Farming in the classroom goes to the backcountry cattle ranch
More than 1,265 second-graders, teachers, and chaperones from Maui’s public and private schools participated in the annual Maui County Agricultural Office Classroom Farming Field Trip, which took place over two days at Haleakalā Ranch.
The field trip is the second half of a two-part lesson plan titled “Where Would We Be Without Seeds” that allows students to learn about the life cycle of plants from farmers, ranchers and agricultural educators. from Maui.
“Everyone involved in this field trip feels it is important to educate the youth of Maui about farming,” said Warren K. Watanabe, executive director of the Maui County Farm Bureau.
“The activity stations and the overall lesson plan allow us to provide students with information on where their food comes from, the connection between them and the land, the importance of healthy soil and the different parts of plants, on nutrition and good food choices. , and the various career paths in Maui’s agriculture industry, ”Watanabe said.
“For the past few years, Haleakalā Ranch has been the venue for the AIC field visit. Teachers tell us some of their students have never been to the Upcountry or a working cattle ranch, ”said Greg Friel, vice president / ranching manager, Haleakalā Ranch. “We are happy to provide a memorable experience and we believe it is important to share our work and that of other presenters so that children are exposed to farming on Maui.”
Organized by MCFB with support from the Maui County Economic Development Office and hosted on the pastures of the Haleakalā Ranch, AIC brings together educators and agricultural agencies from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and Master Gardeners, Maui Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Bayer-Crop Science, Maui, Maui Electric Company with support from Kula Country Farms, Maui Gold Pineapple Co. and Meadow Gold to host agricultural-themed activity stations including canoe plants. ‘Hawaii, Nutrition, Plant Parts and Soil Health.
Haleakalā Ranch featured two stations. The first focused on ranch animals and the second included some of their conservation partners from the West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, Haleakalā National Park, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Maui Invasive Species. They worked with the students to make Koa Seed Balls, which will be distributed on the southern slopes of Haleakalā National Park with the goal of bringing native forest back to this area.
“If families want to get their hands dirty and make more Koa Seed Balls for the reforestation project, we will be in the Keiki Zone at the Maui AgFest and 4-H Cattle Fair on Saturday, June 1 from 11:00 a.m. at 2:00 p.m. at War Memorial Special Events Field. It’s free and fun. said Jordan Jokiel, vice president / land manager, Haleakalā Ranch.
Participating schools come from all parts of Maui. On the first day, there were 580 students from nine schools including Kula, Carden Academy, Lihikai, Pukalani, Waiheʻe, Maui Adventist, Wailuku, St. Anthony and Hāna. On the second day, there were six schools with 685 students from Pōmaikaʻi, Princess Naheiʻenaʻena, Kahului, Puʻu Kukui, Makawao and Doris Todd Christian Academy.
In 2006, the Maui County Agricultural Bureau launched “Farming in the Classroom.” It has grown steadily since. A 10-month series of farmer classroom presentations and on-farm field activities, titled “Where Would We Be Without Seeds,” focusing on the life cycle of plants. Ag in the Classroom was originally developed for second year students of any public, private, or charter school wishing to participate.
MCFB is a local 501 (c) (5) organization of farms and ranch families, agribusinesses and related organizations dedicated to supporting agriculture in Maui County. We are affiliated with both the Hawai’i Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.