Special Producer Profile: The Story of Wagyu told by Bar R Wagyu

Special Producer Profile: The Story of Wagyu told by Bar R Wagyu

By Jessica Graham

It’s through podcasts from the American Cattlemen Podcast that we’re privileged to gain insights into the workings of various ranches. This is the driving force behind our Producer Profile episodes. Our goal is to bridge the gap between cattlemen and women across the country, to connect and network. Together, we can learn about best practices and hear the unique narratives that only the producers themselves can narrate. A farm’s history is unique, its challenges, triumphs, and key influences that have molded the operation into what it is today and can only be told by the producer. We capture part of that story and are able to share their voice with the rest of the world.

We are blessed to speak with farmers and ranchers all across this nation, and we invite you to participate in our conversation through our podcast. The American Cattlemen podcast is available on most platforms including: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, IHeart Radio, as well as through our website (www.AmericanCattlemen.com/podcasts) and Facebook page.

The Emergence of Wagyu Beef
Jerry and Arlie Reeves, from Bar R Wagyu, joined us for a conversation on one of these Producer Profiles. Jerry, Heidi and Arlie Reeves run Bar R Wagyu from Pullman, Washington. The roots of their cattle started with a commercial cattle business. They started converting their commercial cattle herd into a Wagyu herd. The past 30 years have been dedicated to advancing the American Wagyu breed.

Jerry’s introduction to Wagyu can be attributed to his time teaching Animal Science at Washington State University. “I worked for Washington State University as a faculty member of the animal sciences department. I was asked to go as a member of a team, to Japan to evaluate the Wagyu cattle,” Jerry explains. That initial trip became the pivotal point and through a lot of hard work, would lead to what we now know as the U.S. Wagyu industry.

Jerry walks us through the events leading up to the very first imported cattle from Japan. “The Japanese could only produce about a third of the meat that they consumed. Like most Americans, we thought our USDA choice beef was the best in the world and saw that they had a higher quality meat.” Jerry elaborates, “Everything was in the prime grade or above, and in The U. S. at that time, about 2 percent was prime, the rest of it was choice. So, our conclusions were, if we were going to ship meat to [Japan], we should probably try to be shipping meat that was of higher quality. We came back to the U. S. and that was one of our proposals. We wanted to bring genetics into the U.S., that we could cross with our Angus cows or our domestic cattle, patent it, and then send the meat back to Japan.”

Jerry credits help from Tom Foley, the 49th Speaker of the House in Washington, D. C. Tom Foley had developed a strong relationship with Japan when he previously served as an ambassador to Japan. According to Jerry, Tom Foley politically made it possible for the U.S. to import cattle from Japan and acquire their genetics. Jerry goes on to describe the significance of this feat. Washington was the only place in the world that got permit to bring Wagyu cattle out of Japan. Jerry explains, “The cattle that ended up in Australia or wherever, all had to come into the U. S. first and Washington State University was involved with that.”

Value of Producer Profiles
Through the podcast, you can not help but be drawn into Jerry’s story. Introducing a new breed had many trials. Not only did the breed have to be developed, and backcrossed, they had to educate the public, develop standards, and a market. Jerry and Arlie walk us through the trials, and the journey of not only the Wagyu industry, but through his journey. Jerry, Heidi, and Arlie converted their commercial beef operation into a thriving Wagyu ranch. The Bar R Ranch is currently preparing for an upcoming sale. The ranch will host an educational day May 24th, followed by their sale on the 25th.

This is just one example of the Producer Profiles covered on The American Cattlemen Podcast. New episodes are being added all the time, so subscribe to get notifications about new episodes. At The American Cattlemen, we strive to connect the cattle industry.

Sharing experiences and knowledge can have several benefits for cattle producers. This can help avoid potential pitfalls and promote best practices by taking heed of the advice passed out from one cattleman to the next. The more producers who share their experiences, the more effective decision-making within the industry. Sharing experiences can provide an opportunity to learn from others. Seeing how management systems differ across regions can offer valuable insights. What works for one farmer or rancher, may not work for you, but it sure doesn’t cost anything to listen to advice.

Expanding your Opportunities through the American Cattlemen Podcast

Expanding your opportunities through the American Cattlemen Podcast

By Jessica Graham

The American Cattlemen Podcast has captured the spot as the premier podcast platform for the cattle industry. The podcast offers a rich spread of content to inform, engage, and entertain the cattle industry. The podcast doesn’t shy away from delving into innovative ideas and new technologies that can impact cattle production. Interviews with experts explore areas like sustainable ranching practices and advancements in animal health.

