Benefits of Belonging
HCC works on many levels to help maintain a positive climate for doing business through legislative and regulatory efforts, promoting our industry through numerous outreach activities and to help preserve our way of life for our future generations. We have successfully advocated for improvement in areas such as processing capacity, transportation, animal health and well-being, pasture pest and invasive species, and critical habitat and endangered species concerns. We’ve prepared and enclosed a list of the organizational actions that HCC has been involved with over the past two years and we believe that you will find many areas of interest that affects your operation.
By renewing your membership to HCC, you are also renewing your membership in your county cattlemen’s association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). You also receive a 20% discount on the cost of the NCBA membership, as one of the many benefits of belonging to HCC. This is an exclusive benefit that no other state can offer.
Areas Of Advocacy
There are many groups, even in Hawaii, that effectively want to outlaw meat production and stop people from eating meat for their own reasons and a common strategy is to attack animal welfare issues. In recent years, some have demonstrated at the State Farm Fair and even at the State Legislature, during our Ag Awareness Day. Animal Rights Groups also testify against bills that would be beneficial to our industry at the legislature. We need to better educate the public that sound modern beef production practices under good management are “animal compassionate” and work to eliminate any basis for criticism to the contrary. HCC and NCBA monitor these efforts and provide decision-makers with accurate information to mitigate the lies and myths told by these groups.
HCC puts on an annual Cattlemen’s College in November of each year, in conjunction with our annual meeting. HCC brings experts in our industry from the Mainland to keep us current on issues affecting animal health, nutrition, genetics, weather, and marketing to name a few. In conjunction with other sponsors, HCC coordinates Road Shows, bringing educational speakers to each of the Islands and assisting each County Association with their own educational programs. HCC sponsors an annual Scholarship Program in any field of study for college students who are the children of HCC members. HCC also participates in various public forums to better educate the public as to the positive purposes and favorable impacts the beef industry brings to the table.
Since the reduction of the feeding and processing segments of the Hawaii Cattle Industry, the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council has been continuously encouraging the development of marketing alternatives for Hawaii cattle producers. Ideally, we would like to keep all Hawaii cattle here in the State for local consumption but these options do not exist today. On the national level, the Beef Board has been working hard and successfully to stimulate demand for beef and the reinvest our “Beef Check Off Dollars” into product development and advertising campaigns that benefit producers at all levels.
Locally, HCC has taken an active role in increasing demand for local beef, just as the Beef Board at the National Level, through your beef check-off program has been the driving force to increase overall beef demand in recent years, more specifically:
- HCC provides financial support for forage finished Island Fresh Products.
- HCC supports legislation to put more Island Beef in our State schools and institutions.
- HCC promotes local products doing in-store demonstrations, cook-outs and other public events to inform and educate consumers.
- HCC along with the Hawaii Beef Industry Council puts on displays and serves samples at the various events including: State Farm Fair, County Farm Fairs, Made in Hawaii Expo and Mealani’s Tast of the Hawaiian Range.
- HCC has worked with the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) to put together a survey of beef demand in Hawaii, and summarize past marketing efforts, to help develop future marketing strategies, and then to implement those strategies.
- HCC has been instrumental in the development of a transportation system that allows ranchers to ship their cattle as efficiently and humanely as possible.
- HCC has developed shipping guidelines to better prepare cattle for ocean shipment, thereby reducing stress and adding value to the cattle.
- HCC has periodic discussions with Matson regarding rates and scheduling to better reflect the costs of shipping.
- HCC strongly believes that the “Jones Act” must be reformed to at least allow for a limited exemption for Hawaii Livestock to address a critical shortfall in container capacity during peak shipping seasons. The “Jones Act” is a protectionist law that offers shipping companies a virtual monopoly at the expense of the consumers of Hawaii. While the use of containers will continue to be necessary, the industry’s seasonal demands simply cannot be satisfied with the limited capacity offered by container service. We therefore must broaden that shipping capacity by the use of livestock carriers, ships built especially for the transportation of Livestock. While there are many Livestock carriers in the world fleet, none qualify under the “Jones Act”. The world is moving towards free trade; however Hawaii is restricted from free trade with the rest of the United States because of the “Jones Act”. When few would stand up and speak out against the Jones Act, HCC did so. HCC has gained national support for a limited exemption for the Hawaii cattle industry from the Jones Act, although significant political forces oppose such relief. NCBA’s role in resolving this transportation crisis will be vitally important since reform requires action from Washington.
- HCC has increased the utilization of Livestock Ships by obtaining a strong favorable Customs Ruling allowing cattle to cross back into the United States after arriving in a foreign port on a non-Jones act livestock vessel (i.e.: Hawaii > Canada > Mainland U.S.A.). This effort cost us over $30,000, but we expect that this will save cattle producers approximately $25 per head shipped via this method, adding up to many times more than we invested. Efforts such as this can only be done through the collaboration of the many ranchers in our organization.
- HCC has helped to reduce testing requirements for cattle being shipped to Canada during the months of Oct thru March.
- HCC belongs to several National Animal Health Organizations, and Animal Transportation Organizations, attending National Conferences to represent Hawaii’s issues and to gain national support from our peers on the Mainland. There is strength in numbers and networking.
- HCC worked with the State of Hawaii to establish a staging area for cattle containers in transit at Sand Island, so that Hawaii’s cattlemen have better control over the well being of their animals during layovers in Honolulu.