Hawaii’s second-largest ranch engages in an embryo transfer and artificial insemination project, with a goal of marketing Wagyu beef in Hawaii. In addition, local ranchers and students are seizing the opportunity to learn the Artificial Insemination process during a week-long informative and practical workshop on Molokai. "We support educational activities for our local community that promotes sustainable food production in Hawaii," said Clay Rumbaoa, CEO of Molokai Ranch.
The Wagyu Embryo program began in April 2013, when Molokai Ranch purchased 100% Wagyu embryos at the Belcampo Farms Wagyu Auction in California and Gypsum Valley Ranch in Salina, Kansas. This breed is recognized for it's tenderness and flavor, high fertility, and adaptability to diverse weather and climates. Wagyu was the ideal breed for the ranch. Embryo transfer expert Dr. Dean A. Koesel of DNA Embryo Transfers, Inc. was recruited from Washington to perform the transplants in November 2013. This year, as of January 18th, 55% of the cows implanted with Fullblood Wagyu embryos were confirmed pregnant as verified by Dr. Lisa Wood, DVM of Veterinary Associates, Inc. on the Big Island. The success rate of Molokai Ranch is impressive according to industry standards, with most programs reaching an average of 30%. Although this is not the first time a Wagyu transfer program has been attempted, Molokai Ranch is the first to attain this level of accomplishment.
The Artificial Insemination program will begin this week Monday, January 27 through Friday, January 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Molokai Ranch is sponsoring lectures and practicum featuring UH Extension Agent Mike DuPonte and Dr. Jinzeng Yang, Ph.D. from the UH College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources. The program will include Wagyu semen being implanted into Molokai Ranch cows. "UH has the opportunity to work with Molokai Ranch to take the industry to a higher level," said Mike DuPonte, the only certified livestock production agent in Hawaii, with 40 years of industry experience. "Achieving superior genetics is most important for the highest quality beef. It's all about consistent quality, and Molokai has everything it takes to make that happen."
Molokai Ranch started the partnership over a year ago with the hope to inspire our local community and promote sustainable food production in Hawaii providing more educational opportunities for ranching on Molokai.
Molokai Ranch is Hawaii's second largest ranch, spanning 54,000 acres of beach and countryside. The Ranch has a long and proud history on the Friendly Isle since its founding more than a century ago by Prince Kapuaiwa, who later became King Kamehameha V. For more information, visit molokairanch.com.