The Agricultural Leadership Program (ALP) is a signature program of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai‘i (ALFH), a non-profit organization with deep roots in Hawai‘i. ALP is for promising leaders from Hawai‘i’s agricultural, natural resource management, and rural community sectors. Since its inception in 1982, ALP has graduated over 185 leaders that are positively impacting Hawai‘i agriculture and their communities. Review the Program FAQs to find out more and visit our alumni section to meet the leaders that are part of our ALP ‘ohana.
The Agricultural Leadership Program (ALP) is a signature program of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai‘i (ALFH) for promising leaders from Hawai‘i’s agricultural, natural resource management, and rural community sectors. The training is designed for individuals who have already demonstrated a commitment to lead in their line of work or community activities.
ALP offers participants an in-depth look at diverse agricultural operations and the supply chain in Hawai‘i, where both challenges and opportunities are explored. That information is combined with leadership content, connections to community networks, and exposure to government policymaking and implementation. Over the course of the program, participants will develop the knowledge, networks, relationships, tools and skills that will enable them to be more successful in their work and in other community endeavors that they choose to pursue in their future. ALP will assist participants in being able to collaborate with others to articulate and achieve outcomes they want to manifest in their work and communities.
ALP is not a training program in farm production. ALFH does not engage in lobbying activities as an organization or group.
Agriculture remains important to Hawai‘i’s economy and to the preservation of its natural resources. Unfortunately, it is largely misunderstood by the average person. In these times where divergent views of agriculture tend to pull the sector apart, it is more important than ever to work together because the economic and cultural vitality of agriculture and rural communities has reverberating effects throughout our entire society. A healthy, thriving, sustainable agriculture sector is important to Hawai‘i’s future. Through the ALP, ALFH nurtures leaders who can help achieve this.
The ALP includes workshops in facilitation and group process, collaboration, negotiation, mediation, systems thinking and more. Educational site visits to farms, ranches, aquaculture and ag-forestry businesses, nurseries, watershed protection areas, cultural projects and other rural community endeavors are an essential component of the program. Seminars will focus on local and state issues such as Pa. Through visits to the State Legislature and Washington, D.C., participants will gain first-hand exposure to government policymaking and implementation. Participants will meet Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. and will learn about national agricultural policies and issues. The class will also investigate commonalities and learn about unique perspectives of agriculture in the state of their choice during the National Trip.
ALP includes the following key components:
- Network building
- Leadership development workshops
- Skill-building sessions
- Guest presentations
- Site visits with hands-on learning
- Group exploration in Hawai‘i
- Exploration in government processes
- Exploration beyond Hawai‘i
- Participant presentations
- Team planning activities
Additional information on program components is provided during the recruitment process.
Executive and Program Director Christine Brammer will direct ALP with support from selected leadership professionals. ALFH Board Member and Past Program director Donna Ching, Ph.D. will join the leadership team. The team will have decades of experience working in Hawai‘i on community-based, complex resource management issues and will provide a dynamic program designed to stretch participants’ knowledge and skills.
The schedule for each class will be announced during the recruitment phase. Cohort members are required to participate in all activities. Failure to do so may result in non-completion of the program. Some schedule changes and exceptions may be necessary.
Participants must make a serious time commitment to the ALP. This time commitment (and potential loss of income for those who are self-employed) is the most significant challenge, but the rewards are immeasurable. Applicants must be able to complete coursework and travel while meeting their job, personal and family commitments. Applicants should also be aware of the financial commitment of the program which is explained in detail within the program application. Alumni are available to share their experiences and coping strategies with potential applicants.
Participants are required to attend all virtual seminars, travel seminars and the two-week national trip over the course of the program. Travel seminar lengths range from 3 to 6 days and often include full days of scheduled activity. Additional assignments must be completed on time including pre-seminar homework, post-seminar reflections, blogging, various national trip assignments, and other special projects. Additionally, participants will work in teams and play an active (and at times a leadership) role in planning seminars and the national trip. Participants must check and respond to email regularly and will be required to use Google applications and other online tools. Directions will be provided as needed.
Tuition for the next ALP Class will be announced at the beginning of the recruitment process. Tuition for recent classes was $6,500 per participant. A Re-envisioned ALP program was developed to continue the program during the 2020 pandemic and the cost of that program was reduced to $5,500. The value of ALP is estimated to be over $20,000 per participant. Much of this cost is subsidized by the fundraising efforts of ALFH. The majority of the tuition is allocated to travel (airfare, shared lodging, and ground transportation) on neighbor island visits and the national trip. All meals, transportation to/from airport to home, and incidental expenses are the responsibility of each participant, and may average $50 per day.
Applicants are encouraged to obtain all or part of the tuition from the businesses or organizations to which they belong. ALFH does not want the tuition cost to keep exemplary candidates from applying, so a limited number of scholarships may be available for qualified individuals who demonstrate clear financial need.
ALP seeks applicants who have demonstrated a serious commitment to lead in their line of work and/or in community activities. Priority is given to applicants who work directly in agriculture (e.g., production of crops, livestock, forestry, ornamental and/or turf crops) or agriculture industry support endeavors (e.g., processing, handling, shipping, and delivering products to the consumer, or financing and management). Natural resource management professionals who work closely with agricultural communities, as well as those involved in rural community development, are also invited to apply. Applicants should have an interest in working to strengthen agriculture in Hawai‘i.
All applicants must be U.S. citizens or green card holders and must be residents of Hawai‘i for at least two years prior to ALP. Applicants must show a commitment to remain in Hawai‘i and must have approval from their employer to take the required time to participate in ALP. Self-employed individuals must demonstrate their ability to be away from their enterprises for the necessary amount of time.
Applicants are required to submit an ALP Application, an Employer’s Commitment Form (if applicable), and three ALP Recommendation Forms. Application deadlines will be announced on this site when recruitment for the next class begins.
An ideal ALP cohort will include 10–14 participants from large, medium and small for-profit agriculture-related companies, as well as representation from non-profit groups and government agencies that connect directly to agriculture and natural resources. ALP participants will include women and men from different islands and from different age groups. A diverse cohort is central to developing effective resources and relationships that will last long beyond the program’s conclusion. Additionally, the diversity of the group leads to a more thorough understanding of agriculture and the challenges and opportunities that exist.
A Selection Committee that includes ALFH program staff, ALFH board members, and ALP alumni, will review applications and select those who will be interviewed. Interviews will be held either in person or via webinar. Applicants will be notified of the Selection Committee’s decision and will then be required to submit additional information (biography, photo, medical information, travel information, waiver, etc.) to accept their place in the program.
Applicants are reviewed based upon the following criteria:
- Interest and desire to participate in the ALP
- Demonstrated leadership qualities as evidenced by community, industry or government organizational activities and positions of responsibility
- Demonstrated abilities to work as part of team or in a team framework
- Commitment to strengthening agriculture in Hawai‘i and creating sustainable communities
- Commitment to learning and personal growth
- Written, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills
- Ability to make time for the complete program, including travel
Each class will reflect a reasonable representation of geographical locations as well as business, government, and non-profit organizations. All applicants will be considered without discrimination regarding race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. All applicants must be willing to sign a general release of liability form and provide relevant medical information.
Yes. Any applicant who is not selected is encouraged to reapply. At this time, ALFH plans to begin a new cohort every two years.