Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Getting away from the cold, cold weather!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Getting ready for warmth

These cold temperatures will soon be a thing of the past --- as we join others from the SDARL Alumni group for a fantastic tour of agriculture in Hawaii. This really is a wonderful benefit of being an alumni of SDARL. We've traveled with some of the people before and look forward to making new friends as well as learning a lot. Dr. Gee and Rajean make every trip an educational and fun experience.

Hawaii: SDARL Alumni Study Trip, January 4-10, 2015

Dr. Dan Gee, SDARL Alumni Director, is planning on taking a group of alumni to Hawaii on January 4th. The blog is promising: Connie Groop, Class VI alumnus, will be reporting from the islands in the Pacific Ocean. Follow this blog from January 4-11, 2015 to learn more.

Below is the itinerary of the SDARL Alumni Trip.

South Dakota Agriculture & Rural Leadership Alumni Visit to Hawaii

Jan 2, 3, 4    Free time on Oahu, Schedule your own Activities
Jan 7             Free time on Oahu or Big Island
Jan 11, 12    Free time

Monday, January 5, 2015 – Central Oahu/Honolulu

7:30 am Depart Waikiki Marriott
8:00 am Hawaii Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Division; overview of the state of agriculture
            1849 Auiki Street
            Honolulu, HI 96819
·       Scott Enright, Chairperson of the State Board of Agriculture
·       Ken Kakesako, Deputy to the Chairperson of the State Board of Agriculture
·       Diane Ley, USDA Farm Service Agency, Alumni and board member of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii
9:00 am  Depart

9:45 am Hawaii Agricultural Research Center; agricultural research
94-340 Kunia Rd (Across Kunia Road from Wendy’s Restaurant)
Waipahu, HI 96797
·       Stevie Whalen; former board member of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii
President;; (808) 228-0272 or 808-621-1350
10:45 am  Depart

11:00  Larry Jefts Farm – Among the state’s largest vegetable and melon producers
            94-877 Kunia Rd
            Kunia, Hawaii 96759
·        Larry Jefts, owner;; 808-688-2892
12:00 pm Depart

12:15 pm Lunch hosted by DuPont Pioneer, with Hawaii Ag Leadership Alumni
            Kunia Village Agriculture Park
92-1770 Kunia Rd
Waipahu, HI 96759
·         Mark Stoutemyer, lunch host with Pioneer, Ag Lead Alum & Current Board Member of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii
1:30 pm Depart

1:45 pm Kunia Country Farms; aquaponics, aquaculture, Hydroponics
            92-1770B Kunia Road
                        Kunia, Hawaii 96759
·        Cary Takenaka, owner; (808) 625-1456

2:45 pm Depart

3:00 pm Pa’ina Hawaii – Commercial irradiator;
            92-1780 Kunia Rd. V
            Kunia, HI 96759
·       Michael Kohn, President;; 808-834-0496     

3:45 pm Depart

4:00 pm DuPont Pioneer
46-880 Kunia Road ( while traveling makie on Kunia Road look for small sign, ‘Pioneer”   just slightly makie of Anonui street-turn right onto gravel road and follow road back to bulidings.
            Kunia, HI 96759
Pioneer Kunia Research Center, Site Manager;; Cell (808) 216-6254; Office (808) 688-1699 ext 24

5:00 pm  Depart

6:15 pm Arrive at Marriott – Dinner individual choices, on your own

Jan 4, 5, 6, 2015
 Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
 2552 Kalakaua Av Honolulu

Jan 7, 8, 9, 2015
 Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
 69-275 Waikoloa Beach Drive   Waikoloa HI

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 – Windward, North Shore & Central Oahu/Honolulu

7:30 am Depart Waikiki Marriott
8:15 am Kako’o Oiwi; restoration of Heeia Wetlands and food security through Loi Kalo (taro      production in water)
             46-334 Kamehameha Highway (be sure to go to Kaneohe – not He’eia or Laie)
                        Kaneohe, HI 96744
·         Koa Kukea-Shultz, Ag Leadership Alum
             Executive Director;
9:30 am  Depart

9:45 am  Kualoa Ranch; working ranch, tourism, filming location; Hawaiian Oysters; John Morgan was a past NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award Winner
            49-560 Kamehameha Hwy,
            Kaneohe, HI 96744
            (808) 237-7321
·         John Morgan, Owner;
 Lunch @ ranch
1:00 pm Depart

1:30 pm  Syngenta
            94-880 Kunia Road
            Kunia, HI 96759
            808-688-1477 (Main Office); 808-639-4564 (Cell)
            Steve Kai, Ag Lead Alum Class I & Former Board Member of the Agricultural Leadership             Foundation of Hawaii. 35 years of activity in Ag sector in Hawaii
            2:45 pm  Depart

