$440K awarded to CEDA for Tinian cattle feasibility study

Posted on Oct 14 2022


The Commonwealth Economic Development Authority received $440,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to study the feasibility of the cattle industry on Tinian. In photo from left are Tinian rancher Ike Kiyoshi, Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan, Mayor of Tinian staffer Carl Lou Espinosa, Northern Marianas College – Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Services interim dean Patricia Coleman, CEDA loan manager Marie Coleman, Tinian Municipal Council chair Joseph Santos, Sen. Francisco Cruz, CEDA board member Jocelyn King, CNMI Small Business Development Center director/ advisor Benjamin Borja, Tinian Cattlemen’s Association vice president and NMC-CREES employee Sam Palacios, Tinian Cattlemen’s Association president Jose Dela Cruz, Senate President Jude Hofschneider, Department of Public Lands director Bernie San Nicolas, NMC Tinian Center executive director Maria H. Aguon, Rep. Patrick San Nicolas, and DPL board member Melanie Cruz. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority $440,000 to study the growth and feasibility of creating a Tinian beef cattle industry and to provide technical support to the local ranchers of the Tinian Cattlemen’s Association. 

CEDA said the project aims to create a comprehensive inventory of cattle resources on Tinian, provide training workshops to the community, and identify business opportunities and potential markets.

According to Tinian Cattlemen’s Association president Jose Dela Cruz, this will open up new opportunities for the cattle industry and that this is “a cause for celebration.”

“I am very excited for this project to start,” Dela Cruz said. “The feasibility study that will be conducted will be very thorough and will help us with all the facets of this industry and our slaughterhouse.”

The Tinian slaughterhouse or Tinian Kualidat Meat Processing Center is run by the Municipality of Tinian and the Tinian Cattlemen’s Association. The center opened last year on Aug. 13, 2021.

CEDA executive director Manuel Sablan said in a statement to the media, “We are thankful to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for awarding us these much needed funds to help our Tinian ranchers and revitalize our beef industry. …This project is a milestone for the people of Tinian and the CNMI.” 

CEDA stated that the benefits from this project include a diversified economy, enhanced food security, and increased product profitability. 

This project supports workforce education through Industry-focused technical assistance, which will lead to skills training activities. The direct connection to existing resources will lead to competitive and quality jobs, with an estimate of 14 jobs to be created or retained as a direct outcome of this project. 

Since much of the current workforce is composed of cattle ranchers, Tinian’s beef industry aims to retain those jobs and expand opportunities that support various segments of beef cattle production such as feedlot production, ranchers or ranch hands, logistics and transportation, meat processing and operations, certified health and safety inspectors, sales and marketing, waste and offal removal services, and more.

In a statement to the media, CNMI Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) said this is a momentous occasion for Tinian. 

“It has always been the dream of the Tinian community over the last 10-15 years to reestablish the beef industry on the island,” Hofschneider said. “We hope that this grant will jumpstart other opportunities and to help us drive our food security initiatives that the Tinian leadership has been pushing for. We are very concerned about this—we want to make sure our food supply is secure when the next disaster or pandemic strikes.”

CEDA will be working directly with the Municipality of Tinian and the Tinian Cattlemen’s Association on this project. 
The Northern Marianas College’s Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Services program will be providing technical assistance for the duration of the project.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.

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