In 2019, Facebook banned livestock sales between private individuals. It also began tightening down the hatches, so to speak, banning animal parts, pelts, and skin sales, including furs. That same year, PETA bought shares in Facebook hoping to have more of a say in the filtering process on Facebook.
But now, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he’s entering the farming and ranching industry. He made the announcement on the social media platform this week that he has begun raising cattle at his Ko’olau Ranch on Kauai. The ranch has been called a “top-secret compound” by some.
Zuckerberg says his goal is to raise “some of the highest quality beef in the world” using Waygu and Angus genetics, feeding the cattle a diet of macadamia meal and beer.
Zuckerberg also announced that he’s undertaken another farming enterprise: raising macadamia trees that his daughter has planted. His daughter (we assume 7-year-old Maxima?) will be caring for some of the animals as well.
“Of all my projects, this is the most delicious,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Aside from his role as a tech entrepreneur, Zuckerberg has expressed interest in animals through his personal challenges and philanthropic efforts. In 2011, he famously committed to only eating meat that he had personally killed. This initiative stemmed from his interest in understanding the origin of his food and the ethical considerations behind it.
Ko’aloa Ranch will supposedly ensure that the process will be “local” and “vertically integrated.”
Altogether, Zuckerberg’s properties in Hawaii include a significant amount of land on the island of Kauai. Zuckerberg acquired several more parcels of land in the region, totaling hundreds of acres. A notable acquisition was the 700-acre plantation on the North Shore of Kauai, which he purchased in 2014 for around $100 million. He added 600 acres in 2021 for $53 million and an additional 110 acres in Kauai that year.
The plantation features various parts, including land for farming and conservation efforts, as well as a personal residence for Zuckerberg and his family. Reports indicate that he aimed to create a secluded retreat on this property, away from the public eye, with plenty of space for privacy and relaxation including what sources say is a $100 million compound. These properties may save the billionaire about $300,000 in property taxes annually.
Zuckerberg’s philanthropic foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, has also invested in agricultural technology. CZI focuses on various areas, including supporting scientific research, and has shown interest in innovative farming techniques, sustainable agriculture, and exploring ways to address food security and environmental challenges through technology and research.
»Related: Hawaii’s cattle ranchers: Producing local beef