers, and the local Ag community.
A recent graduate of GoFarm Hawaiʻi notes, “I can’t say enough good things about the entire program. Our coaches Dan and Caleb are so knowledgeable and just go above and beyond. The entire business team is amazing and I know will be a great resource for years to come. I feel prepared to get my commercial farm going and I am truly starting from scratch. Thanks for making this program available and letting me be a part of it!!!”
Read the full grant award.