A gift for Lahainaluna High School
Learning the ins and outs of agriculture, especially production agriculture to grow food, can often be an expensive process. It’s a reality that Lahainaluna High School’s (LHS) ag program has faced over the years as they focus on growing the next ag generation.
Helping to support their efforts is Bayer.
According to LHS’s Keith Ideoka, Natural Resources Faculty, “Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar used to help repair our school’s tractors at no cost to us whenever we needed help. That included transmission work, which can be very expensive. After HC&S closed, we approached Bayer who agreed to help LHS’ ag program and they’ve been a great partner since.”
Bayer’s latest contribution was the repair of the school’s two tractors and a donation of a custom-built seed planter at no cost to LHS.
“Bayer fixed our older tractor first, a John Deere 1050, got that running so we had one tractor we could use,” said Ideoka. “Then they fixed our newer John Deere 1070 tractor which was a more costly repair, because it required transmission work. When we asked Bayer to repair our school’s old seed planter, they volunteered to custom build one for us in their shop as parts for this old equipment were no longer available.”
The donation totaled nearly $30,000 for labor (over 200 hours) and parts.
LHS uses this equipment to help prepare their fields for planting crops such as seed corn, sunflowers, and other vegetable crops. They later sell these vegetables to help raise funds for their school’s ag program.
Students are taught by school faculty on how to drive the tractors which gives them hands-on experience on the basics of heavy equipment operation. Bayer’s mechanics also offer to train students on safety, share information on industry standards, and help to teach students about preventative maintenance so the school can avoid costly equipment repairs in the future.
“Bayer’s contributions are enabling us to teach our students more about production agriculture, how to grow food so we can be more food independent,” said Ideoka. “This continued support is truly a gift.”
“The truth of the matter is, agriculture is very, very hard work, but it’s also extremely gratifying and absolutely essential for people and communities everywhere,” said Dan Clegg, Hawaii Business Operations Lead at Bayer. “That’s why we try to do what we can to support great people and great programs like those at LHS. Helping students discover a passion for ag is all about helping to grow Hawaii’s next generation of farmers and ag leaders.”