Tuesday | April 21, 2015
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Hawaii Community College offers new ag courses

<p>Courtesy photo</p><p>Hawaii Community College agriculture instructor Chris Jacobsen uses a tractor as he builds a greenhouse on the Hawaii CC campus. Jacobsen will be teaching a new series of agriculture classes this summer and fall.</p>

Hawaii Community College begins offering new agriculture classes in May that are designed for people with a wide range of horticultural interests and goals.

Whether you want to develop an agriculture business, gain the knowledge needed to offset your monthly food bill, or simply grow your gardening skills, the noncredit classes will be practical and enriching, said HCC agriculture instructor Chris Jacobsen.

“Students of all ages can learn to build their own greenhouse, create an irrigation system, control pests like a pro, start a business and use hydroponics,” said Jacobsen. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

HCC will host an “AgCurious” information session on May 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. for people who want to learn more about the courses and about agriculture on the Big Island. The meeting will be in Building 388 at the HCC campus in Hilo.

By completing the agriculture courses, students can obtain a Certificate of Participation or Certificate of Professional Development in the following areas of study: Farm Management Sustainable Production Practices Irrigation Repair and Theory Integrated Pest Management Farm Food Safety Ag Business Management and Marketing The courses will be condensed into a short timeframe: classes on two days for a Certification of Participation and classes on four days for a Certificate of Professional Development. Classes begin May 30 and will continue through October.

The new agriculture courses were developed with the help of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grant, better known as C3T Hawaii. More courses are expected to follow this first round of classes.

C3T Hawaii is a $24.6 million grant awarded to the University of Hawaii Community Colleges through the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. The grant will fuel the development of education and training curriculum and student academic/career coaching, which targets certificate and degree programs specific to the needs of agriculture, energy and health industries. These industry-focused, employer-driven programs are designed to increase college completion rates and provide job opportunities to the C3T participants.

For more information about the new agriculture classes or the AgCurious information session, contact Amy Shimabukuro at amysanae@hawaii.edu or 934-2687. Please RSVP for the AgCurious meeting by emailing amysanae@hawaii.edu or calling 808-934-2687.


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