Statement of Sympathy

It is with profound sadness that we offer our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the people of Japan in their hours of great and continuing tragedy.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire membership of the American Wagyu Association, please know that we have all watched in horror the cascading series of events unfolding before the world’s eyes.

The deaths and suffering unleashed by the earthquake, followed by the catastrophic tsunami – and now, the nuclear crisis – is almost too much for anyone to bear.

We know that the strong Japanese spirit will ultimately prevail and that Japan will overcome her time of great pain and misery, this humanitarian calamity, albeit with great sadness and heartbreak.

We are certain you will endure this time of great adversity.

Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with all of Japan – especially to those who have lost loved ones and those whose fate is still unknown.

We are all Japanese today.


Michael Beattie, Executive Director

Robert Estrin, President

American Wagyu Association

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New Dietary Guidelines Released – Controversy Ensues

January 31 saw the release of the report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee – and based on the lack of scientific evidence, rebuttals.

The new guidelines (which can be downloaded here: recommend that consumers cut back on fats, salts, added sugars and refined grains and eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry and seafood. Not much changed but the guidelines have produced controversy.

The most striking rebuttal comes in a scientific paper published in Nutrition Journal (download it here: titled: In the Face of Contradictory Evidence: Report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee.

Written by six scientists, including three PhD’s, the rebuttal is highly critical of the guidelines and serves it in a historical context. In 1977 the initial set of American Dietary Guidelines {ADG} were released and the goals included: reduce overall fat consumption to 30%; increase carbohydrate consumption to 55-60%; and reduce cholesterol to 300mg/day.

In response to those guidelines, the American Medical Association said : We believe that it would be inappropriate at this time to adopt proposed national dietary goals as set forth in the Report on Dietary Goals for the United States. The evidence for assuming that benefits to be derived from the adoption of such universal dietary goals as set forth in the Report is not conclusive and there is potential for harmful effects from a radical long-term dietary change as would occur through adoption of the proposed national goals.

“In the three decades since, carbohydrate consumption has increased; overall fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol consumption have decreased to near or below targeted levels; caloric intake remains within recommended levels; and leisure-time physical activity has increased slightly. At the same time, scientific evidence in favor of these recommendations remains inconclusive, and we must consider the possibility that the “potential for harmful effects” has in fact been realized. Notably, “the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the US has increased dramatically in the past three decades”; and the number of Americans diagnosed with T2D (Type 2 Diabetes) has tripled,” the rebuttal states.

Finally, the rebuttal states: It is time for public health leaders, scientists, and clinicians to stop blaming Americans for not following the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and instead to re-examine the process used to formulate the US dietary guidelines and determine whether or not it is still appropriate for our current needs.

Gary Taubes just published his second book, Why We Get Fat, a follow-up to his bestselling Good Calories, Bad Calories – and comes to very similar conclusions. It is not the fat – it is the carbohydrate consumption that is primarily responsible for the obesity epidemic as well as the enormous increase in Type 2 Diabetes we are currently witnessing, according to Taubes.

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Wagyu Beef Burger Crowned “King of Salem’s Burgers”

“A good burger should leave you wanting more. According to voters, there are three best places to get a burger overdose in town, and perhaps a beer [overdose] too, if you’re not careful.

First place went to Brown’s Towne Lounge, a comfortable bar in the heart of downtown Salem, Oregon. This year, Brown’s Towne started making a Wagyu beef burger: a half-pound of charbroiled Kobe beef on a pub-style bun with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle.”

The grass fed Wagyu beef was supplied to Browne’s Towne by longtime AWA members Ken & Julie Tew’s ranch, Sutton Creek Cattle Company of Baker City, Oregon.

Read the whole story here:

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Going to NCBA in Denver Next Week? Look For the New AWA Banner!

AWA Banner - 2011

Stop by our Booth and say “Hi” to Charley Gaskins.

Encourage your friends to come by and introduce themselves.

Charley will be more than happy to talk, answer any questions – and give you materials to take home and study.

PS – Please tell all your Wagyu friends and family – all your fellow Wagyu enthusiasts – to subscribe to this blog. This is the best way we have found to communicate to the AWA membership – and with the outside world. It is both simple and easy to do.

It is how we can stay in touch!

