Backers of a proposed dairy farm on the island of Kauai in Hawaii said they hope to be producing milk for customers next year.
Hawaii Dairy Farms wants to break ground in the spring if it gets the required building permits, Amy Hennessey, communications director for the sole investor Ulupono Initiative, told the Kauai Economic Development Board on Tuesday
Hawaii Dairy Farms would be located on more than 580 acres in Mahaulepu near Koloa, The Garden Island reported. Operators say 70 percent of the diet of the dairy cows would be Kikyu grass and 30 percent would be grain.
The farm would produce milk for distribution statewide. It's eventually expected to produce as much milk as is currently produced by Hawaii's only two existing dairy farms, both on the Big Island, Hennessey told The Associated Press.
Hawaii currently imports 90 percent of its milk from the U.S. mainland, she said.
Ulupono Initiative is funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. It aims to increase Hawaii's food production and clean energy and reduce waste.
Randy Francisco, president of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce, said people have expressed concern about the smell of a dairy operation. Those behind the project say it shouldn't be a problem.
Hennessey, who visited some New Zealand dairies, said grass-fed cows emit less odor than traditional feed-lot animals. She added that the dairy will be two miles away from its closest neighbor.