2013 Pa'ina On The Pier

We were honored and fortunate to be invited to present our Hawai'i Lowline Beef at the 2013 Pa'ina On The Pier at the fish auction block on Pier 39 and hosted by Hawai'i Food & Wine Festival which is co-founded by two of Hawai'i's own James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. 

We were so excited to share Hawai'i Lowline New York, Rib-eye and Tenderloin beef to some of the most prestigious chefs throughout the U.S. and Japan.  It was a wonderful adventure where we made new friends and learned a little more about our food and wine industry in Hawai'i.  

Mahalo nui loa to Les and gang of Kamehameha Schools for this wonderful opportunity.

Please visit our Gallery for photos of this event.



First Ranch In Hawaii Awarded Top Grassfed and Animal Welfare Certification

For Immediate Release Contact: Stephanie Wuorenma (202) 446‐2138 -  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - AnimalWelfareApproved.org

Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company in Honokaa, HI, uses sustainable agriculture methods to produce Certified Grassfed by AWA beef‐‐HONOKAA, HI (MARCH 3, 2015)‐‐The Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company is the first farming business in Hawaii to be Certified Grassfed by AWA. This is the only certification and logo in the U.S. and Canada that guarantees food products come from animals fed a 100% grass and forage diet, raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives, and managed according to the highest welfare and environmental standards on an independent family farm. While other grassfed labels exist, none has fully met consumer expectations when it comes to a grassfed and forage diet, environmental management, and farm animal welfare‐‐until now.

Rick and Haleakala Sakata and Dwayne and Tammie Cypriano of the Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company have been producing strictly grassfed and finished Lowline Angus cattle on their ranch since 2008, and currently have the only registered Lowline cattle in the state of Hawaii. Although the Sakata and Cypriano family ranch have both been certified by Animal Welfare Approved since 2009 for their high‐welfare and environmental management practices, they were eager to gain Certified Grassfed by AWA status for their grassfed cattle herd when the new program was launched in January.

“We’re extremely proud and honored to be part of AWA and its new Certified Grassfed program. We’re 100% grassfed and we want to raise our cattle in a way that is consistent with how they were put on this earth to be. More and more people are choosing to buy grassfed meat, but it’s not always certified. Our sales pitch is that we’re 100% grassfed and we’re honest about it‐‐and proud of it. - Rick Sakata, Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company”

As consumers wake up to the damaging impact that intensive farming is having on their health, the environment, and animal welfare, many are seeking truly sustainable alternatives‐‐including grassfed meat. According to recent research, demand for grassfed beef has increased by 25‐30 percent every year over the last decade. But while demand for grassfed meat is sky‐rocketing, not all grassfed certifications are meeting consumer expectations‐‐and some continue to permit highly questionable practices. Under the USDA Grassfed label, for example, farmers can confine their cattle on dirt feedlots for long periods outside the growing season, or use growth hormones and subtherapeutic antibiotics, and yet still market the beef as grassfed‐‐just as long as they feed the animals cut grass or forage. AWA's new Certified Grassfed label is the ONLY grassfed program in North America to guarantee:

  • Ruminant animals raised outdoors on pasture for their entire lives, with an entirely grass and forage diet
  • Animals raised according to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards in the U.S. and Canada
  • High‐welfare handling, transport, and slaughter of animals‐‐including an annual review of slaughter facilities

"No other grassfed label can match the breadth, integrity, and transparency offered by AWA's practical and achievable Certified Grassfed standards and certification procedures. We’re proud to support family farmers like the Sakatas and Cyprianos and to help them promote their high‐quality grassfed meat and sustainable farming practices to the public. -  AWA Director of Communications, Emily Lancaster Moose"

For more information about Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company grassfed beef visit www.hawaiilowlinecattlecompany.com or call (808) 896‐2140.
For more information about the AWA Certified Grassfed label, read our AWA Certified Grassfed FAQs or visit AnimalWelfareApproved.org/standards /awa‐grassfed.

About Animal Welfare Approved

Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) audits, certifies and supports farmers raising their animals according to the highest welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range. Called a "badge of honor for farmers" and the "gold standard," AWA is the most highly regarded food label in North America when it comes to animal welfare, pasture‐based farming, and sustainability. All AWA standards, policies and procedures are available on the AWA website, making it the most transparent certification available. AWA's Online Directory of AWA farms, restaurants and products enables the public to search for AWA farms, restaurants and products by zip code, keywords, products and type of establishment. AWA has also launched AWA Food Labels Exposed, a free smartphone app guide to commonly used food claims and terms, available from the App Store or Google Play. A free printable version of Food Labels Exposed is also available for download at AnimalWelfareApproved.org.



Beefing Up Hawaii’s Cattle Industry


By Jan Wizinowich Special to North Hawaii News

It’s a sunny Saturday morning and Rick Sakata, one of the owners of Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company, greets me at the gate of a verdant Hamakua pasture of upward rolling hills dotted with tall ohia. A colorful herd of cows grazes happily while calves frolic.

