Ranae Ganske-Cerizo has enjoyed diverse career opportunities within the agricultural industry. Raised in East Wenatchee, Washington, on the family’s apple orchard, she was exposed to agricultural practices from an early age. Before graduating from college Ranae was provided the opportunity to travel and provide educational workshops to remote Bush villages in Alaska. She earned her bachelor of science degrees from Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington and the University of Hawaii at Hilo and worked as a recreational specialist for Hawaii Job Corps in Hilo following graduation from UH. Following a two-year stint as an archaeologist, Ganske-Cerizo began her career in agriculture with the Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture commodity department and then as the first woman of the State of Hawaii to be certified as a high school agriculture teacher and taught at Kohala High School on the Big Island of Hawaii.
In 1992, Ganske-Cerizo became a soil conservationist with NRCS on Guam, and continued her work as a water quality specialist on Guam and then transferred to Maui, Hawaii. The spectrum of projects she has worked on in Hawaii, Pacific Basin, Florida and New Mexico encompasses almost every aspect of natural resources conservation and water quality. Projects included work improving animal waste management systems, urban conservation, forestry, grazing lands, and irrigated croplands. During implementation of these projects, Ganske-Cerizo worked with individual landowners, as well as state, local, and federal agencies, and sovereign nations while in the Pacific Basin. She returned to the Wailuku Field Office as the Maui County Resource Conservationist where she is currently the District Conservationist, charged with managing the office, 6 employees, and working with landowners, state and local agencies to help protect Maui’s natural resources.
As an educator and leader I always ask myself: What’s working? What can you improve? Knowing the right answer won’t always get things done, you have to understand how to use spheres of influence. Currently and most important is to provide guidance, education and devote time to the younger generation in the Natural Resources Conservation Service. They are our leaders for the future.
Family and traveling the world especially on a bicycle are just a few of my favorite things.