Parker Ranch Announces a Nearly 50% Increase in Its Annual Distribution to $3.6 Million

The Trustees of Parker Ranch Foundation Trust are pleased to announce that the Trust will be increasing its annual distribution by nearly 50% in 2020, as compared to 2019, to $3.6 million. This decision was based on a multi-year effort by the Trustees, with assistance from the management team and input from the Beneficiaries, in reformulating the methodology for determining the distribution formula and the annual payout to the four charitable organizations which receive these funds.

According to the Chair of the Trustees, Tim Johns, “This has been a coordinated project across the entire organization and incorporating strategic thinking from our leadership and external advisers, including Northern Trust and Callan. This distribution is meaningful for two other important reasons. First, the significant increase comes at a time that our local economy needs support. Our Beneficiaries are charitable organizations focused on health care and education, parts of our economy under severe strain given the broad impact of COVID-19. Second, this distribution brings the cumulative total distributions to slightly more than $40 million since the creation of the Trust in the early 1990s. Hopefully, Richard Smartwould be pleased with our efforts to support our Beneficiaries, if he were alive today to see its positive contribution to our community.”

The Beneficiaries shared the following statement: “We are collectively very grateful for the gracious gift by Richard Smartwhich provides ongoing support to the four Beneficiaries of the Trust. This support is especially important in the challenging times we all face today. The effort to modify the distribution policy was thorough and substantive. We greatly appreciate the contributions of the Trustees and the management team in adopting this new approach to setting distributions.”

Dutch Kuyper, President and CEO of Parker Ranch, Inc., also commented on the decision to increase the distribution. “Our management team has been working hard supporting the Trust in developing an integrated view of our investment portfolio, real assets and various operating business, including the ranching operation. We worked in close collaboration with our investment advisers to evaluate various distribution policies studying a variety of approaches including the models adopted by Yale and Princeton.  We believe our new approach can withstand the test of time in a variety of market conditions while ensuring the purchasing power of the distribution is maintained.”

Parker Ranch Partners with NextEra Energy Resources

 Parker Ranch announced earlier today that Parker Ranch Foundation Trust (PRFT) has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. This agreement provides NextEra Energy Resources with long-term access rights to PRFT lands to develop renewable energy derived from PRFT’s wind resources.

“We have been aggressively seeking ways to reduce the cost of electricity for our community and our island by using the potential renewable energy resources available on PRFT’s Hawaii Island lands,” said Neil (“Dutch”) Kuyper, President and CEO of Parker Ranch. “During this time, we have also been seeking capital and technical expertise from potential development partners. We have been working collaboratively with NextEra Energy Resources for more than a year and believe that they are the ideal partner to utilize PRFT’s wind resources.”

In 2013, Parker Ranch, Inc. commenced a utility-grade integrated resource planning effort with assistance from Siemens, Booz Allen Hamilton and Pace Global to evaluate alternative energy strategies for Parker Ranch and the surrounding communities of Waimea and North Kohala as well as the Island of Hawaii.

“Our work with Siemens identified several valuable scenarios utilizing PRFT’s wind resources, combined with storage, that could drive down electricity rates and cut our excessive vulnerability to volatile imported oil prices,” said Kuyper. “Reducing Hawaii Island electricity rates, slashing our reliance on imported oil and decreasing carbon emissions are all important to us because the cost of energy is tied to everything we do.”

Through its Paniolo Power Company subsidiary, Parker Ranch, Inc. is continuing to evaluate the merits of pumped-storage hydro and the economics of utility-scale battery solutions in the generation mix.

“Our community is inherently at the center of our mission and core values,” said Kuyper. “We will continue to engage our neighbors and friends in the process of pursuing our renewable energy and sustainability goals.”

The potential for renewable energy on PRFT’s lands is unique on Hawaii Island and in the State due to the size and scale of the wind resource.  PRFT’s mission is focused on the sustainability of the Waimea community, the hometown of Parker Ranch, by providing perpetual support for PRFT’s four Waimea-based beneficiaries.

PRFT and Parker Ranch, Inc. have recently completed comprehensive strategic planning efforts and each has decided to elevate the pursuit of renewable energy-related opportunities to be one of their highest strategic priorities.

NextEra Energy Resources is one of the largest developers of clean and low-cost renewable energy in North America and is the largest producer of zero-emissions energy from wind resources.

