The Farm Apprentice Mentoring (FAM) program is a network for beginning farmers with the purpose of expanding Maui’s food production while growing jobs and regenerating soil health. Our vision for the future of agriculture in Hawaii is supported by the efforts of the Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU). HFUU is an association of local farmers, gardeners, parents, and island citizens working to build a regenerative agri-food system. It is the mission of HFUU to grow farmers, build community, and promote the future viability of agriculture in Maui County.
Many beginning farmers do not have the opportunities and resources to become literate in the wide range of abilities required to be a successful farmer in today’s competitive economy. The purpose of FAM is to support beginning farmers in accessing land, building a portfolio of experience, and providing resources that enable the development of successful agricultural enterprises. The FAM program offers four key services:
- Provide education for farmers
- Access to farm land
- Agricultural facilities and production resource development
- Specialized support for farm start-ups.
FAM sponsors beginning farmers across the island of Maui in a 16 week apprenticeship program. FAM focuses on beginning farmers who are ripe for a transition into a farming career. The program supports apprentices in taking a series of classes that provide the skills and technical training necessary to start a successful farming enterprise. Recognizing the need for food security on Maui, our goal is to grow more food with beginning farmers on underutilized agricultural land.
We know that for Maui, and the rest of Hawaii, to become food secure and maintain economic growth we need to work together. With the utmost respect, this program invites dialogue and education on a range of agricultural techniques. Ultimately, we look forward to having communication that will lead us toward strategies that promote the triple bottom line of environmental stewardship, social justice, and economic viability.
The FAM program supports a regenerative agriculture. We define Regenerative Agriculture as an agricultural act that preserves or improves the fertility of the soil, creates an abundance of food and other agricultural products, contributes to vibrant communities and equitable economies, and respects the ecology of the natural world.