Letters for Friday, March 20, 2015

• Dairy deserves our support • Thanks for clearing road shoulder 

Dairy deserves our support

During the anti-dairy letter writing campaign over the past several months, there have been a few in the style of firsthand experience accounts.

Although anecdotal, there is certainly a place within the debate for this type of information. However, there have been two key things missing from each and every one that are crucial to relevance! 

First, can the dairy in the writer’s experience compare to an single, isolated, relatively small, 70 percent grass-fed facility like the one proposed? Second, even if it doesn’t compare closely, what was life like three miles, five miles, seven miles away? I believe these data are missing because they do not favor the anti-dairy argument!

In 1988, there was a peak of 90 dairy operations in Hawaii. Twenty years later, and today, there are only two! The reason for this near extinction was the cost of feed for these feed-based operations whose feed costs were well over 50 percent of their overhead and a price fix method by Hawaii and Honolulu Sheds that was well below the break-even point when conditions changed. 

HDF has developed a 70 percent grass-fed model that addresses the industry price disadvantage, improves animal welfare, and proposes to be much more environmentally friendly. Therefore, it is a noble effort and worthy of our support, ref.: “A Solution for Hawaii’s Dairy Industry,” Mana Southichack, Ph.D., June 28-29, 2010, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.

Pete Antonson, Manila/Lawai

Thanks for clearing road shoulder 

We would like to thank the state Department of Transportation Highways Division for their recent road shoulder clearing in Hanalei. Being able to see our wonderful river and the views beyond is a delight. Cutting the tall grasses is very hard work and we appreciate your efforts very much.

Makaala Kaaumoana, Hanalei watershed Hui

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