Parker Ranch and UH Hilo Presents “Happy”

Parker Ranch, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii at Hilo, produced a remake of the music video “Happy” by Pharrell Williams to showcase the uniqueness of Hilo and as a tribute to the university’s Spring 2014 graduating class.


Neil “Dutch” Kuyper, President and CEO of Parker Ranch, was the keynote speaker at the Spring 2014 commencement. The overarching theme of his speech—happiness—is a reminder for all to live a life rooted in happiness because life is too precious to live otherwise.

A special mahalo to the wonderful people of Hilo for dancing with incredible enthusiasm and to the video crew—Brett Wagner of Wagnervision (Director), George Russell (Cameraman), Ashley Kierkiewicz of Hastings & Pleadwell (Executive Producer) and Shawn Pila of ENA Media Hawaii (Assistant Producer) for making production awesome.

The song used in this music video is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams—Courtesy of Universal Pictures & Columbia Records.

Parker Ranch Launches Paniolo Power Company

Parker Ranch has launched a new subsidiary, Paniolo Power Company LLC, Neil “Dutch” Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch, Inc., announced today.
Parker Cows
“The preliminary results from our energy team, led by Siemens, tell us there is the real opportunity to attract capital to invest in our community grid concept,” Kuyper said.

Parker Ranch hired a consortium led by Siemens to evaluate the merits of a community-based energy solution for Greater Waimea and Kohala as well as prepare a utility-grade integrated resource plan.

Hawaii Island electric rates from Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO) are consistently more than 37 cents a kilowatt-hour, and often well over 40 cents, despite nearly half of the island’s electricity being generated from renewable sources. The national average for electricity rates last year was 12.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“We think that the residents and businesses of the Big Island could be better served by a series of community solutions with regional level distributed generation focusing on our plentiful renewable resources,” said Kuyper.

“Because our island is so large, it is in a sense a few islands within the island.  Waimea is 55 miles from Kona and 60 miles from Hilo.  A combination of several regional solutions for the various parts of the island seems to make logical sense.”

Kuyper said that Paniolo Power has begun discussions with potential operating and capital partners to manage and fund the effort. “We are pleased and excited about the inquiries that we have received in recent months to co-invest in our concept.  My background lends itself to raise capital for these kinds of investments,” said Kuyper.

Parker Ranch will present the preliminary findings on its Integrated Resource Plan study to the Waimea Community Association Thursday, April 3, 5:15 p.m. in the Waimea School Cafeteria.

Paniolo Cattle Company Formed by Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative

Following a successful grass-fed beef trial on Hawaii Island, Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative announced the launch of the Paniolo Cattle Company, a joint venture aimed at statewide local beef production. The pasture-to-table enterprise taps into a growing demand for high-quality, affordable, locally raised beef.

Parker Cows

Paniolo Cattle Company will begin with 1,400 head of cattle to be raised at Parker Ranch on Hawaii Island.  This represents the largest commitment of grass-fed beef by a single ranch in the state and will increase the supply of grass-fed steers to the market by nearly 35 percent.

Parker Ranch provides calves and cattle management expertise for the joint venture and Ulupono Initiative contributes the intellectual capital to develop best practices for profitability and sustainable agricultural methods.  Both entities have financial interest and will handle the commercial aspects of the business.  Parker Ranch, headquartered in Waimea on Hawaii Island, is Hawaii’s largest cattle operation, and the state’s second largest landowner.

Ranching profitability has long been impacted by fluctuating costs of oil and corn.  The price of cattle over the last decade has increased about 57 percent, while the price of feed has increased 129 percent, causing conventional ranching returns to suffer.  Paniolo Cattle Company seeks to reduce costs substantially by animal husbandry based on sound pasture management.

“This joint venture is about trying to level the cost of beef, creating an at-home thriving cattle industry that is energy-efficient and protects us against volatility in fuel and feed costs,” said Dutch Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch. “Restaurants, food markets and consumers want quality and consistency in beef, at reasonable prices.”

The goal is to create a more robust local beef supply chain and ensure that a quality, consistent product is available to all Hawaii consumers, not just the high-end market.  In the pre-commercial trial on Hawaii Island, conducted from September 2012 to May 2013, 80 percent of the beef was graded “choice.”

