AgHui Driver’s Manual

Our recently developed operating procedures outline


AgHui is a broad coalition of agricultural stakeholders from across the sector and the state. We convene and strengthen relationships around local agriculture, production, and the food system in Hawaiʻi. We reflect, rather than represent, the ag sector and our diversity of perspectives is a source of strength. We share an enthusiasm and optimism about the potential and future of agriculture. 

Our network

  • Shares research, information, and knowledge within and beyond AgHui.
  • Provides a place where ideas can be developed freely and in partnership.
  • Develops policy solutions, supported by evidence and grounded in experience.
  • Informs and educates policymakers, the public, businesses, and the community.
  • Uplifts the value of investment in the sector as a whole.
  • Maintains a dashboard of fundable agriculture projects.
  • Makes connections between funding and other resources.
  • Offers a place of trust and mutual accountability in service to the sector.

Value Propositions

AgHui members create value for each other by sharing the assets they bring to the network: their knowledge, connections, skills and other competencies, and resources.

Collective Value Proposition 

All members share and are motivated to achieve AgHui’s North Star:

  • We envision agriculture at the heart of Hawaiʻi’s economy and community. We will strengthen local agricultural production and food access through diverse farming and ranching livelihoods.

Individual Value Proposition

  • Building connections
    • Members interact with other members across the sector and state.
    • Members interact with farmers, funders, agencies and elected officials.
    • Members connect each other with people who may be able to help them.
  • Knowledge sharing
    • Members share and receive information and insights into agricultural issues and activities across the sector and state.
    • In some cases information shared may not be publicly available.
  • Competency & skills sharing
    • Members contribute their skills to benefit the hui’s collective work.
  • Resources enactment
    • Members share knowledge about resources and help foster connections between parties to enact those resources on behalf of the sector.

Operating Principles

What the network undertakes only happens when and because members step up to make it happen, and can change to reflect emergent priorities.

  • Do everything with someone, no go solo!
  • Keep network information and decision making open and transparent.
  • Be Here Now – plans are flexible and evolving.
  • Don’t worry too much about who we are, just be yourself. Focus on the work.
  • Seek to support projects that are amplifiers & multipliers.
  • Tap into & honor local intelligence, while adapting new ideas & practices.
  • Build relationships throughout the sector and beyond.
  • Listen to the community, ask questions, and read between the lines to get deeper.
  • Visit people in their spaces, with a ‘remove slippahs at the door’ attitude.
  • Look for and follow up on opportunities – make intros, connect the dots, facilitate action.
  • Seek learning to deepen knowledge, skills, & capacity of the sector, network, & yourself.
  • Make people feel heard, connected, whole & healthy, and keep laughing.

Membership Eligibility, Expectations & Extent

We began with handpicked membership seeking a broad base of participation and have evolved into smaller but more open membership.


  • People are members, not organizations.
  • We’re here as individuals, not representing our organizations.


  • Content with current size of membership (~10 per meeting)


  • Core Group is folks that show up AND sign up to do the work. 
    • Core leadership team is empowered to make decisions.
  • Non-core group remains informed and can shift into Core Group at will.


  • Members engage according to their ability/capacity.
  • Share our commitment to AgHui’s goals.
  • Have acknowledged expertise or competence in the ag sector.
  • Have linkages to other relevant organizations or individuals. More than just knowing others, ideally you wield a capacity to influence.
  • ​​Capacity to collaborate – be open, willing, and able to learn from each other, and have confidence in your work and ‘dare to share’ it with others.
  • Being a good network citizen – give time and attention to AgHui’s activities


  • Current AgHui members “sponsor” interested prospects:
    • Alert the Core Group and provide an opportunity for discussion.
    • If the Core Group is in accord, the sponsoring member shares our history & this Driver’s Manual and invites the new potential member to attend their first meeting. The new member continues to participate at will.
  • New members communicate their relevant skills and network capacity


  • Give notice if can. Try to find a replacement.
  • Clarify efforts you were a part of that might be left on the table.

