HONOLULU, April 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) (NYSE:ALEX) today announced it has named a new general manager, diversified agriculture on Maui: Darren Strand. Strand will be responsible for leading A&B's diversified agricultural initiative to transition its former sugar lands to other agricultural operations.
Strand brings nearly two decades of agricultural and leadership experience to A&B's diversified agriculture efforts. He most recently served as president of Hali`imaile Pineapple Company, a position he held since 2009. Strand also served as organic research supervisor and director of farm operations for Maui Pineapple Company for three years, and, prior to that, as field maintenance superintendent for Del Monte Fresh Produce in Hawaii.
Strand earned bachelor's degrees in biology and chemistry from Western Oregon University. He is the president of the Maui County Farm Bureau and serves on numerous organizations focusing on agriculture and conservation, including the Hawaii Farm Bureau Association, Grown on Maui Committee, Maui Food Innovation Center Advisory Committee, and the Central Maui Soil & Water Conservation District.
"Darren not only has extensive experience in farming operations, he is passionate about ensuring agriculture remains a vital part of Maui's economy and community. His knowledge, leadership and commitment will help us build on the early successes we've seen in our first year of repurposing our former sugar lands," said Jerrod Schreck, A&B senior vice president of land stewardship.
A prime example of A&B's progress is the growth of Kūlōlio Ranch, a pasture-raised, naturally grazed, grass-fed beef operation in Central Maui that stocks cattle free of growth hormones, antibiotics, or supplemental feed. A wholly owned subsidiary of A&B, Kūlōlio Ranch increased its pasturing program from 300 to more than 1,000 animals over the past year, helping Maui ranchers raise more beef for local markets in Hawaii.
Under the leadership of Jacob Tavares, Kūlōlio Ranch manager, sustainable ranching practices are being used to cultivate the pastures and manage the cattle. "We move the animals on a daily basis from paddock to paddock, permitting them to graze freely while allowing grasses and other forages to accumulate and grow during the rest periods," said Tavares. "The cattle provide natural fertilizer to the soil, which offers both economic and agricultural benefits. This holistic management process improves soil quality, sequesters soil carbon, reduces runoff, and provides a healthy environment for the cattle."
Grass-fed beef production is one part of A&B's effort to transition former sugar lands into diversified agricultural uses. Under the new diversified model, A&B is dividing the former 36,000-acre sugar plantation into smaller farms to accommodate a wide range of agricultural uses. In addition to cattle ranching, A&B has made significant progress, including:
- 250 acres committed to an orchard project with TerViva to explore the Pongamia tree's potential to help address Hawaii's need for renewable fuels.
- 500 acres committed to growing energy crops to help power Maui County's wastewater treatment facility.
- More than 800 acres in active negotiations with Maui County to develop an agricultural park, which will provide opportunities for farmers interested in working smaller plots of land.
- More than 15,000 acres in active negotiations for agricultural leases, with potential uses including coffee, energy crops and locally grown vegetables.
ABOUT ALEXANDER & BALDWIN
Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. is Hawai`i's premier commercial real estate company and the state's foremost owner of grocery-anchored retail centers. With a portfolio of approximately 87,000 acres in Hawai`i, A&B is the state's fourth largest private landowner. A&B is a fully integrated real estate investment trust and owns, operates and manages 3.4 million square feet of primarily retail and industrial space in Hawai`i. A&B's interests extend beyond commercial real estate into diversified agriculture, renewable energy and land stewardship. A&B also is Hawai`i's largest construction materials company and paving contractor. Over its nearly 150-year history, A&B has evolved with the state's economy and played a lead role in the development of the agricultural, transportation, tourism, construction and real estate industries. Learn more about A&B at www.alexanderbaldwin.com.
Contact: Darren Pai; 808-525-6659; firstname.lastname@example.org
View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/alexander--baldwin-names-darren-strand-as-general-manager-diversified-agriculture-300635528.html
SOURCE Alexander & Baldwin