Located on a total of 400 acres in Honokaa, Hawaii, the Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company was started by Rick and Haleakala Sakata and Dwayne and Tammie Cypriano in 2005.
The two families run every aspect of the farm themselves, from farm animal care to administrative and marketing duties. They want to advance Hawaii’s food self-sufficiency by building a herd of Lowline Angus cattle on their ranch. According to Sakata, Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company is part of a resurgence in Hawaii of raising and finishing cattle locally and on pasture land. Their farm raises the only registered Lowlines in the state of Hawaii.
Originating in Australia, Lowlines are Angus beef cattle that are only about half the typical “Angus” size – 500 pounds for heifers and 550 pounds for steers. “Two Lowlines can use the pasture space of one of today’s larger breeds, providing more beef per acre of grass and making the land more productive,” said Sakata. “That’s very important on an island with limited pasture space.”
Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company purchased their first Lowlines from the mainland in 2008. They choose to fly the cattle to Hawaii rather than ship them in a seven-day journey across the ocean, “to reduce travel stress, even though it was more expensive,” said Sakata.
Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company raises cattle in a stress-free environment. The bulls and cows are out on the farm’s grass pastures all year-round, eating a natural diet of grass and forage, thanks to Hawaii’s mild climate. They are never fed on feedlots. The farm also rotates pastures to reduce over grazing and to maintain the quality of grass in each paddock.
“We really love doing this and care about the animals living naturally on the land,” said Sakata. “They are very gentle and so require gentle handling. We don’t need horses to corral them; they pretty much come when we call them.”
As more and more people learn about Certified Grass-Fed Beef, “it became important for us to let consumers know what that means in terms of how the animals are raised,” said Sakata. “Becoming Certified Humane was a natural next step. Their standards align with our beliefs and practices and assures the consumer of our commitment to animal welfare.”
Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company Certified Grassfed Beef is only sold in Hawaii. They also are certified by the American Grassfed Association and by Animal Welfare Approved.
“Our first island born calf was born in 2008,” Sakata says proudly. “A true Hawaiian.”
For more information, visit www.hawaiilowline.com.