Monsanto Haleiwa Plants School Garden, Cultivates Community Relationships

It's important to cultivate good relationships with customers. But Monsanto Haleiwa knows it's just as important to form strong relationships within your local community.

Last week, employees at the Haleiwa foundation site helped the students at Waialua Elementary plant a garden in front of their school. The four-section garden includes native Hawaiian, Philippine, Japanese and European plants.

"There are so many cultures in Hawaii, with folks who migrated here for work and formed roots," says Caleb Dohrman, Operations Manager. "We were happy to lend a hand to help the garden reflect that diversity."

Dohrman and the team also were happy to dig in the dirt (literally - the backhoe broke ground on March 17).

In addition to clearing out the area and planting, the Haleiwa team donated three garden benches made of recycled plastic, donated and laid down bricks for the pathway, painted doors, cleaned windows, and moved the 1,000-pound "Little House" to a corner location in the garden. The Little House, a model-scale plantation home that is a common historical piece in the area, was original to the garden, but had become overgrown with weeds.

"The school never imagined this could actually happen!" says Dohrman. "The enthusiasm of our employees to be out in our community is tremendous. I can't applaud them enough for wanting to be part of something good like this."

The garden now provides a wonderful educational area for the students at Waialua Elementary, where Dohrman says many employees and their children have also attended the school.

"Some folks might not know that a Monsanto employee is their neighbor or tee ball coach. We wanted to partner with others in the community, contribute toward a common goal and share our story of who we are as a company," says Dohrman. "We want other community groups and organizations to see this and say, we want to help, too."

Monsanto Haleiwa has also partnered with Waialua Elementary to host a bike safety event - an idea borrowed from the Remington, Ind., site. The Haleiwa site has come together to help others in the community, including participating in an adopt-a-highway, beach clean-up along the North Shore ocean; and partnering with 4-H and Toys for Tots.

Later this year, the site will partner with Wildlife Habitat Council to develop a refuge area where a pollinator plot will be devoted to a different community group, like 4-H or a school. Dohrman says all Monsanto Hawaii sites have similar wildlife refuge areas and they are a great way for students to learn about flowers and the importance of bees.

Monsanto Haleiwa, located on the island of Oahu, plants, grows, harvests and ships commercial parent corn seed to the mainland. Haleiwa is an important site to serve our customers' needs.

Dohrman, who is originally from Sweet Springs, Mo., and moved to Hawaii one year ago, says, "Haleiwa brings me back to my roots of a small town within an ag community."