About James

I was born in Kentucky, February 18, 1952, where I lived and worked on my familyʻs farm. I enlisted in the U.S. Navy right out of high school. My first permanent duty assignment was the USS Impervious, a minesweeper, stationed at Pearl Harbor, in 1971. Following two years of sea duty on the minesweeper, including Vietnam, I went to shore duty on Oʻahu. Following my discharge in 1974, I spent the next year camping at Kalapana. Later, I used the G.I. Bill to become the first member of my family to graduate from college. I married my wife, Elizabeth Lyman Stouse Weatherford, and we joined the Peace Corps and served in the Philippines from 1978-1980.



Agricultural Economics (Policy), University of Tennessee,  Knoxville, Tennessee


Agriculture (Marketing), Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky


Agriculture (Economics) [first major], Political Science (Public Administration) [second major], Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky


Legislative Assistant

Hawaiʻi County Council, Hilo, Hawaiʻi


College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR)

University of Hawai’i-Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

Policy Analyst

Passenger Transport Board (PTB)

South Australia State Government, Adelaide, South Australia

Research Economist

South Australia Center for Economic Studies (SACES)

University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia

Economist for Policy and Planning

Primary Industries and Resources (PIRSA)

South Australia State Government, Adelaide, South Australia

Part-time / Temporary Teaching in Hawaiʻi

  • University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo
  • Hawaiʻi Community College
  • Chaminade University
  • Trans Pacific Hawaiʻi College
  • Kamehameha Schools
  • Kūlani Correctional Center


Muresk Institute of Agriculture, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia

Assistant Professor

Department of Agricultural Sciences, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana

Extension Agent

Agricultural Extension Service, University of Tennessee, Lewis County Office, Hohenwald, Tennessee

Agricultural Advisor

US Peace Corps, Mindanao, Philippines

Military Radioman

US Navy, Pacific Fleet


After more than twenty-five years gone by, I returned to Hawaiʻi Island, and sitting at the black sand beach at Punaluʻu, I wrote the following mele ʻāina.

Aloha O Kalapana

Aloha O Kalapana,
Sweet Paradise by the sea.

Aloha O Kalapana,
You were a friend to me.

I slept beneath your swaying palms;
With you, I read Proverbs and Psalms.

You were my spirit’s birthplace.
In your beauty, I saw God’s face.

You showed me life could be much more.
I first knew happiness in my time on your shore.

At your bosom, I learned to live.
The blessings you gave me, to the world I’d like to give.

Far and distant, I wandered ‘way from you;
Far from your breeze so soft and sea so blue.

When I was young, you gave me refuge after war.
When I returned old, your palm trees stood no more.

Evermore I thought you would be there,
And I would return to say I care.

Aloha O Kalapana,
Now ‘neath Pele’s gift you lay.

Aloha O Kalapana,
“I love you”, is what I wanted to say.

Aloha O Kalapana

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