Market research conducted by Ulupono indicated that Oahu consumers would make the shift to local beef if the quality was consistent and prices were reasonable.  Ulupono has been exploring the grass-fed beef model for nearly four years.
“We view this as an equal partnership of capital and capabilities based on shared values, mutual respect, and a commitment to the future of ranching in Hawaii,” said Kyle Datta, general partner of Ulupono Initiative.  Ulupono Initiative is an impact investment firm focused on Hawaii operations that promote a self-reliant community.
Paniolo Cattle Company plans to expand statewide and has begun talks with ranchers on Oahu, Maui and Kauai to broaden the program’s reach and benefit Hawaii ranchers, processors, and consumers in every county.  The pace of expansion will be based on the market demand.

Kuyper and Datta said meetings with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and cattle ranchers were the catalyst behind pursuing a value-based brand that increases the sustainability of Hawaii’s food supply and reduces the headwinds facing the local ranching industry.  “The State understands the food security issues. We’ve gotten a lot of support and guidance from Scott Enright, State Department of Agriculture board chair,” said Datta.

Paniolo Cattle Company will be involved in the full cycle of beef production, from grazing and finishing to working with processors and distribution.

In the initial grass-fed stage, cattle are free to roam and graze pasture until they reach about 800 pounds. The finishing stage requires active management to assure consistent nutrition to grow to 1,150 pounds, which produces high-quality meat that has the tenderness consumers seek.  Paniolo Cattle Company will operate irrigated finishing forage pastures and employ rotational pasture techniques to achieve consistency and quality, an approach not widely practiced in Hawaii.

“Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative both share the core value of caring about our aina and we’re committed to finding solutions that allow us to be here for the long-term providing affordable, high quality food for our community,” said Datta.  “The rotational grazing approach is a regenerative agricultural method that will improve soil health and increase pasture fertility.  Converting pasture to higher yield grasses, and reinvesting in our natural capital will pay dividends for years to come.”

14th Annual Waimea Healthy KeikiFest

The 14th Annual Waimea Healthy KeikiFest will be held 9 am ~ 2 pm Saturday, April 13 at the Parker Ranch Center in Waimea.

The annual celebration of keiki health and safety will feature more than 35 FREE hands-on activities for keiki, ages 3 to 12 ranging from a bike rodeo to ham radio, and other experiences of healthy eating and active living. Kids will earn credits they can use for face painting, balloon art, a turn in a bouncer, and a water bottle. Parents, grandparents and family members are welcome to enjoy a variety of fun learning experiences about growing up safe and healthy.

Over the past 14 years, hundreds of community members from Hawai`i Island and O‘ahu have taken the time to provide fun, interactive learning experiences for the keiki at the popular event. KeikiFest is organized by Tutu’s House. For more information, call Sharnell Kalahiki at 885-6777.

Tutus House

Tutus House

Tutu’s House is a project of Friends of the Future, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which facilitates community-led change, perpetuates cherished cultural anchors, and improves health-related quality of life for those who live work and play on Hawai`i Island. For the Friends of the Future Annual Report and information about its programs visit the web at or call Michelle Medeiros at 885-8336.

Where’s the Beef… Ask Hawaii Hawaii Beef Producers, Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative

Hawaii Beef Producers Join Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative in Joint Development Agreement For Large-Scale Grass-Fed Beef Trials

Hawai‘i Beef Producers has joined Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative in an agreement to jointly fund pre-commercial trials for irrigated finish pasture beef production on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The irrigated trials will be run on 70 acres of pasture next to the Hawai‘i Beef Producers processing facility on the Hamakua Coast and involve just under 100 head of cattle. The trials will be completed by May 2013.

“We’re pleased to be joining in these trials to help find the most cost-effective, timely method toward increasing our overall local grass-fed beef production,” said David De Luz, Jr., Hawai‘i Beef Producers. “Everyone’s collaboration on this study will help ranchers statewide determine the potential for developing commercially based grass-fed feedlots, or pasture finishing companies, to meet consumer demands for high-quality local beef that everyone can afford.”

In these pre-commercial trials, Hawai‘i Beef Producers is testing the impacts of fertilized, irrigated grass using the Hamakua Ditch Irrigation System, and Parker Ranch is studying the impact of using fertilized, non-irrigated grass. In addition, Kamehameha Schools is doing its own trial on unfertilized, irrigated pasture in Hamakua. The outcomes from all of the trials will be combined and shared with all partners as well as the Hawai‘i Cattlemen’s Association and the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) to help determine which combination of methods are best for lowering the production costs and improving the quality of locally produced grass-fed beef.