As Sakata whistles, we make our way into the pasture. With the original bull, Conquistador, at the lead we soon find ourselves surrounded by curious bright-eyed creatures that settle down comfortably as if waiting to be told a story.

This is the main herd of the Hawaii Lowline Cattle Company (HLCC), a small, unique Hamakua ranching operation that produces high quality, 100% grass-fed beef. Owners Rick and Haleakala Sakata and Dwayne and Tammie Cypriano wanted to support food security and self-sufficiency on Hawaii Island and created a business that is in alignment with their lifestyle and belief systems. They each play a different role, from marketing and accounting to herd management and records.

“We wanted to keep the cattle here in Hawaii and be sustainable. We’re as natural as you can get and that’s what we wanted. These cattle are born and raised in this pasture,” Sakata says.

The herd began in 2008 when HLCC flew in one Lowline bull and five half-blooded cows. In Sept. of that year, one of the cows already impregnated when she arrived gave birth to the first of their Hawaii-born herd. The second pure-blooded bull was flown in from Iowa and their third bull, first to be born in Hawaii, came in 2013. The herd has also been augmented by Red Angus cows from Hawaii Island.

One of the short, wide Lowline bulls trundles over to us and acts more like a friendly puppy than a bull.



 The two couples decided on the Lowline cattle breed, developed in Australia, because it is compact. The bulls are around four feet at shoulder height, making them particularly adapted to grazing which produces tender, flavorful meat.

The Lowline traits make it possible to raise and sell the beef in Hawaii. While other breeds need to be sent to feedlots and finished off with grains to get the marbling, the HLCC herd feeds exclusively on kikuyu and pangola grasses and a leguminous clover called trefoil. This makes it possible to raise the cattle with a rotation system between three paddocks on 205 acres.

Along with American Grassfed Association (AGA) certification, the HLCC operation is also Animal Welfare Approved by the Animal Welfare Association (AWA). This means there are yearly audits to ensure that every aspect of the treatment of the animals creates minimum stress and promotes a state of general good health.

“We’re the only (AGA and AWA) certified grass-fed ranch in Hawaii,” Sakata says.

Also, because of their size, two Lowline cattle can graze on about the same amount of pasture as one regular cow and produce more meat.

“Happy cattle makes good meat,” Sakata says, and this approach has determined how HLCC does business.

The calves are weaned slowly and stay with the herd for a minimum of six months so natural conditions are allowed to prevail.

“These animals get no medications and the bull stays in the pasture with the cows at all times,” Sakata says.

When the cattle need to be moved, it’s done with whistles and hand signals, which is what Sakata uses to call the herd over to us.

Why 100% grass-fed?

There is now much evidence that consuming sustainably produced meats provides higher levels of omega-3s and other vital nutrients, as well as benefiting the environment. However, buyer beware: the grass-fed label has different definitions depending on who’s using it.

According to AWA, many grass-fed labels allow for cattle to be confined to feedlots for some percentage of their lives. This means that while cattle can spend the majority of their life in the pasture, it is contrasted with as much as a third of their lives spent in barren confinement, possibly having a negative impact on the animal’s health and the quality of the meat.

Also, according to AWA the USDA’s voluntary grass-fed standards only stipulate that animals have “access” to the outdoors, which can render the grass-fed label meaningless.

Foraging animals can have a positive impact on the environment. Properly rotated herds actually stimulate the growth of grass and prevent degradation of the environment through carbon sequestration.

“As cattle and other ruminants graze pasture they stimulate the growth of grass, which absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere through its leaves and stores it in a mass of roots under the ground in a far more stable form of carbon,” it states on AWA’s website.

The proof is in the flavor

HLCC beef is sold directly to the restaurant as a whole cow, which is slaughtered at the Hawaii Beef Producers operation in Paauilo, also AWA-approved. The purchaser, usually a chef, can then determine how the carcass is processed. This makes for less waste since all of the animal is used.

HLCC beef is quickly gaining a reputation for providing delectable, tender meat at the center of gourmet meals. Having to use the entire carcass has also inspired creative new dishes.

“Two of the chefs on Oahu, Ed Kenney at Town Restaurant and Andrew Le with The Pig and the Lady, who use our beef were nominated for the James Beard award,” Sakata says.

If you have dinner at Merriman’s in Waimea, you will probably have the opportunity to try one of a variety of HLCC beef dishes. But if you’re in the mood for a gyro, you can get one stuffed with shaved slices of HLCC beef at Dano’s Doner in Waimea. If you want to cook in, try George’s meat market in Hilo.

Any way you slice it, HLCC is doing it Hawaiian-style, sustainably producing beef that stays in the islands to feed humans and the environment.


Source: North Hawaii News



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2013 Pa'ina On The Pier


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