I moved to Hawaii permanently in 1976. I raised my two sons in Waimea and now live on a small family owned farm with my husband, John, in Kalopa Mauka, Hamakua District, just outside Honokaa on the Big Island.
I raise Romney sheep, a dual purpose breed that produces both meat and wool. I have the Hawaiian Homegrown Wool Company, which primarily markets hand spun and custom dyed yarns along with other wool products. My farm and flock are typical of 80% of the sheep producers in Hawaii as well as the nation, in that my flock is under 40 head.
I am new to ag production, as I’ve been a shepherd for only 6 years. I worked five years for Habein Livestock Company (HLC) in Waimea, which ran cattle and sheep. At HLC I was exposed to the ranching and meat business and basic sheep husbandry.
I am now President of the Hawaii Sheep and Goat Association. It is a privilege to be a member of the Hawaii GLCI steering committee and represent the flocks and herds that are a small but vital piece of the grazing lands of Hawaii.