As my contribution to BLOG ACTION DAY, I'm choosing to write about something close to home.
My husband has a lease on some Hawaii State land for grazing purposes, and has a small herd of cattle. He's not going to get rich raising cattle, but it affords us the ability to raise our own organic beef, which is a nice perk. The animals live a low stress life, grazing and sleeping in their own private paradise. They aren't fed any antibiotic laced hi-protein grains to make them gain weight. No poisons are sprayed in the pastures to control weeds. Their diet of grass makes for some super lean meat. We always have some beef in the freezer, and the dogs love the bones. We have the meat processed at the DeCoite's plant in Makawao, and they will wrap it too for an extra charge. Over the years we have turned on a lot of our friends, and lately I'm hearing...."when are you going to kill another cow?" It seems everyone has acquired a taste for the lean and tasty hormone-free meat from our happy grass fed herd. There is a general trend here in Hawaii, for a better beef product that is good for the consumer as well as the environment.
Maui is still largely an agriculture based economy with large tracts of land devoted to open pastures. It adds to the natural beauty that the residents and visitors value so much. How can we keep Maui green and rural, yet still economically viable? We need to have more sustainable agriculture, and be less dependent on imported foods, including beef. There's hope on the horizon for Maui beef...
Maui Cattle Company is a group whose mission is to keep ranching alive in the Hawaiian Islands for future generations. They are a consortium of ranches that includes Haleakala, Ulupalakua, Kaupo, Hana and Nobriga Ranches on Maui, and Olumau Ranch on Kauai. In the recent past, live animals are shipped to the mainland to be fattened on grains, then processed and shipped back to Hawaii as table ready beef. Maui Cattle Company is attempting to eliminate that part of the equation and keep the business at home. Since they sell directly to the consumer and eliminate the middle man, they can provide a product that tastes better and is competetively priced. In order to keep up with demand, they plan to build a new processing facility in Kihei, to supplement the one in Kahului. Their high quality all natural beef is on the menu of more than 50 Maui restaurants, and sold directly to consumers at a number of outlets like Longs Drugs, Hanzawa Store, and Mana Foods in Paia. So next time you're on Maui, be sure to look for the local beef on the menu, or at your favorite independent grocery store, and you'll be doing a good thing for Maui's economy and the environment. We can all do our part, even in a small way.
Thanks for reading my Blog Action Day post to KEEP RANCHING ALIVE ....... The Hunter