The Livestock Business in Hawaii County

The Livestock Business in Hawaii County

County Extension Agents:

Glen K. Fukumoto, County Extension Agent Cooperative Extension Service-Kona P.O. Box 208, Kealakekua, HI 96750

Michael W. DuPonte, County Extension Agent Cooperative Extension Service-Hilo 875 Komohana St., Hilo, HI 96720

September 1994

Supported by the County of Hawai`i, Department of Research and Development.

Repost from

When you buy your next gallon of island milk and supplies of fresh meats and eggs, think about our farmers and ranchers who make up the local livestock industry. The livestock industry in Hawai`i County significantly contributes to the economy of the Big Island and is worth over $32 million. This value does not include the supporting industries and entrepreneurs who further add value to these island grown products. With the decline in the sugarcane industry, the livestock industry is an important player in the future expansion of diversified agriculture in the County and State of Hawai`i. Beef Cattle. One of the most visible of the livestock industries, the beef cattle business generates revenues of nearly $22 million for the county; this represents 74% of the total values of sales in the state. According to the Statistics of Hawaiian Agriculture-1992, there are a total of 460 ranches throughout the Big Island that sired a total of 64,000 head for market. With innovation and the economic need to expand their markets, the beef cattle industry developed and investigated marketing options. Today most calves are exported to mainland U.S., Canada and Mexican market ports where they are redirected at wider, more cost effective options. However, some animals are developed on the Big Island for local marketing as natural forage-fed beef or yearling beef programs. With approximately 700,000 acres in production, the ranchers are the new-age environmentalists, who are dedicated stewards and expert managers of the land we live on, constantly improving our environment for us and our future generations to enjoy. The Hawai`i Cattlemen’s Association leads this commodity organization’s direction and goals. For more information about the beef business, call President Lani Cran at telephone number 928-8209.

Dairy Industry. Two colors dominate this industry, black and white; the multi-patterned Holstein-Friesian cow is the backbone of this important livestock industry. Milk provides a valuable food source for most of our children here on the Big Island. Close to 2,000 cows from the four major dairies provide nearly the entire fresh fluid milk supply for the island. The dairy industry generates $7.5 million in farm gate revenues, plus add value in the processing phase and development of diversified products such as butter and cheese. The Big Island Dairy Cooperative whose members include Cloverleaf Dairy, Island Dairy. Inc., Ruis Enterprise, Inc. and S&S Dairy, Inc. leads all promotional and marketing efforts in the advancement of the milk industry in Hawai`i County. For more information about the dairy business, call President Ernest Souza at telephone number 959-6589.

Hog. The Big Island Pork Industry Association is the dynamic group leading the hog industry to future growth. Currently, there are slightly less than 3,000 total hogs that are being produced by an estimated 70 farms, creating about half million dollars in sales. The major market is the “fresh, hot pork market” centralized in Chinatown on O`ahu, where vendors receive the fresh pork still slightly warm to the touch from the local slaughterhouse. A few entrepreneurial farmers have attempted to service that market, but most farmers market their hogs to hotels for luau shows, direct farm sales and limited numbers sold through local super markets. For more information about the pork industry call President George Kahumoku at telephone number 328-8167.

Poultry. Mostly all of the poultry production in Hawai`i County is layer, or egg production. Estimates of 25 to 30 million farm-fresh eggs enter the local market annually. Island fresh eggs supported by local consumers create approximately $1.6 million of revenue for the industry on the Big Island. There are three principal layer operations, Hawaiian Fresh Egg Farm, Kona Poultry Farm, and Panaewa Eggs; and one specialty flock, Big Island Poultry Farm, producing brown-fertile eggs on the island. Local farmers belong to the state commodity organization, The Hawai`i Egg Producers Association; Big Island contact is Mr. Shan Nakamoto.

Small Ruminants. Another growth sector of the livestock industry is in the small ruminants. Sheep and goat (dairy and meat) producers have recently unified and organized the Sheep Producers Association of Hawai`i to direct their own destiny. President Monty Richards oversee this group’s activities with a busy agenda which includes marketing and promotion of island lamb and issues concerning diseases, reproduction and genetics.

Bees. Often overlooked as a livestock business is the honey and queen bee industries. The sweet business produce most uniquely flavored honeys such as: lehua, Christmas berry, kiawe, macadamia nut, and even coffee honeys. There are about six commercial honey producers and three major queen bee operations in the county. Hawaii’s climatic conditions and disease-free status enhances queen bee production, establishing a world-wide reputation for Big Island beekeepers. For more information about this sweet business contact Mr. Walter Patton of The Big Island Beekeepers Association at telephone number 964-5401.

Support our locally produced “Island Fresh” livestock industry products, you’ll be assured of the freshest and finest quality. Also, you’ll be supporting our neighbors and friends in our island economy.

LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS The Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association President: Ms. Lani Cran P.O. Box 1639, Hilo, HI 96720

Big Island Dairy Cooperative President: Mr. Ernest Souza P.O. Box R, Naalehu, HI 96772

The Hawaii Egg Producers Association – Big Island Mr. Shan Nakamoto P.O. Box 708, Kealakekua, HI 96750

The Big Island Pork Industry Association President: Mr. Dane Shibuya P.O. Box 839, Naalehu, HI 96772

Sheep Producers Association of Hawaii President: Mr. Rick Habein P.O. Box 2919, Kamuela, HI 96743

Big Island Beekeepers Association Mr. Walter Patton 27-703 Kaieie Road, Papaikou, HI 96781





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