Coordination, Facilitation, and Communication

Coordination is critical to the network’s value creation and to facilitate the members’ work.


This is currently a function provided by Ivy Wappler, via in kind support from Kuilima Farm.

  • Logistical and administrative support to the group, including scheduling and note taking.


This is currently a distributed function of the core group.

  • Agenda setting, calling meetings, logistics oversight.
  • Website maintenance.
  • Funds management (in future).
  • Project reporting to funders and other interested parties (in future).

Strategic management

This is currently a distributed function of the core group. In the future, a network strategic manager or coordinator position may be created, if so we’ll want someone who understands that their job is to enable the network, not to tell it what to do.

  • Help members set direction together.
  • Sustain & increase connectivity and value creation, facilitating peer-to-peer exchange.
  • Broker member collaborations, including: identify topics for collaboration, help to develop project proposals, help to identify and choose consultants and oversee their work.
  • Support the expansion in size and capacity of the network and its members.
  • Maintain constructive group dynamic & ensure members adhere to operating principles.
  • Build relationships with funders and fundraise for the sector.


  • Work in the network
    • Regular meeting facilitation rotates between members.
    • Working groups meeting facilitation is ad hoc, often by the working group lead. 
  • Work on the network
    • Outside facilitation is often provided by Linda Colburn, Where Talk Works.


This is currently a distributed function of the core group. 

  • A member roster with contact information will be maintained by the core group with support from the logistics position.
  • All-hands communication happens through email.
  • Working group communication happens through email and often by text. 
  • Network and working group meetings are held by Zoom, occasionally by phone. 
  • External Communication
    • Decided upon via consensus of the Core Group or relevant subgroup.
    • We send emails from AgHui, not our own accounts. We draft correspondence and have 2-3 additional pairs of eyes review it prior to sending; whoever shows up gets to weigh in on decisions. The Core Group must be aware that external communications are in the works, and have the opportunity to contribute.
    • We report back to the group after outside meetings. 
    • We attend external meetings with at least two AgHui folks to represent multiple perspectives, and use all opportunities to expand our own and others’ networks.
    • We reflect the community, but are not sector representatives.
    • We do not individually make commitments on behalf of the group. We are careful about saying what position AgHui represents.
    • As AgHui folks, we’re here as individuals, not representing our organizations.


This is a function of the Communications Working Group, following the same practices as all other external communications.

  • Craft and deploy communications strategy.
  • Roll out AgHui work products.


Decision Making

  • Decisions are made by AgHui’s Core Group (see above).
  • Internal areas of priority & collective action.
    • We prioritize nimbleness and flexibility over formal process.
    • We use meetings to collectively process decisions and make sure we are collectively comfortable with our choices.
    • In absence of vociferous dissent we move forward.
    • In the event of a very contentious issue, we are interested in using the Gradients of Agreement tool through which opinions are communicated along a continuum, and decisions are made based on consensus clustering.

Assessment & Reporting

Annual Network Check-Up Survey

  • Connectivity: membership, structure
    • Monitor inter-network connectivity continually to assess strength and utility
    • The degree to which the network is satisfying its members’ value propositions. 
      • Like the network?
    • The degree to which members are connecting with and relating to each other.
      • gradations of connectivity, from “I have not met this person yet” to “I can reliably count on this person for information and a quick response.” 
  • Health: resources, infrastructure, advantage
  • Results: interim outcomes, goal/impacts
    • Listing of projects collaborated on

Network assessment tools will be developed. Resource:


AgHui is currently an unfunded effort, receiving in-kind administrative support from Kuilima Farm (Pono Pacific). We are considering fiscal sponsorship, potentially by Hawaiʻi Investment Ready or Hawaiʻi Good Food Alliance, which would enable us to receive funding from philanthropic and/or government grants. AgHui Resource Planning Notes