Recently, Parker Ranch and the Ulupono Initiative entered into an agreement to jointly fund research trials to study the merits of large-scale grass-fed beef production on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The trials will follow 200 head of cattle on a test area of 300 acres from September 2012 through May 2013.
“We are very focused on developing our local grass-fed beef program,” said Dutch Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch. “This is important on many fronts, especially to develop a strategic hedge within our business against the risk of rising energy prices in the future… Shifting a meaningful portion of our operations in this new direction should prove beneficial for us as a producer as well as for the Hawai‘i consumer. We are excited to be partnering with Ulupono in exploring this commercial scale opportunity together – a partnership with many other possible opportunities to work together in the future.”
With successful results from the trials, Parker Ranch believes that its local grass-fed beef program could reach 2,500 to 4,000 head per year in annual production with its existing pasture and reallocating a measureable portion of its grazing capacity to grass finishing. Parker Ranch is currently the largest producer of grass-fed ground beef in Hawai‘i. Significant expansion would also make a greater variety of grass-fed retail cuts available to Hawai‘i consumers.
Visit the Paniolo Cattle Co. website for more information.