Hawaii Ranchers: Stewards of the Land

For Hawaii’s ranching families, the land is not just where they raise cattle; it's also where they raise their families. They have a personal stake in the quality of their environment - so they are always looking for new ways to improve the air, water and land on and near their property. 

With 10 out of 12 of the world's climate zones, Hawaii Ranchers have unique expertise in managing ecosystems in many different environments from mauka to makai. Ranchers provide many free services to the general public as stewards of approximately 25% of the State's total land mass. These include providing green space, ensuring view planes, reducing the risk of wildfire by grazing fireloads,  managing watersheds, working to reduce invasive species and managing pastures for their cattle, as well as wildlife. Ranchers also work with federal agencies like USFWS in the management of critical habitat and in assistance of protecting endangered species.

Want to learn more? Check of these short videos by the Hawaii Cattlemen's Council

Meet the people behind the beef

Hawaii's ranchers have been stewarding the land and providing food for the community at the same time. Two of Hawaii's ranches have received the prestigious Environmental Stewardship award which annually recognizes the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers from across the nation. Regional and national award winners have been commended for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitats while operating profitable cattle operations. The common trait among all winners is the desire to leave the land in better shape for future generations while also inspiring the next generation of land stewards.

Haleakala Ranch - Inducted 2018

Spanning 30,000 acres across Maui is Haleakala Ranch, owned by the Baldwin family and managed by Greg Friel. This ranch is steeped in Hawaiian history, as lands that were once part of the ranch are now part of Haleakala National Park, one of the first in the National Park system. To reach the park, millions of visitors each year must drive through Haleakala's ranch lands, and thus, preserving and improving the land is of top priority. One of the main ways they accomplish this is by utilizing rotational grazing of their cattle herds to control the spread of invasive species so detrimental to Hawaii's ecosystem. The ranch is also planting thousands of koa trees, and works with conservation partners to protect the local watershed and native rainforests.  Each year, Haleakala Ranch hosts a variety of groups, including the Ag in the Classroom Program, which connects local schools with agriculture education programs. For their conservation work, the Haleakala Ranch was awarded the prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP).

Kualoa Ranch - inducted 2013

Kualoa Ranch, managed by John Morgan of Kane‘ohe. Under Morgan’s leadership, Kualoa Ranch has built a reputation for balancing cattle production and protecting the environment for future generations. According to Alan Gottlieb, past president of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kualoa Ranch will leave the land in better condition and inspire the next generation of land stewards. Kualoa Ranch encompasses 4,000 acres of coastal land on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. The property includes three mountains, two valleys, two streams, dense rainforest, an 800-year-old Hawaiian fishpond and a secret beach. Kualoa has morphed into many things throughout the years, and with Morgan’s guidance, currently encompasses a working cattle ranch, blooming agriculture, and a thriving recreational enterprise. In the past few years, Morgan diversified the land’s usage, encouraging farming and the growth of Kualoa’s agricultural involvement. Kualoa now participates in vegetable and fruit farming, flower nurseries and production of fish and prawns for local markets. More recently, Kualoa began serving and retailing its own beef from cattle raised on the ranch and has plans to continue to grow the venture.

Commitment to Natural Resources

In just 6 years, the beef industry has improved its sustainability by 5% and have focused on becoming more environmentally sustainable.

A study by Washington State University in 2007 found that today’s farmers and ranchers raise 13% more beef from 30% fewer cattle. When compared with beef production in 1977, each pound of beef produced today:

  • Produces 16% less carbon emissions
  • Takes 33% less land
  • Requires 12% less water


Learn more about cattle and our environment


To the beef community, sustainability comprises much more than environmental considerations. Today, a sustainable food supply balances efficient production with environmental, social and economic impacts.


Ranching families have led conservation efforts across the United States for generations. Today’s farmers and ranchers are strong examples of true conservationists.


Cattle graze on grasslands turning natural resources like pastureland and solar energy into beef and other everyday products. 

animal care

No matter the tool, when it comes to animal health, the practices are science-based, regulated and, above all, good for the animal and the consumer.