Flavorful, tender, juicy. These are the words farmer John Bell wants to use to describe his beef-eating experience, and these are the words that set him on a path to find the best cattle breeds for Elmwood Stock Farm’s organic, grass-fed, grass-finished beef herd.
We’re excited to announce that all of the beef that you receive from Elmwood Stock Farm is now Wagyu-Angus beef—still 100% grass-fed, dry-aged, USDA Choice grade, organic and born on John’s family farm just outside Georgetown, Kentucky. This cross has been in the making for years to improve the beef quality, specifically the marbling, which is the intramuscular fat that gives beef its taste and texture.
“Our family has always raised Angus cattle, which are known to produce quality steaks. We introduced Wagyu genetics to our beef herd to further improve the customer’s eating experience,” John says.
You’ve heard of Kobe beef. This succulent meat comes from a specific lineage of Japanese Wagyu cattle raised in the Hyogo region of Japan. It’s known the world over for its buttery flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Your Wagyu-Angus beef from Elmwood Stock Farm is not Kobe beef—we’re in Kentucky, after all—but the farm’s careful breeding program is designed to bring you the best eating experience from both breeds.
“Our whole goal here is to produce a grass-fed, grass-finished beef with no sacrifices, meaning it has to reach a USDA quality grade of Choice or Prime, reflective of its fat content and eating experience. The Wagyu is known to have a slightly different fat, a higher percentage of monounsaturated fat, which is a more healthful fat,” John says.
Your organic, grass-fed and grass-finished Wagyu-Angus beef from Elmwood Stock Farm cooks more like grain-fed beef, because it has the marbling and fat content that you’ve come to expect in beef. Read more about how to cook your beef here, including advice from John, farmer Mac Stone and farm chef Alex Jenkins.
Apart from the eating experience, there are advantages on the farm to cross-breeding cattle. “Hybrid vigor” allows good qualities from each breed to be expressed in the resulting offspring. We find cattle grow faster, have healthier calves and better handle heat stress.
Because it takes a long time to finish cattle on grass in a regenerative system like Elmwood Stock Farm’s, it also takes a long time to see the results of changes made to our crossbreeding. For example, cattle that are fed grain generally go to market at 16 months of age. The cattle at Elmwood Stock Farm graze their organic pastures for 25 or more months before reaching market maturity and the full expression of their meat quality. Add that to the nine months it takes for gestation, and that’s nearly three years that John waits to see the results of his cattle herd breeding decisions.
We think this careful crossing of specialty Wagyu and farm-raised Angus cattle have resulted in top-quality grass-fed, grass-finished organic beef products, especially evident in the steaks that you receive from Elmwood Stock Farm.
If you’re looking for guidance on how to select the right cuts of Wagyu-Angus beef for your table, let Mac Stone be your grass-fed, grass-finished beef concierge! Contact us, and we’ll answer all of your beef-cooking questions.