The cattle ranching business remains a vital component of contemporary Parker Ranch operations, and is an ongoing, living link with the legacy of ranching Hawai‘i.
Much of Parker Ranch’s 130,000 acres is rich grazing land, from foothills to valleys in the areas of Waiemi, Waiki‘i, Makahalau, Pa‘auhau, and Kohala—with about 850 miles of fence, over 300 paddocks, and 15 corrals. The water system consists of 175 miles of pipeline, three large reservoirs, 145 water tanks, three dams, and 650 water troughs.
The Ranch owns approximately 26,000 head of cattle, mostly Angus and Charolais breeds, with 17,000 pastured on the Ranch at any given time. The rest are in pasture or feedlots on the mainland. With about 300 breeding bulls, the cowherd is divided into two breeding seasons, winter and summer, with about 50% of the herd in each season.
Ranching operations have evolved from the early days to progress toward profitability in today’s rapidly-changing market. The primary purpose of Parker Ranch’s herd now is to produce calves which, once weaned, are shipped to the mainland US to complete their growth. Transportation costs are offset by year round forage production in Hawaii and the more rapid growth of calves on mainland grasses.
Parker Ranch participates in the Country Natural Beef and Hawaii Ranchers marketing cooperatives.