Kunoa currently ranches 2,000 head on 4,000 acres of Kauai and Oahu pastureland. Much of our land is former sugarcane plantation land, which has either been fallowed or more recently cultivated by some of the world’s largest seed companies. This presents us with an opportunity to demonstrate the power of regenerative grazing to build soil, store carbon, restore hydrologic function to the landscape, and protect our marine habitats from runoff.
Our herds are a genetic rainbow of english, continental, and hot-weather breeds that have adapted to the Hawaii micro-climates over many generations. We are continually refining our animal’s underlying genetics by introducing new bulls and managing our breeding cows based on their calf performance. Our goal is to continue to shepherd healthy, sustainable herds that support the land and produce the delicious, healthy beef Kunoa customers expect.
We have acquired Hawaii’s largest USDA-inspected butchery for beef and pork. This facility was constructed in 2004 and meets stringent federal requirements for animal welfare and food safety. Since acquiring the facility, Kunoa has added additional equipment and processes to minimize animal discomfort and maximize food safety. One of our key pieces of equipment, for example, was designed by animal welfare expert Temple Grandin. From our ranches to our butchery and all steps between, Kunoa’s goal is to act as a beacon of best practices for ranching, meat processing, and butchery in the Pacific Islands and beyond.
Additionally, as a portfolio partner with Energy Excelerator, Kunoa aspires to employ the latest renewable energy generation and energy efficiency technologies. This is best exhibited by the recent installation of 100kW of rooftop photovoltaics that help us limit our greenhouse gas and carbon footprint.
Co-founder Bobby Farias may be best known in Hawaii as a champion team roper, but his role in the community is more multidimensional. As a third-generation rancher and descendant of sugar cane plantation workers on Kauai, Bobby has seen firsthand the evolution of agriculture in Hawaii, which has always seemed to serve large international companies. More personally, for years Bobby has operated the largest calf brokerage on Kauai, negotiating the sale and shipping of calves off island to California, Texas, and Washington. This model kept ranchers afloat in Hawaii after its feedlots shut down in the 80s and 90s, but every time Bobby shipped a calf, he saw income, jobs, tax revenue, and most importantly, a quality source of local protein, sail away with them. Bobby co-founded Kunoa to help reverse this model and keep Hawaii beef in Hawaii.