“These trials are integral to helping further Hawai‘i’s agricultural sector, so it’s great to have Hawai‘i Beef Producers join,” said Kyle Datta, general partner for Ulupono Initiative. “We’re so pleased to be able to help catalyze this partnership with our local ranching community to help inspire other Hawai‘i ranchers to consider grass-fed as an option. In addition, the combined trials using the Hamakua Ditch Irrigation System will help provide insights on commercially viable water rates for finish pasture operations, which will be key to the expansion of local beef production and could have statewide implications.”

Dutch Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch, said, “The interest and collaboration among our fellow ranchers for these trials is a sign of positive momentum. It gives us additional confidence that our research and investment in grass-fed beef is a good decision for our business model and for the scale of the Hawai‘i beef industry as a whole.”

About Hawai‘i Beef Producers

The De Luz family has been ranching for three generations on the 10,000 acre Kukai‘au Ranch located in Pa‘auilo on the Hamakua Coast of Hawai‘i Island. Hawai‘i Big Island Beef is its grass-fed beef product, which is processed at its adjoining Hawai‘i Beef Producers slaughterhouse. To learn more about Hawai‘i Big Island Beef, please visit

About Parker Ranch

Parker Ranch is one of the largest and oldest cattle ranches in the United States. Parker Ranch is beneficially owned by Parker Ranch Foundation Trust with four non-profits as beneficiaries including North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, Parker School and Hawai‘i Community Foundation. To learn more, please visit

About Ulupono Initiative

Ulupono Initiative is a Hawai‘i-focused impact investing firm that uses for-profit and non-profit investments to improve the quality of life for island residents in three areas – locally produced food; clean, renewable energy; and waste reduction. To learn more, please visit

“You Asked For It” 1951 Johnny Ukulele and Parker Ranch

“You Asked For It” was an early “reality” tv show where people would send in requests to see strange things. We posted another clip from it that had a Therimin player on it. In this one a woman from Texas writes in wanting to see one of these Hawaiian cowboys her husband had seen while in the service. This leads to Johnny Ukulele’s spot. He is from a noble Hawaiian family and as a teenager traveled to America to play in a band touring with famed surfer Duke Kahanamoku.


He liked it so much he stayed for thirty years touring the country spreading the sounds of the islands. He spent a lot of the time in the midwest and one of his biggest fans was Al Capones brother Ralph who gave a suite in one of the mobs hotels.

Johnny was also an expert swimmer who competed against Johnny Weismuller and Buster Crabbe and others. He cut one lp on Capitol in the late 50’sit wouldn’t be until 1961 that he would finally return to Hawaii. After returning to the mainland he became a fixture in Vegas until his death in 1971.

Big Island Raises Hopes for Grass Fed Beef on Small and Large Ranches

Media Release:

Over 1 million acres of land, about 25% of the entire state of Hawaii, is cattle ranch land. There are ranches on all the main islands, and on the Big Island of Hawaii cattle ranches have been a key part of island life since Parker Ranch was founded in 1847. At over 130,000 acres, it’s one of the largest ranches in the U.S., but most of the 110 ranches in the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council are anywhere from a few hundred acres to a few thousand.

The Schutte Ranch, run by Guy Schutte and his wife Joeliene is one of the many smaller ranches in Kamuela’s cattle country. Guy is one of the first ranchers to use SweetPro supplement lick blocks in his cattle operation. He has helped to prove just how remarkably well suited SweetPro is to the grass fed cattle operations throughout Hawaii.

Without a significant source of grain or hay, Hawaii’s cattle depend completely on grass, but the consistent drought over the past ten years has caused many ranchers to reduce herd size or accept modest growth from their calves. While on the mainland, cattle ranchers have been using 25% less forage for their herds on SweetPro blocks, or handling 25% more cattle on the same pastures.

While researching a better approach, Guy decided to use SweetPro cattle supplement tubs and found they worked very well in combination with the native kikuyu Hawaiian grasses. Most Hawaii ranches are cow-calf operations that ship calves to the mainland for pasturing and grain finishing. With SweetPro, Guy found that his calves grew faster, developed better frames and stayed healthier during shipping to the mainland.

As a test, Guy raised two identical cow/calf pairs from the same genetic line, in identical side-by-side paddock grazing areas, using grass only. One pair had SweetPro FiberMate 18 tubs and one didn’t. At the weaning time of 8.5 months, the non-SweetPro calf was a respectable 450 pounds, but the SweetPro calf was 750 pounds. An amazing difference.

Rancher Schutte also raised one of his steers to maturity using only grass and SweetPro tubs, and remarked “It’s the best beef I’ve ever eaten”. So the future of grass fed beef in Hawaii looks promising, and thanks to innovators like Guy Schutte, SweetPro will play an important part.

