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Around the Islands | Around Tinian’s cattlemen

FOR this week’s episode of Around the Islands, Jack Doyle interviews several members of the Tinian Cattlemen Association about producing fresh, organic beef right here in the CNMI.

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Jack Doyle, left, and Ray Dela Cruz.

Joe Dela Cruz: I do this full-time now.

Jack Doyle: Do you love it?

Joe Dela Cruz: Yeah, I love it.

Jack Doyle: How long have you been doing this?

Joe Dela Cruz: Going on ten years.

Jack Doyle: Cool, ten years? And what does your organization do?

Joe Dela Cruz: We have common interests, all of us ranchers. We share ideas, we help each other out. We try to promote the product, of course. And we advocate for agricultural production on the island.

Ray Dela Cruz: We’re trying to bring in the USDA mobile slaughterhouse so that we can be able to market our beef not only to Saipan but also in our local stores. So that’s one of our biggest projects. And maybe you heard that Mc Donald’s is turning from frozen beef to fresh ground beef? I’m trying to also convince them to see whether, once we produce the ground beef at the USDA-certified slaughterhouse, probably we can supply them with fresh hamburger.

Jack Doyle: That would be awesome — McDonald’s with prime Tinian beef!

Joe Dela Cruz: Right now we have roughly about 1500 heads of cattle on island. That’s based on an assessment that was done several years ago, so the error margin will be maybe a hundred or two.

Ray Dela Cruz: Tinian has always been the “Breadbasket of Micronesia” so we’re trying to come back again. Tinian is known not only for its fresh beef but for producing the sweetest watermelon and the hottest pepper, and we see huge potential, that this is something that can make Tinian not only well known, but provide opportunities for the local ranchers and farmers.

Joe Dela Cruz: We want to be able to provide the people of the CNMI the quality product that we produce. This is the best beef there is out there.

Jack Doyle: And what do you guys do that makes it the best beef?

Joe Dela Cruz: Grass-fed, 100 percent. We don’t use any medication, we don’t use any antibiotics.

Make sure to check out the full episode, “Around the Extras,” on Marianas Variety’s YouTube channel!