Opportunities for Students

CTAHR students tour a vermicomposting facility.

CTAHR students tour a vermicomposting facility.

CTAHR students visit corn trials at Waimanalo Experiment Station.

CTAHR students visit corn trials at Waimanalo Experiment Station.

Field trips may include cultural experiences unique to Hawai'i and the Pacific.

Field trips may include cultural experiences unique to Hawai'i and the Pacific.

Meet some members of the SOFT field crew (2008).

Meet some members of the SOFT field crew (2008).

 

CTAHR Coursework in Sustainable and Organic Production

To prepare for a career in Sustainable and Organic Production, a broad spectrum of basic coursework prepares students to manage these complex agro-ecosystems. Students learn the fundamentals of tropical crop and soil science, basic horticulture, entomology, weed science, plant disease, and crucial business skills required for today's successful agri-entrepreneurs. Expanding on these fundamental topics, students then specialize in a specific production area. CTAHR offers a wide array of selections for specialization, ranging from organic food crops, vegetables, tropical fruits, taro and Hawaiian medicinals. For those interested in working in the landscaping industry, production classes in flower crops, foliage production and turf management are available.

Using a creative combination of lectures, invited guest speakers, special projects and local farm visits, classes offered by CTAHR exposes students to an enriched and stimulating educational environment that combines both science-based theory and hands-on practicum. Some courses currently offered include:

Electives available to support coursework in Sustainable and Organic Production are extremely rich and diverse and may include topics from plant breeding and physiology, tissue culture and seed science to la'au lapa'au (Hawaiian medicinal herbs) and taro cultivation. Students may opt to examine stimulating and multi-dimensional topics in biology (Island ecosystems), botany (Inside Tropical Ecosystems, Advanced Ethnobotany), geography (Plants, People and Ecosystems) and anthropology (Humans, Animals and Agriculture; Spiritual Ecology).

For more information about coursework in Sustainable Plant Production and Management, see CTAHR's Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences.

CTAHR Coursework in Sustainable and Organic Production (.pdf brochure)

Student Organic Farm Training

To complement the academic environment provided by CTAHR coursework, students have an unparalleled opportunity to acquire hands-on, real-life experience in horticulture, pest control, nutrient management, business and marketing. In 2007, CTAHR established SOFT, the Student Organic Farm Training Program, a student managed farm program coordinated by undergraduate students and a group of student volunteers. This apprentice style program provides SOFT students with the contemporary skill set required by today's successful agricultural entrepreneurs.

Students participating this program have access to three different locations for growing herbs, fruits and vegetables. Experienced instructors and advisors representing the many disciplines of CTAHR instruct and guide them throughout the production process, from seed to sale. Students give back to our community by giving presentations and providing workshops for the community. You may see our students at events such as "Ag in the City", the Hawai'i State Farm Fair and CTAHR's events.

CTAHR in the Schools

Our students are the next generation of food producers, consumers, policy makers and voters. Through their education, we have the opportunity to profoundly shape the future of agriculture.

To build the agricultural education capacity of public schools, CTAHR's Sustainable and Organic  Farming Systems program works with partners such as the Hawaii Department of Education, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, and organizations such as Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and Hawaii Organic Farmers Association t engage K-12 students and educators to assist in the development of science-based agriculture curriculum to promote a pragmantic enthusiam for agriculture in Hawaii's youth.

Joining other CTAHR programs such as Ag Awareness Days and STEM, the CTAHR Sustainable and Organic Farming Systems program brings hands-on agriculture into our local schools. Whether it be building compost bins as McKinley High School, helping to establish a school garden at Punahou, or showing ag students from Waianae how a backpack flamer can be used to kill weeds.

CTAHR class at Waimanalo Experiment Station.