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The History of Wagyu Beef

The History of Wagyu Beef

The History of Wagyu Beef In Japan and America

From the misty mountainous land of the samurai, comes the story of a legendary animal; The WAGYU.

Wagyu is the Japanese word for any beef cow coming from Japan.  Literally translated: ‘Wa’ stands for Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow. Essentially, Wagyu means Japanese cow.

Wagyu Cattle raised on Fellers Ranch

What Makes Meat Wagyu? 

Wagyu Beef is an ancient breed of cow which originated in Japan. Its genetic origins can be traced back 35,000 years. Initially, the Wagyu was used as a draft animal for agricultural work and bred for physical stamina.  Today’s Wagyu cattle are the product of crossing this native Japanese breed with a majority of imported black breeds from Great Britain, Korea, and Europe.

The modern genetic process began in 1868 after Japan’s historic Meiji Restoration; a period that saw the country abandon its feudal system, replacing it with a centralized imperial government. This new Japanese government sought to promote Western culinary ideas and diet; which included the consumption of more beef.

In 1910 the government no longer allowed the genetic crossing of foreign breeds like Brown Swiss, Devon, Shorthorn, Simmental, Ayrshire. As a result of geographic seclusion, Japan currently regards four different cattle breeds as Wagyu: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled. 

Where Does Wagyu Beef Come From?

The Wagyu’s 6,000-mile journey to the United States began in 1975 when Morris Whitney, while doing research for Colorado University, imported two Black Wagyu and two Red Waygu bulls. At that time there were no Wagyu heifers (female Wagyu cows) in America, so the Japanese bulls were paired with Angus, Holstein, Hereford, and Brangus cows from Texas. American Wagyu breeding began its gradual evolution.

The narrow genetic pool of American Wagyu was expanded in 1991, when Itoni, a fifth bull arrived in Canada. Selective breeding led to the fourth generation of American Purebred Wagyu, where 93.75% Wagyu genetics were achieved. 

Wagyu Cattle raised in Conger, MN on Fellers Ranch

Health Benefits of Wagyu Cattle

Wagyu Beef cattle production has steadily increased in the United States as both chefs and consumers began to demand this tasteful delicacy. Having Wagyu is a must for any discerning foodie. Traditionally the intensely marbled beef has been enjoyed as a perfect steak. The fat content contains omega-3 and omega-6 inside the intramuscular fat.

Today, through the hard work and passion of local growers Fellers Ranch, foodies can enjoy Wagyu beef in numerous different cuts. To get your hands on this superior beef visit our product collections page below:


Wagyu Beef Near Me 

If you want to indulge in some of the most tender and flavorful beef around, look no further than Fellers Ranch Wagyu. The rich red color will make your mouth water just by seeing it! For a full list of retail and restaurants that carry Fellers Ranch Wagyu Beef, visit our locations page

Fellers Ranch Minnesota's Finest Wagyu Beef

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