Frequently Asked Questions
Fellers Ranch® is a partnership between a third-generation family farmer, a 85 year-old family-owned (USDA-inspected) artisan butcher shop, and several seasoned ranchers. Together, we have an exciting new vision. That vision is based on decades of raising cattle and processing meat. We are all located in south-central Minnesota, which is where our cattle are raised.
What is Wagyu?
Wagyu is an ancient Japanese beef breed, which was originally just eaten as a rare delicacy. The marbling and unmatched flavor of Wagyu is achieved by raising the cattle in a low stress environment, with a special diet that is free of hormones and antibiotics.
How does Fellers Ranch Wagyu differ from regular feedlot livestock?
Not only are the genetics different, but so is the way we raise our cattle. Commercial feedlots strive to maximize feed intake for rapid growth and quick delivery to the slaughtering plant. That is not us! We are all about slow, natural, healthy animal growth, resulting in tremendous flavor and marbling.
How should Wagyu be prepared?
Wagyu’s world-renowned marbling and tenderness melts away quickly if cooked too long. Therefore, cook Wagyu at a high temperature, but with less time on the grill or stovetop. Also, use a solid grill plate (rather than an open grate) so that you maintain the meat’s excellent flavor and tenderness! Lastly, the meat should be at room temperature prior to cooking, and smaller cuts are preferred (to promote more rapid and even cooking).
What is the Japanese connection?
The word “Wagyu” comes from the Japanese language. "Wa" means Japanese and "gyu" means cow, so Wagyu means “Japanese cow”. According to the American Wagyu Association (AWA), the genetic makeup of Wagyu breeds diverged from other breeds over 10,000 years ago. The resulting Wagyu genetics has the most intra-muscular fat cells, which results in the tender marbling that is so highly desired. This isolated strain was mixed with other cow breeds from around the world to enhance the flavor. The modern strain of Wagyu became popular in Japan in the early 1900s.
What are the health benefits of Wagyu?
Numerous studies show that Wagyu is among the healthiest of all beef produced. Wagyu contains higher levels of monounsaturated (“good”) fat and oleic acid than other beef. Not only does Wagyu provide tremendous flavor and tenderness, but it can also be an integral part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Does Fellers Ranch use large, commercial slaughtering plants?
No, all Fellers Ranch cattle is processed by Conger Meat Market (Conger, Minnesota). Conger Meat Market’s owners are partners in Fellers Ranch.
Does Fellers Ranch dry age its beef?
Yes, the fourteen days of dry aging that we provide helps give our Wagyu its excellent tenderness and flavoring. It takes time to provide top quality meats!