3:00 pm  Fat Law Farms – Large producer of Thai basil, eggplant and Asian vegetables
·         Alvin Ty Law (son of owner Tim Law);; 808-226-4898
4:00 pm Depart

5:15 pm Gordon Biersch; restaurant and brewpub with interesting views of Honolulu, the harbor and sunset;  Wide sampling of appetizers provided
            Hawaii Ag Lead Alumni Gathering
            Aloha Tower Market Place
            Downtown Honolulu
    Transportation on your own back to Marriott

Wednesday January 7, 2015

Inter-Island flight from Honolulu to Kona on Big Island Hawaii
Thursday, January 8, 2015 Big Island Hawaii

7:00 am Depart Waikoloa Marriott

8:15 am Kamehameha Schools Cattle Project at Pa’auhau, Hamakua
            Tex Drive In – Meet Perry Kealoha and drive to nearby ranch
            45-690 Pakalana Street
            Honokaa, HI
·       Perry Kealoha, Ag Lead Alumni;; 808-322-5310 (o); 808-960-9661 (cell)

9:15 am Depart

10:45 am Wailea Agriculture Group; 
            29-2070 Homestead Road
            Honomu, HI
            • Lesley Hill, Ag Lead Alumni and owner;
Lunch provided

12:45 am Depart

1:30 am Hamakua Mushrooms;
            36-221 Manowaiopae Homestead Road
            Laupahoehoe, HI
            • Lani Weigert; agrotourism marketer for Hamakua Mushrooms and Ag Lead Alumni;   ; 808-962-0017. 

2:45pm Depart

4:00 pm Arrive at Ponoholo Ranch tour
            Kohala Mountain Road, outside of Hawi, HI
            • Chris English, Vice President of production, Worked in Beef Industry on mainland &      returned to family owned operation @ Ponoholo   Ag Lead Alumn;
            • Sabrina White, Assistant manager, 3rd generation rancher on family owner       commercial cow/calf operation with Angus & Charolais Cattle   Ag Lead Alumn;   
            Dinner @ Ranch

7:00 pm Depart

8:00 pm Arrive at Waikoloa Marriott

South Dakota Ag Leadership Alumni Friday, January 9, 2015

7:45am  Depart Waikoloa Marriott

9:00 am   Kona Queen Company
            World’s largest producer of queen bees
83-5311 Napoopoo Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704
P.O. Box 768, Captain Cook, HI 96704
·         Gus Rouse, owner
9:45 am   Depart

10:00 am   Hawaiian Host Macadamia Nut Farm & Factory
            Macadamia nut orchards and processing factory
            83-5711 Middle Keei Road
            Captain Cook, HI 96704
11:00 am  Depart

11:40 am  Pine Trees CafĂ© - Lunch
            73-4040 Hulikoa Drive (at Queen Kaahumanu Highway)
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
(808) 327-1234
Lunch provided
·         Hawaii Alumni may be able to join the group
Shopping at the adjacent Mountain Thunder Store
12:40 pm Depart

1:00 pm  Mountain Thunder Coffee Farm
            Coffee, cacao (chocolate) and vanilla farm
73-1944 Hao Street (off of Kaloko Drive)
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
(808) 345-6600
·         Trent Bateman, CEO and Founder

2:00 pm  Depart

2:30 pm Big Island Abalone
            73-357 Makako Bay Dr
            Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
            (808) 334-0034
3:30 pm Depart

3:30 pm Blue Ocean Mariculture
            74-429 Kealakehe Parkway
            Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
·         Jennica Lowell;; 808-557-2233

4:30 pm Wrap-up with pupus(poo-poos) (snacks) and drinks at beach park
Natural Energy Laboratories Hawaii
            73-4460 Queen Ka'ahumanu Hwy
            Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

6:00 pm Depart for Waikoloa Marriott

6:45pm Arrive at Waikoloa Marriott

South Dakota Agriculture & Rural Leadership Alumni
Saturday January 10, 2015

Optional Tour Volcanoes National Park via Van
$75 per person plus tax includes lunch, snacks, bottled water and transportation via vans
Tour includes Coffee Mill, Orchid Gardens and Volcano winery

Optional Tour Volcanoes National Park via Helicopter
Terry Jaspers is working on details