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Value of Genetics – Using AI can Dramatically Improve Your Cowherd

From Beef Magazine:

Few beef producers would disagree that the genetic potential available for use in their herds via artificial insemination (AI) is greater than that of most natural service sires. The advantage of using AI stems from the improvement in the predictability of the bulls; their EPDs are simply more accurate and reliable.

However, less than 10% of the beef cows in the U.S. are artificially inseminated each year (NAHMS, 2008). Many reasons exist for the low rate of implementation of estrus synchronization and AI (ESAI) into beef cow-calf operations. One factor that limits the use of ESAI in commercial cow-calf herds is the hassle factor. It is simply too much effort to gather the herd and work them 2-3 times in a 10-day period. However, the major reason, in my opinion, is that most producers cannot capture the added value of their AI-sired calves and the enterprise is not profitable.

Beef Magazine article here:

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Nutrients Are Essential Heading Into The Spring Calving Season

According to Drovers: Requirements for pregnant and lactating cows can present quite a challenge for operators but are very important to the well-being of the cow and to reproductive efficiency. Because factors such as cow size, environment and stage of production can change daily, a cow’s nutritional needs are constantly fluctuating. Most of these changes are rather small, and long-term nutritional programs will assist in managing these subtle issues.

The required energy levels are the most variable, followed by protein, mineral and vitamin. Energy is important for all biological systems. Maintenance, weight gain, reproduction and milk production are all a product of energy utilization in the beef cow. TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients) is the term used for the measurement of energy (calories) converted to pounds or percentage of the diet. Proteins provide for functions such as enzyme systems, muscles, nerves and soft tissues.

Entire article here:

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FMD in Both Koreas – North & South

Beef Magazine report: South Korea confirmed on Wednesday more outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in areas previously not hit by the highly contagious animal disease, reports The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said two cases of FMD were confirmed at cattle farms in Gangwon Province on the country’s northeastern region. Two additional cases were detected on Tuesday at a pig farm in Yesan and a cattle farm in Daegu, 134 km and 300km from Seoul, respectively.

The latest outbreaks raise the number of FMD cases officially tallied by the government to 124 since the first case was confirmed in November 2010.

FMD has forced South Korea to cull and bury 2.16 million cattle, pigs, goats and deer, with losses estimated to be around 2 trillion won ($1.79 billion U.S.), according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, JoongAng Daily reports that North Korea is apparently suffering from its own bout of FMD, according to a South Korean military official.

Read the entire Beef Magazine article here:

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FMD Alert issued for Oregon

Be aware of where you are traveling and beware what you might bring back to Oregon. That’s the bottom line message from agriculture officials to international travelers who may provide a conveyance for pests and diseases that could threaten the state’s agriculture and environment.

“The world has gotten smaller and you can be halfway around the globe in a day,” says Dan Hilburn, administrator of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Plant Division and member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council. “It’s no problem for spores, seeds, and even insects to survive the travel. There are many examples of people bringing back with them a pest or a disease to the US that resulted in millions of dollars in crop losses or control costs.”

The latest concern is an animal disease. Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has emerged in South Korea, one of Oregon’s top agricultural trading partners.

From Drover’s – see entire article here:

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Cold, Wet and Muddy Conditions can Contribute to Scours

Drovers Magazine and Website are outstanding sources of information. They have recently published numerous stories about prevention of scours and care of calves afflicted by this disease. They are important articles for producers of all breeds.

For example, “Prevention Should be Primary Focus With Calf Scours” was just published. You can read the entire article here:

“Maintaining Cattle Health in Harsh Winter Months” is another recent article. Go here to read the article:

“Iowa State Veterinarian Offers Guidelines for Tackling Calf Scours” is another. Read the article here:

“Baby Calf Health: Can We Stop Scours?” is here:

“Baby Calf Health: Scours – Nutritional Factors”:

“Calf Health: Effect of Scours on Calf Weaning Weight” is here:

Print these out and read them at your leisure. Important information especially for this time of year.

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AWA Member Rick Woienski Featured in Bozeman Daily

The rancher, whose cattle graze on property north of Belgrade, has had to turn down potential customers because he couldn’t meet the demand, he said Tuesday, standing beside a pen of his unique black cows. His Montana Wagyu beef — the same breed as Japanese Kobe – is that popular.

But now, thanks in part to a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, Woienski is branching out to sell directly to customers who want to eat his unique steaks and burgers at home.

Read the entire story (with photo):

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