As part of its emphasis on promoting agricultural and science careers, Kaua`i Community College will launch its Agriculture & Science Speaker Series, Monday, January 25, 2016, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, in its Cafeteria. Opening the evening will be a showing of Farmland, a documentary on the lives of six successful young farmers and ranchers, directed by Academy Award winner James Moll. Margaret Schlass, featured in the documentary, a first-generation certified naturally grown vegetable farmer and business owner of One Woman Farm in Pennsylvania, will present her journey following the showing.
In addition to her public appearance, Schlass will meet with students in the Natural Resources Pathway from all three public high schools at the College. She will also meet with Kaua`i CC credit and non-credit agriculture classes and tour several farms on island.
Farmland captures an in-depth view into the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ‘20s who have chosen high risk – high reward careers and how they have been able to successfully live their passion for a way of life. This next generation of farmers and ranchers show what it is like to farm and ranch using a variety of modern day practices. As CNBC noted in its review of the documentary, “Farming is hard work but it’s ‘Cool ‘again.”
Schlass’ life changed igniting her love for farming while on a study abroad trip to Peru as a student at Delaware University working toward degrees in art history and anthropology. After graduating, she worked for Don and Becky Kretschmann, pioneering organic farmers in Rochester, NY, and at Garden of Eve in Riverhead, NY.
Not formally trained to farm, Schlass received her education directly from growers and in 2008 at the age of 23, took that risk and started her own farm and business, One Woman Farm. One Woman Farm, in just seven years, is now a 120-member agriculture business. Schlass grows and markets her produce through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership program, farmers markets, and a partnership with one of the largest group of restaurant owners in her area.
“I am thrilled that Kaua`i CC is able to headline this series of presentations,” said Helen Cox, Chancellor. “Opening with agriculture demonstrates the College’s firm support for the building of agriculture as a healthful and successful industry on Kaua`i, “she said. “We need to collectively encourage our next generation of farmers and ranchers. I thank BASF, our community partner and co-sponsor of this series,” said Cox.