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Ulupono to establish Kauai dairy farm

By Erika Engle


Ulupono Initiative will establish Hawaii Dairy Farms on Kauai, with construction expected to begin next year.

Ulupono's mission is to increase local food production and it will base the dairy farm's operations on the New Zealand model of pastoral dairies using grass as the primary feed source.

Less than 9 percent of the milk sold in Hawaii is produced locally, Ulupono officials said.

Local dairies provided all of the state's milk until 1984, following contamination of the local milk supply by a pesticide in the feed given to local dairy cows.

Heptachlor was used in pineapple fields and was present in the tops removed from pineapples, known as green chop, that was fed to the cows.

Importation of mainland milk became the norm and between the heptachlor crisis, high costs of imported feed used to replace green chop and other factors, local dairies slowly went out of business.

"After several years of studying the benefits of the grass-fed model to offset the volatile cost of imported feed, we believe that forming Hawaii Dairy Farms is an important step toward revitalizing our local dairy industry," said Kyle Datta, general partner of Ulupono Initiative, in a statement.

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yskeulb wrote:
Did these guys give any thought about sustainability if this was operational during Hurricane Iwa or Iniki? Protect the cows!
on December 2,2013 | 08:36AM
Bully wrote:
Bad idea, why do you think the dairies on Oahu all went out of business.
on December 2,2013 | 09:47AM
jess wrote:
Why is this a bad idea? I would pay a few more dollars for milk produced locally. I think others would too. I wish we had a dairy on Oahu. Could you imagine how much longer the milk would last if it didn't have to be shipped here from the mainland?
on December 2,2013 | 11:33AM
Anonymous wrote:
cost is prohibitive to produce local milk - land, feed, fertilizer, labor, water - food safety requirements.
on December 2,2013 | 11:03AM
mjr wrote:
Interesting! A recent paper on Hawaii's food consumption estimates that 12.4% of fresh milk sold is sourced locally. See link below- http://www.agrifoodecon.com/content/pdf/2193-7532-1-10.pdf
on December 2,2013 | 11:43AM
Anonymous wrote:
If the pastures are rain-irrigated, it might be feasible. If they have to run pumps to irrigate the pastures, no way does this make sense. Kauai is probably the best place to try this out.
on December 2,2013 | 12:04PM
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