Cattle are an asset, not a liability

Kudos to Mahi Pono for requesting community input about their agricultural plans in Central Maui. But I hope they will ignore a handful of like-minded friends who choose to attack Maui’s long-standing cattle industry.

The sad truth is there are too many people nowadays who want to have their cake and eat it too. They clamor for organic, sustainable agriculture, food security and self-sufficiency. Wonderful goals, but when they attack the farmers and ranchers who grow our food, they are actually doing the opposite. Here’s why:

1) There are not too many cattle on Maui, but there are too many people, and virtually all of them love beef.

2) Cattle manure is one of the best organic and sustainable fertilizers there is. When properly handled, it builds rich, deep topsoil and promotes beneficial bacteria and earthworms. It has always been standard practice on the Mainland to stockpile manure and spread it over fields of grass and clover to produce the finest soil on the planet, and often needs no additional commercial fertilizer.

3) To accuse cattle farts of producing enough methane gas to affect global warming is naive. And to suggest we all substitute beans for beef to correct this is absolutely hilarious.

4) My dictionary defines methane as a gas created by the decomposition of organic matter. Does that mean we should ban all compost heaps as well as cattle?

Cattle are an asset, not a liability. So, please, leave farming to the farmers.

Stu Nicholls