Helping to grow Hawaii’s next ag generation

Did you know:  less than two percent of Hawaii’s workers are employed in agriculture, and they’re getting older (average age is 60.4 years).

From our daily meals to the clothing we wear to energy that helps power our modern lifestyles…we all depend on agriculture to produce the food, feed, fiber and fuel we need.

At Monsanto, we think it’s important to do what we can to support ag. The sustainability of our state – and our planet – depends on it.

That is why we applaud great people and great programs dedicated to growing Hawaii’s next ag generation, and support their efforts through grants, internships, scholarships and other programs to support ag education.

One of the programs Monsanto Hawaii supports is Lahainaluna High School’s (LHS) ag class. Led by Keith Ideoka, Natural Resources Faculty, LHS helps students discover their passion for ag.

“We need more of our youth to pursue agricultural careers,” said Ideoka. “Right now is a good time to learn about ag.  We have school gardens in Lahainaluna’s elementary school, intermediate school and high school. We also have a number of partners that have enabled us to expand our ag educational programs. Our state also has an active FFA (Future Farmers of America). All these efforts will go a long way in helping to educate our youth of the importance of ag.”

M’Chelle Aguinaldo, a new LHS alumnus and former State FFA Secretary, also shared: “What I really like about Lahainaluna’s ag program is it’s helped me find my passion and a career choice. Agriculture is more than just farming. It can take you to more places than you’ve ever dreamed and make you believe that one day you can make a change.”

“Monsanto has been a big help to Lahainaluna High School’s ag program,” said Ideoka.

Monsanto’s support has included working on the school’s farm equipment, helping to build a greenhouse and deck, and providing manpower and equipment as needed.

“We feel it’s important to support ag education because it helps our younger generation realize that agriculture is part of our lives and is key to a thriving society in every generation,” said Aurora Esmaquel, System Coordinator Lead for Monsanto Hawaii. “Right now it’s so exciting to learn about agriculture because there’s a lot of technological advancements that we use today which is helping us grow our food better.”

“It’s really important to build that connection between ag and our food with students at a young age and follow throughout high school. Because we are Hawaii’s next generation of ag leaders.”