Moving Farm-to-Table Forward
Podcasts include individuals that are moving and shaking the industry. For example, host Chap Ramsey sits down with Henry Arrowood, Chief Executive Officer for Farmshare. Farmshare is a company that helps producers market directly to the consumer, and consumers access directly to their food source. Farmshare’s software creates an ecommerce platform that brings farmers to customers, even ranches to restaurants. With the help of their software, farmers focus solely on what they do best, producing beef. They make it easy to create a market accessible by consumers and farmers, and also help with cost-effective packaging options. It’s a win- win for both the consumer and farmers.

Henry Arrowood explains how it works,” When we started this company, we were really focused on how can we create an E-commerce platform where we can basically take all these producers, bring them into an online shopping environment, and give them access to sell direct to market.” Henry goes on to explain their software makes it so farmers and ranchers can do what they do best, produce beef. Farmshare makes it so, farmers focus as much time as they needed to on their cattle. “We needed to provide the infrastructure, the shipping, the logistics, the packaging, the marketing, automation, all of the things from an operational perspective to seamlessly enable these producers to sell in this market dynamic,” says Henry.

This is just one of our many podcasts where cattlemen and women can learn and apply strategies into their operations. We want you to succeed, and we are providing free resources that you can implement and learn from.

Supporting Cattle Women
In one episode, the Publisher of the American Cattlemen, Gale McKinney, sits down with Ruth Coffey, the President, and Ashley Hughes, the Executive Director of the National Cattle Women’s Association (ANCW). ANCW is a prominent organization that champions the interests of women in the cattle industry. Founded in 1952, the ANCW boasts a long history of promoting beef, ranching lifestyles, and advocating for cattle producers across the United States.

At the helm of the ANCW are two key leaders, Ruth Coffey, the current president, and Ashley Hughes, the executive director. We get to learn about their extensive backgrounds in the cattle industry. Together, Ruth Coffey and Ashley Hughes play vital roles in leading the ANCW and empowering cattlewomen across the nation. The ANCW puts a strong emphasis on educating consumers about beef and advocating for the cattle industry. This involves public outreach programs, industry partnerships, and legislative initiatives. They have committees formed to reach and educate kids.

The ANCW provides a platform for cattlewomen to connect, share knowledge, and stay informed about industry trends. This might involve conferences, workshops, and online resources. Ashley Huges states, “We really do try to be the voice for women in the cattle industry, and for all of these people who share the same passion for the beef community, regardless of what their special interests might be. We want to make sure that we are accommodating and we are welcoming, and that we’re able to find a place for every woman who’s involved in the beef cattle industry.”

One of the aspects that the ladies are very passionate about is legislation advocation. ANCW influence policies that affect cattle producers. This involves lobbying efforts, education, and collaborating with other agricultural organizations. They will reach out and speak with legislators and try and inform and educate on cattle related bills.

Showcase Your Cattle
In addition to our feature podcasts, you will find smaller segments called Producer Profiles. Cattlemen and cattlewomen, here’s your chance to step into the spotlight! Producer Profiles are podcasts featuring a specific producer. These brief podcasts offer a unique platform to connect directly with your target audience and showcase what sets your farm or ranch apart. We help connect cattlemen and women with cattle producers actively seeking the kind of genetics and qualities you specialize in. Tell us about your farm, operation, history, and genetics. Producer Profiles allow you to tailor your message to resonate with the perfect buyer. Share your farm’s philosophy, breeding practices, and the unique environment that shapes your animals. This personal touch builds trust and connection with potential buyers. You’re not just promoting your own operation; you’re contributing to the betterment of the entire cattle industry. We connect established breeders with those seeking top-quality genetics. This fosters growth and networking, ultimately pushing the boundaries of the industry. Ready to Share Your Story? Contact dustin@twinriversmedia.com today to discuss how you can be featured!

Catch the latest episode, or dive into the archives. The American Cattlemen Podcast is available on Podbean, most podcast platforms, and on our website: www.americancattlemen.com/podcasts. You can listen whenever and wherever you choose. So, if you’re looking for a podcast that offers insightful discussions, news specific to your area of ranching, and a genuine connection to the cattle industry community, then you won’t be disappointed.

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