One of the most successful English breeds of cattle, the Angus has long been the cattle “business” breed. Its black color is highly sought after in crossbreeding programs as a potential seal of Angus quality. Perhaps the most represantitve breed in cowherds, the Angus holds a well earned spot amongst all beef breeds.
The Angus breed began in the northern regions of England. Originally both red and black cattle were equally selected for in attempts to get high quality traits wherever possible. In the latter half of the 18th century, the cattle of the Aberdeen – Angus counties of northeast Scotland were being heavily used for the improvement of other regional cattle herds.
The very first Angus cattle were imported into the U.S. in 1873. George Grant, a Kansas rancher wanted to develop the Angus as his primary breed and introduce it to the region as an ideal beef option. At their first public appearance in the 1873 Missouri Exposition, the Angus cattle were negatively received. At this time polledness was not yet appreciated for its benefits within feedlot cattle, and the black color was too different from the common red coloration seen in the familiar cattle. Angus ranchers however were not dissuaded and continued to promote the Angus and also began to crossbreed it with the hardy Texas Longhorn. The results were polled, very hardy black calves – a very appealing cross to past critics. A heavy importation of Angus cattle direct from Scotland followed, at its peak 1200 cattle were brought in from 1878 to 1883.
The American Aberdeen- Angus Breeders’ Association was founded on Nov 21, 1883 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1950, it was renamed the American Angus Association. Today, it holds the distinction of being the largest purebred beef registry in the world.
Angus beef hardly needs an introduction; it is renowned for its fine marbling texture and superlative eating qualities. The Angus given a minimal amount of days on feed will manage to repeatedly turn out Prime and Choice grade meats. While the high quality traits of beef are not exclusive in the Angus, their numbers increased due to their consistency in producing quality. There is little lacking in the Angus breed; it meets the needs of a demanding cattle industry on a wide range of points. It is a docile breed, relatively hardy, cows calve easily and have excellent maternal instincts.
What are WAGYU
WAGYU - a Japanese beef cattle breed – derive from native Asian cattle. 'WAGYU' refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where 'Wa' means Japanese and 'gyu' means cow.
Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source. Wagyu is a horned breed and the cattle are either black or red in color.
WAGYU Breed History in USA
Wagyu cattle were first imported in 1975 when two black and two red bulls were imported to the US for Mr. Morris Whitney. In 1989 the Japanese began to reduce their tariffs on imported beef and that encouraged U.S. producers to produce a high quality product for Japan. In the 1990’s there were several importations of quality Wagyu. Most were black, but a few were Red Wagyu. These cattle have the greatest influence on the U.S. herd and those in many other countries.
US WAGYU Today
The American Wagyu Association was incorporated in Texas on March 14, 1990 and serves to register Wagyu cattle in the U.S., Canada and other countries. The Association headquarters are based in Post Falls, ID. The Association has a vibrant membership base and continues to promote and develop a sustainable industry here in the US.
The opportunities Wagyu beef can offer are endless. This industry caters for the breeder / feeder targeting the high end restaurant trade with highly marbled beef, and to the bull producer supplying the cow / calf operators a crossbred alternative that will offer calving ease ability and premium carcass quality in a single cross which no other beef breed can come close too. The cross breeding of Wagyu to Black Angus produce hybrid 50/50 cattle which is known as 'American Style Kobe Beef'.
The Wagyu breed has a vital role to play here in the US. with the ability to increase the quality of red meat produced in the US that our health conscious consumer of the twenty first century is forever seeking.
WAGYU Beef — Delicious and Healthy
The unique taste and tenderness of highly marbled Wagyu beef makes for an unrivalled eating experience. That is why Wagyu beef is finding its way into the repertoires of Gourmet cooks and fine restaurants across the US.
Not only is it a gastronomic delight, but it’s healthy for you too. Health experts have discovered the mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio is higher in Wagyu than in other beef and, the saturated fat contained in Wagyu is different. Forty percent is in a version called stearic acid, which is regarded as having a minimal impact in raising cholesterol levels. The profile of marbled Wagyu beef is more beneficial and healthier to human health.
Wagyu is also higher in a type of fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Wagyu beef contain the highest amount of CLA per gram of any foodstuff – about 30% more than other beef breeds – due to higher linoleic acid levels. Foods that are naturally high in CLA have fewer negative health effects.