Situated 2,670 feet above sea level in a high mountain pasture on the north slope of Mauna Kea, Waimea has been the home of Parker Ranch since 1847. Once encompassing over 500,000 acres, the ranch was for a number of years the largest privately owned ranch in the United States. Today the ranch controls approximately 225,000 acres with 50,000 head of cattle, which supplies approximately one-third of the beef for the state. With its rolling green hills and mild climate, Waimea has become a desirable residential community; its population of 2,000 in 1980 tripled by the twentieth century's end.
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