Growing Future Farmers

Ag tourism, marketing leaders are planting, watering seeds of interest with isle students

KAHULUI – At first glance, it’s hard to recognize the plot of land in Kahului filled with weeds, grass and natural debris. On second look, a couple picnic benches come into view and the nearby area, which was once a thriving banana plantation, becomes slightly more discernible.

However – the only thing Pomai and Lani Weigert see at the Maui High School farmland – is potential, acres and acres of it.

The mother-daughter team of ag tourism and marketing leaders are launching a pilot program to revitalize agricultural studies at MHS, Pomai’s alma mater, in hopes of harvesting future farmers and agricultural enthusiasts for Maui County.

As a result of the MHS farm replanting effort that started last month and two days of agriculture field trips, their efforts are already yielding results.

“Ag and food services have never had registration like how they have now,” MHS agriculture teacher Ian Lowland said. “Instantly the word got around: Cool stuff is going on in agriculture. They’ve been an integral part of all of this.”

MHS senior Sarah Bam said she realizes that agricultural skills are important for all people, especially those living in Hawaii: “Everybody should know how to plant and grow their own food.”

Maui Invasive Species group seeks nominees

MAKAWAO – The Maui Invasive Species Committee seeks nominations by Nov. 15 to honor efforts in Maui County to eliminate invasive species.

MISC, the Maui Association of Landscape Professionals and Maui County co-sponsor the Malama I Ka Aina Award. It recognizes a landscaper; plant provider (retail or wholesale nursery, or garden shop); or the owner or manager of a commercial or agricultural property for efforts to keep invasive species out of Maui County.

Application forms are available at websites or; click on “what’s new.”

Completed forms should explain how a nominee’s activities or decisions have contributed to keeping the county free of invasive species.

Forward applications via e-mail to, fax to 573-6475 or mail to MISC, P.O. Box 983, Makawao 96768.

Organizers will announce the winner Dec. 4 at the 15th annual Lawn & Garden Fair at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

The winner will receive a plaque and one-year membership in the Maui Association of Landscape Professionals.

For more information, call 573-6472 or send e-mail to

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