What an experience this was…. Heartbrand a company for the future !
We spent a week in the USA to visit probably one of the best vertically integrated cattle businesses in the world.
Firstly our main goal was to visit the largest Akaushi Herd outside of Japan.
Secondly we wanted to test the often used saying – “Red wagyu doesn’t marble nearly as well as the blacks.”
So we arranged our itinerary around the following aspects:
Day 1 – Grading of the slaughtered cattle – We looked on how 180 carcasses were graded for that weeks production. This was a mix of about 40 Full blood and 140 F1 feeder cattle. They dressed 325 kg average with most carcasses grading USDA Prime (This is the highest grade with a minimum of 6 marble score) and the few that didn’t grade prime was just as good (probably 4-5 marble score). There were some carcass that would’ve graded a marble score of 8-9. After day 1 needless to say ” The Question” was answered and our second goal achieved.
Day 2 – What an experience to see 180 carcasses fully processed into primals in only 3 hours. The visit to Caviness was truely inspiring.
Day 3 – We saw a beautiful sight of 9000 head of Akaushi and Akaushi cross cattle in Bovina Feedlot. Here we had the oppertunity to discuss their feeding regime and the rations they feed their cattle. Cee Arnett was a wonderful host and really gracious in sharing some information with us.
Day 4 – Travelled through the stunning Texan country side on or way to the Heartbrand home ranch in Flatonia. Akaushi steaks served at local restaurants was a special treat everytime we tasted and enjoyed a “real Akaushi steak”. The afternoon we drove into their bull camp and saw about 50 new generation sons of great legendary bulls like Rueshaw, Shigemaru, Tamamaru, Hikari and of course Big Al. A truely nostalgic experience.
Day 5 – Visiting the farm of the Heartbrand herd. What an amazing experience….. It is really difficult to explain….. as the raw emotion, realization and appreciation of what they have achieved with this cattle herd humbled us. They have continued in the ancient Japanese way where no single trait was more important then the other. Just look at the cattle and see that this is a true testimony of excellent stockmanship. Best of all the meat still marble fantastically
Day 6 – We visited another one of their ranches where we could see all the donour cows that they have flushed for South Africa. One thing is certain and that is that they really flush only their best cows from a full blood herd of about 4000 cattle. Most donour cows are 8-9 years old and have’nt skipped a year.
Day 7 – It was a sad day as we were about to leave again….. Our “heartfelt” thanks and deep appreciation goes to the Heartbrand team for sharing and showings us around. In particular to Mr. Beeman and his son Jordan the president of Heartbrand – we felt like family by the time we left the USA….
Please visit the Heartbrand Africa link to see the exciting news about our Joint Venture with Heartbrand into Africa.3