Friday, September 5, 2008

New Grindz for Island Dairy Cows

Island Dairy Herd Manager Adam Beard talks with Jeri Kahana, Dept of Agriculture - Photo by Hawaii Tribune-Herald
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald got up early last Tuesday to cover Rep. Tsuji's trip to Island Dairy in Ookala on the Big Island. See story here. So did West Hawaii Today. See their story here.

Rep. Clift Tsuji talks to Island Dairy Manager Scott Tripp

Many folks don't realize that the state of Hawaii was self-sufficient in milk production back in the 1980's, and did not have to import mainland milk. In fact, the dairies were producing more milk than we could use. Today, the scenario is reversed with the state importing 82% of our milk.

Rep. Tsuji watches first harvest

Rep. Tsuji wanted to help the livestock industry get back on its feet with HB1221, a livestock revitalization bill. The legislature appropriated $3.3 million for each year of the biennium through 2009, for farmers to use as reimbursement for feed costs. Island Dairy received the maximum $250,000, and spent an additional $1 million for equipment and supplies. They used the money to start growing their own corn for feed, and they harvested their first crop on Tuesday.

According to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Island Dairy and Cloverleaf Dairy in Hawi are the only two surviving dairies in the state. Island Dairy is currently milking about 500 cows a day. Their vision is to once again provide milk for the state, and that would take milking about 1,200 cows a day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that the state is importing 82% of our milk. Interesting story. Thanks for your posting.