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 15: last day in Peru

Our last day in Peru! The morning was spent in Cusco visiting the City Square. Some enjoyed people watching, the beautiful view, and the perfect weather. While others took in some museums and more shopping. The afternoon we spent touring some sights around Cusco to include, Inca Fortress of Sacsahuaman, Temple of Kenko, walking city tour of Plaza de Armas & the Cathedral. We wrapped up the day with overnight flights home.  
The Inca Fortress of Sacsahuaman was a beautiful display of Inca will power and perfection! Large walls of perfectly shaped stone for what was mistakenly called a fortress is actually a temple.  Architects today continue to study the Inca's designs and ingenuity. The largest stone is a 135 ton block. In building and sculpting of this formation the chips carved off the stone were placed inside the formation as a form of solar heat. A great display of Inca history was presented at this sight.
From this sight we traveled to an underground cave and temple. The Temple of Kenko was used to bury the Inca ancestors as mummies. The Inca's believed the main source of wisdom came from communicating with their deceased ancestors. This included using some of nature's hallucinogenic herbs and plants from the area's various environments. 

A stop at a local Alpaca textile and silver shop. We were given a presentation on the natural coloring made from elements found in the various environments of Peru. We again partook in supporting the local economy.
 Moving by bus to the City to start our walking tour of the Basilica Cathedral and the Koricancha or the Sun Temple. The Cathedral was built square and with brick. Since the Spanish had natives build and design the church it is covered in numerous traditional Inca symbols. When the Spanish realized there was earth quakes they had to add 2 large chapels to each side of the church to support its magnitude during earth quakes. The Koricancha was a monastery in the middle of Cusco. It was built into the Inca ruins of the Sun Temple. Throughout the monastery there are ruins from the Inca temple and since the church was built upon it we are able to see how the Inca's built their structures. 
 Wrapping up our tour with a trip to the airport. A bittersweet ending to our amazing adventure in Peru. We arrived in Dallas and headed straight to the many amenities we as Americans take for granted: ICE water palatable from the tap, seats on toilets that flush toilet paper, knowing for sure you are going in the right restroom, easily reading a menu and communicating  freely, flights on time and schedules on the board hours in advance, and  turning on our cell phones to freely call home.
Thank you all for following our amazing travels abroad. HUGE THANK YOU to our loved ones that kept life on track while we gallivanted around the world! We look forward to our last class seminar and auction in April!

Submitted by Kristy Smith

Day 14 in Peru: a taste of Peruvian Agriculture

Today we visited Awanakancha, home of a llama and alpaca farm as well as a hand woven textile store.  We learned about the different breeds of llamas and alpacas raised in Peru 
We feed the llamas and alpacas during our visit. 
 We then learned about how the wool is dyed to get bright vibrant colors.  Many plants and seeds are used to create these colors. 

There were many women hand weaving textiles.  It can take up to 1 year to complete the beautiful handiwork.   We also had the opportunity to purchase items from a gift shop made with alpaca wool. 

During our visit to this farm we learned about some of the crops raised in Peru.  There are over 5000 varieties of potatoes.  These potatoes are dried down and can be kept for up to 20 years.  To rehydrate them, they are placed in boiling water for three minutes. 

As we were loading the bus, a few of us were sprayed by silly string by a passing car.  Our tour guide informed us of the festival that takes place this time of year called Carnival.  It is a competition between men and women that usually involves water.  At the end of the festival there is a big meeting and a water competition.

We proceeded to Ollantaytambo -Sacred Valley of the Incas.   This is an Incan military, religious, and agricultural center located on the top of the mountain. 

Submitted by Tracey Walsh

Day 13 in Peru: Machu Picchu visit

   The highlight of our extended stay in Peru began today as we departed 
from the town of Aquas Calientes. This required us to board a small 
bus that would take us on a 20 minute ride that would take us on a one 
lane gravel road filled with 13 switchbacks and hairpin turns.

Our very efficient tour guide from Yampu Tours then gave us a walking 
tour of this New 7 Wonders of the World Machu Picchu. This Inca 
settlement was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. The city was 
abandoned by the Inca's and fortunate for us was not discovered
by the Spanish in the 1550's because they were under orders to destroy 
the Inca villages. It was estimated that this city was built in the 
1400's over a time frame of about 70 years.

         The engineer in the group Travis Bunde was always trying to figure 
out how they cut and moved the stones.                   The cowboy in 
the group Travis Johnson couldn't believe he was in a place like this.

The feat of taking a mountain top and transforming it into a city 
with temples, terraces for raising crops, storehouses and buildings 
was amazing to all of us.

After the main tour a group of us took the trail to the Sun Gate. 
This was a grueling hour long hike up a steeper and rougher trail but 
the views made it well worth the effort.
    It was hard to leave this beautiful place in the clouds, but we were 
all up to another adventure so it was back to the town of Aquas 
Calientes for lunch via bus. Then Peru rail to Ollantayambo and a bus 
to Cusco for our overnight stays there.

Submitted by Jeff Thompson