Our Board

Cho Global Natural Farming Hawaii

2021 Board Members

Jason Riessland – President

Steve Bolosan – Vice President

Kim Martin – Treasurer

Adam Dole – Secretary

Aera Samudio – Member At Large

Jeff Merryman- Member At Large

Paul Leveque- Member At Large

Mike DuPonte- Member At Large

Jason Riessland

PRESIDENT

Jason Riessland grew up on two-and-a-half acres amid the pear orchards of Southern Oregon, and quickly took up his grandfather’s and father’s passion for growing food. Having chosen a career in nursing, he has now shifted his focus, recognizing that first and foremost, healthy living begins at the dinner table. He is a Master Gardener in both Oregon and Hawaii, and has studied permaculture with the Bullock Brothers and Tania Leilani from Australia. He first encountered Korean Natural Farming in 2011 and has been teaching it officially since 2017. He has served on the Board of Cho Global Natural Farming – Hawaii since 2018, and is its current President. He is also on the Board of the Puna Chapter of Hawaii Farmers Union United and is a member of the Big Island Association of Nurseryman. He is an avid home-grown-food advocate, and has given away thousands of seedlings to people of all ages with new-found green thumbs. He is always available for questions, and if he doesn’t have an answer for you, he will help you find out who does! Since 2010, he has called the wet side of the Big Island home, but enjoys teaching Korean Natural Farming anywhere where plants grow – from the Arctic to the Tropics!

Steve Bolosan

VICE PRESIDENT

Taro Farmer / Carpenter / ‘Ukulele Builder Nā Mea Kupono Learning Center Steven Bolosan is a Kalo Farmer at a six-acre wetland educational kalo farm in Waialua, O’ahu. He’s been caring for the land for over twenty years and has always had a passion for growing plants from a very young age growing up at Waimea, O’ahu. He spent many years as a youth honing in on his connection with plants and the ‘āina. Today, he now has the blessing of being a full time kalo farmer where he propagates kalo for poi consumption. He also utilizes his knowledge of growing kalo to mentor and guide our keiki, ‘ōpio, and community of how to mālama ‘āina (care for the land) through kalo cultivation. Steven’s goal is not only to plant kalo, but to also plant seeds of aloha in the hearts of those who come to his farm. He’s ultimate goal is to share his love for the land and pass on his knowledge to others. After conventional farming for some years, Steven realized how detrimental this type of farming practice is to the environment. Fortunately, in 2012, a friend told him about an upcoming Natural Farming class. This was how he was introduced to Cho Global Natural Farming when he attended a course held at Windward Community College with Joe McGinn as his instructor. He fell in love with this pono (righteous) practice, and realized that it is in alignment with his values, and thus began his Natural Farming journey. He has since then attended numerous local workshops conducted by Master Cho and has flown to Korea several times to study under Master Cho and to attend conferences held there. He has hosted KNF workshops at his farm and created a best practice community with others that practice KNF where they have monthly gatherings (Pre-Covid) to support, practice, and live Cho love. What Steven can bring to Cho Global Natural Farming, are his many years of farming experience and his passion for caring for the land in a pono way. He has had many years of implementing the teachings of Master Cho on his farm and would like to utilize his knowledge to help other to advance in their Natural Farming practices as well. If chosen as a board member, he will bring his aloha and team player attitude. He will humbly work hard to uphold the true teaching of Master Cho. He wishes to bridge O’ahu farmers and Hawai’i island farmers to encourage unity amongst all of Cho Global Natural Farming practitioners.

Kim Martin

TREASURER

Kim has served on the Board off and on since 2011, and handles most of our online order fulfillment. She can often be found tending her chickens and guineas, or working with her father tending crops.

Adam Dole

SECRETARY

I started organic farming 24 years ago, growing echinacea flowers and vegetables in western Massachusetts. I went on to study sustainable farming systems at university, and discovered Master Cho’s natural farming a few years later. My goal is to have a natural farming poultry operation, and to teach natural farming.

Aera Samudio

MEMBER AT LARGE

Hello, my name is Aera Samudio. My husband James and I live in Texas where we have an urban farm in Fort Worth, Texas. I was born in Korea but moved to the U,S, when I was still in grade school. I am proud, as a Korean and love the fact that I can share the blessing of Korean Natural farming to various places in the world. I am looking forward to helping the knowledge of Korean Natural Farming to the mainland, as well as other parts of the world through serving on the KNF board. I am excited that this method is extremely effective in growing food by using inputs that are readily available throughout the world.

Jeff Merryman

MEMBER AT LARGE

Jeff Merryman is an internationally-accredited commercial cannabis/hemp farmer that has been practicing natural farming for over 12 years, He is a passionate and knowledgeable KNF instructor and KNF historian, and owns a cannabis company in Washington State.

Paul Leveque

MEMBER AT LARGE

Paul Leveque is passionate about the business development side of KNF farming, and reaching the target audience, and he has a teaching background.  As a project manager, with an extensive experience in telephone sales and marketing, he would love to service the recipe method of introducing a behavioral change in our would-be devotee farmer. He envisions a Pay to Play kit, basically 3 cubic feet of soil, the pots to put it in, the mix with water on day 1 formula in a bag, and the 14-day formula in a bag. And it goes on from there for the club of the 21st century to proliferate. It would be a very happy return to my previous field, this time working with C-suite executives to confirm introductory meetings for improving business farming efficiency and increasing bottom line profitability – while letting the microbes do the work. Sort of selling the dating game – yet only this time the product. Becoming a bio-diversitist is cool for anyone with a six by six foot plot with access to light.      

Michael Duponte

MEMBER AT LARGE

Michael Duponte is an Extension Agent  in Livestock and Pasture Management for East Hawai`i, University of Hawai`i and Cooperative Extension Service, and will be retiring after many years of service at the end of this year. His   responsibilities have included: 1) to maintain coordinating roles with county and state staff, UH personnel, government agencies, and industry & community associations in areas of agricultural management, livestock production and marketing to establish long range and short term goals, 2) to evaluate the needs of the livestock and other industries, then plan, develop and provide educational programs to fulfill their goals, and 3) to transfer technical knowledge from research to management.  Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Mike got his first introduction to dairy production at a young age through family friends who operated Foremost Farms in Waimanalo.  After performing his first pregnancy check at the age of 14, little did he know that he would one day return to it as a profession. Mike has over 30 years of experience as a certified artificial inseminator with over 200,000 cattle services.  He is actively involved with national genetic improvement programs through bull semen collection, heat synchronization and detection, DNA sequencing,  and carcass evaluation using genomic technology. He is a passionate Korean Natural Farmer, and has been involved with it from its very beginnings here on the Big Island. Mike, his wife Ruth , and adult children Elise and Kyle, reside in the rainy town of Hilo, Hawaii.