Offering a Healthy Choice
Dove Creek Wagyu Cattle Company converted to the Japanese breed after raising Red and black Angus
Wayne and Michelle Johnson live and raise cattle on their 800-acre farm in Wright County, near Mountain Grove, Mo. But they don’t raise just any breed of cattle.
At Dove Creek Wagyu Cattle Company, they are raising Akaushi.
“Wagyu means Japanese beef. The Japanese beef is known for carcass quality cattle,” Michelle explained. “The official name of the reds is Akaushi Red.”
They learned about the breed through research. Michelle was really interested in the health benefits of the Wagyu.
“The meat is really healthy,” she explained. “Most people are familiar with the black Wagyu. They’re not as heavily built as the reds and they take twice as long to finish as the red Wagyu (the Akaushi).
“We’re raising meat. We’re raising it for pounds of beef, so you want something that’s going to finish and be really good carcass quality. You want an animal that’s got good size and you don’t want it to take forever.”
Michelle explained that the Wagyu were imported from Japan in the 1970s and 1990s.
“At that point, the Japanese government deemed them a national treasure and stopped the exportation on them. So what we have is what we have,” she said.
Wayne and Michelle are transplants from Nebraska, moving to Missouri about four and a half years ago. “In Nebraska, we had farm land and it was really hard to raise cattle because everything was farm land and you had to lease,” Michelle said.
“Corn got so expensive there and taxes got higher,” Wayne added. “The cost of production got higher. Machinery costs got higher. We always wanted to raise livestock anyway. We’ve always raised livestock, but we wanted to get into more cattle. Rain and grass; that’s what we were looking for.”
That is what they did. They wouldn’t even estimate how many cattle they have.
“A lot,” Michelle said, “There is just a handful of people raising this breed in Missouri and most are doing the F1 cross, which is a cross with any other breed, typically the Angus. What they have found is that one cross of a Wagyu on any other breed is going to improve that immensely. In fact, as far as F1’s go, the cross of the Akaushi on the Angus, less than 2 percent ends up being Select, approximately 40 percent Prime, and the rest is Choice to High Choice. We have several that are F1s. We’ve got a lot of full bloods. We do breeding; we breed for the best of the breed. So we’re supplying people with these genetics. We’ve got some of the top bulls.”
“We’re trying to be a seed stock herd; embryos, semen, cows. We’re from A to Z. Anything you can do with this breed is what we’re trying to do,” Wayne said.
Before they raised Wagyu, the Johnsons raised registered and commercial Red and black Angus. They now use their Angus as recipient females in their embryo transplant program.
“We used to help people get started, too,” Michelle said. “With our bulls and with our donor cows, we can put together packages for people; bulls, embryos, to start their own herd. We do sell F1 heifers as replacements.
The health benefits are what attracted the Johnsons to the Wagyu breed, and they are making their beef available at Farmer’s Markets and on their webpage.
Their beef is bred, born and raised on their farm and is all natural. The Johnsons feed “only the highest-quality feeds, and are all natural, with no antibiotics or hormones.”
Akaushi naturally contains intense marbling, which is responsible for the palatability of the beef, and it is actually the monounsaturated (good) fat responsible for the flavor.
Their beef can be found at the Greater Springfield Farmer’s Market, The Farmer’s of the Ozarks Market, at the Branson Farmer’s Market, Meadowbrook Natural Foods in Mountain Grove, and International Farmer’s Market in West Plains.
“Our jerky is going crazy. It’s shipping all over the United States,” Wayne said.http://www.ozarksfn.com/2018/07/11/offering-a-healthy-choice/http://www.ozarksfn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Johnson-1024x689.jpghttp://www.ozarksfn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Johnson-150x150.jpgMissouri NeighborsNeighborsAkaushi,Cattle,Dove Creek Wagyu Cattle Company,Japanese breed,johnson,Michelle Johnson,Missouri,Mountain Grove,Wayne Johnson,Wright CountyDove Creek Wagyu Cattle Company converted to the Japanese breed after raising Red and black Angus Wayne and Michelle Johnson live and raise cattle on their 800-acre farm in Wright County, near Mountain Grove, Mo. But they don’t raise just any breed of cattle. At Dove Creek Wagyu Cattle Company,...Brenda BrinkleyBrenda Brinkleybrinkley.firstname.lastname@example.orgAuthorOzarks Farm & Neighbor Newspaper