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Kauai dairy farm plans to start with fewer cows

  • RON KOSEN / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISERJim Garmatz will manage dairy operations at the proposed Hawai‘i Dairy Farms outfit on Kauai.
    RON KOSEN / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    Jim Garmatz will manage dairy operations at the proposed Hawai‘i Dairy Farms outfit on Kauai.

KOLOA, Kauai >> Plans for a Kauai dairy farm are being modified in response to odor and other environmental concerns.

Hawaii Dairy Farms announced Friday plans now call for starting on a smaller scale with 650 to 699 cows. Investor Ulupono Initiative General Partner Kyle Datta says a phased approach will demonstrate how a grass-fed dairy is different than the traditional feedlot model.

This means it’s going to take longer to get to a full-scale operation of up to 2,000 cows.

Datta says he’s disappointed about the concerns but wants to show the community the farm will practice responsible agriculture.

Ninety percent of Hawaii’s milk comes from the mainland. Ulupono is eager to change that with the Kauai farm.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit by a resort seeking to stop the dairy is pending.

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