SweetPro products are carried by Animal Health International/Lextron of Kamuela on the Big Island. The dealership is under the leadership of Rollin Olson, who along with his team have been serving the Big Island’s animal health needs for 30 years. Animal Health International is located at 64-5161 Mana Road, phone 808-885-8006.

Professional Bull Riders on the Big Island

Media Release:

The Professional Bull Riders announced that riders McKennon Wimberly and Sean Willingham and up-and-coming stock contractor Mesa Pate are in Hawaii beginning today.

McKennon Wimberly

McKennon Wimberly

The visit is being coordinated by the Paniolo Preservation Society, which celebrates and preserves the Western culture and heritage, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Paniolo is the Hawaiian word for cowboy.

“Hawaii has a rich Western lifestyle heritage and Paniolo are among the original American cowboys,” said PBR President and COO Sean Gleason. “PBR has conducted two successful events in the Islands, and we are working to include Hawaiian events as a regular part of our schedule. We are honored to be working with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Paniolo Preservation Society on this cultural event.”

Sean Willingham

Sean Willingham

Wimberly and Willingham will conduct a bull riding clinic from 12-4 p.m. on Friday, June 24, at Paniolo Park on the Parker Ranch. They will also attend the Youth Rodeo Scholarship Dinner and Reception for PBR at the Kahua Ranch on Thursday, June 23. Their week will begin on Wednesday, June 22, with a branding and Paniolo “Talk Story” at the Parker Ranch, and will also include a Pukalani stable blessing/celebration on Saturday, June 25.

The pair will then challenge a 1,500-pound foe of a different sort when they fish for Pacific Blue Marlin on Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26. Wimberly and Willingham are scheduled to compete in the Kona Kick Off tournament, the first event of the Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series, which annually awards approximately $1 million in cash and prizes.

Mesa Pate

Mesa Pate and a Bull

There is a similarity between big game fishing and bull riding. In big game fishing, the last 30 feet of the fishing line is called the leader, and is either piano wire or heavy nylon. The “wireman” wraps the leader around his gloved hand, and has to battle, one on one, the fish that can weigh as much as 1,800 pounds. In bull riding, the rider wraps his bull rope around the bull, who can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, and holds on with his gloved hand.

The visit will be documented by David Neal Productions for features to be broadcast during Built Ford Tough Series events, on television and in arena, as well as on The production company produces BFTS telecasts which are broadcast nationally each week on VERSUS with select events being shown on NBC and CBS. It is led by 30-time Emmy® Award winner and Peabody Award winner David Neal, who serves as executive producer and creative lead.

The Western lifestyle has been a part of Hawaiian culture for more than 150 years, and in 1908, Ikua Purdy won the Roping Championship at the World Championship Rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyo.

The PBR visited Hawaii in 2006, holding an event on Maui with local bull rider Myron Duarte, and on Oahu with the Hawaii All-Star Challenge. Zack Brown, who has earned over $865,000 competing in PBR events, was raised in North Shore, Hawaii.

Featuring 29 stops in 23 states, the 2011 BFTS schedule began at world-famous Madison Square Garden in January. The season concludes Oct. 26-30 in Las Vegas with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals, and the crowning of the 2011 PBR World Champion. The World Finals are the richest bull riding event on the planet with the winner receiving the World Championship PBR Buckle and a $1 million bonus.

12th Annual Waimea Healthy KeikiFest

Media Release:

The 12th Annual Waimea Healthy KeikiFest will be held from 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday, April 23rd at the Parker Ranch Shopping Center.

The annual celebration of keiki health and safety will feature more than 30 exhibitors with hands-on activities for keiki, ages 3 to 12. While keiki have fun learning about growing up safe and healthy, they’ll earn credits they can use for a free turn in a bouncer and a free t-shirt from the Parker Ranch Store (supply limited to first 300).

Tutu's House

Over the past 12 years, hundreds of community members from Hawai`i Island and Oahu have taken the time to provide fun, interactive learning experiences for the Hawai`i Island keiki community. KeikiFest is organized by Tutu’s House. For more information, call 885-6777.

Tutu’s House is a project of Friends of the Future, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which facilitates community-led change, perpetuates cherished cultural anchors, and improves health-related quality of life for the Hawai`i Island community. For the Friends of the Future Annual Report and information about its programs visit the web at or call 885-8336