Sustainability earns honors

HAIKU – Lloyd Fischel lives with thousands of golden tilapia in his backyard.

Although he could make a business off of harvesting the fish, he keeps the critters in their two large fishponds for educating students and the community about science and how to be sustainable.

“I think the message is anybody can grow fish or vegetables in a small yard for little cost,” Fischel said.

In the past six years he has been pushing that message as hundreds of students have visited his 2-acre Haiku property.

For his efforts, Lanikai Farms last month received a Heroes of Agriculture, Food and Environment award from the 2010 Hawaii Agriculture Conference “Celebrating Change” on Oahu.

Fischel was one of 10 groups of Mauians receiving awards. (See box). Fischel, who works with his partner, Karen Klemme, placed in the Food Business or School Doing Business With Excellence category. The conference was hosted by the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii.

While Fischel, who is also president of the Maui Farmers Union, said he was humbled by the award and pointed to the achievements of the other winners, he feels he has a good program he wants to bring to the public.

Agricultural leaders sought for awards

The Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii is seeking nominations for its Heroes of Agriculture, Food and Environment Awards. The awards will be presented at the 2010 Hawaii Agriculture Conference, Sept. 23-24 at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa at Ko Olina.

Awards will be given in seven categories: Hawaii’s oldest commercial farm; young family member or members taking over a farm operation; an employee or team that supports the owner and helps keep the farm in “top shape”; a farm entrepreneur who does business with excellence; a food business or school that does business with excellence; an environmental supporter who does their work with excellence; and a government, nonprofit or individual supporter of agriculture, food or the environment.

Nomination applications are due by Aug. 31 and are available online at

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Agriculture Leadership Foundation accepting applicants

HONOLULU – The Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii is accepting applications for its latest class in the Agriculture Leadership Program: Class XIII.

The program is for promising leaders from Hawaii’s agriculture, natural resources management and rural community sectors. “Through this program, individuals who have already demonstrated a commitment to lead in their line of work or community activities will develop the knowledge, relationships, tools and skills that will enable them to be more successful in their work and all community endeavors,” said Executive Director Kim Coffee-Isaak.

“For Class XIII, the program is now being opened to professionals in natural resources management,” said Coffee-Isaak, adding that the hope is to “create stronger bridges between Hawaii’s agricultural and conservation communities.”

Recruitment information can be found at program_recruitment.htm. The deadline is July 2.

For any other questions on the Agriculture Leadership Program, call 947-2914 in Honolulu or visit

Agriculture Leadership Foundation accepting applicants – | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News