~Title given to the only A5 heifers from the integrated Wagyu farm, which are extremely rare.~
Kanoya lies at the center of Osumi Peninsula at the southernmost point of Kagoshima Prefecture on Kyushu, one of the four major islands that constitute Japan. In this area, agriculture and livestock production have thrived since ancient times due to its use of abundant nature and mild climate, which has an average annual temperature of 17 degrees Celsius.
Makihara Farm sits on the vast Shirasu Plateau, which has good drainage and is said to have burst forth and formed 330 thousand years ago on this land that is now Kagoshima Prefecture. Since starting Kagoshima Wagyu fattening operations in 1980, Makihara Farm has managed breeding operations, which produce calves selected for outstanding lineage, as well as fattening operations, which climbs to approximately 800 cattle today.
Makihara Farm utilizes the technology and knowledge they’ve cultivated with decades of experience. In the calves’ fattening process, which is essential to raising the most healthy and sturdy cattle, they are fed grass-based plant feed. Also, each individual calf’s health condition and characteristics are carefully monitored, females are given soy, males are given barley, and all calves are given additional Vitamin A in order to build heat-resistant bodies. Additionally, they’re given brewer’s grain which creates yeast and stimulates appetite.
This farm has established itself as a model Craft Wagyu farm as part of a local environmental improvement initiative and demonstrates how the livestock industry can participate in nature conservation. For example, instead of simply allowing the compost to ferment, a large machine can be used to take in air and create compost without odor and pollution, thus providing regional farmers with high-quality organic fertilizer.
We can even see how the Craft Wagyu Farm excels from an animal welfare perspective. For instance, nose-rings are not used, and the barn roof is insulated, a method unique to Kagoshima, which prevents overheating. By taking measures against overheating inside the barn, all cows from calves and their mothers to fattening cattle are provided with a comfortable environment.
However, Makihara Farm has its share of challenges. They are currently working on creating a trusting relationship between humans and cows by using advanced technology. For instance, they attach a gentle lead to the cow’s neck and monitor their movements 24/7. Every movement of the cows is detected and the farm is alerted of any abnormalities, which is useful in accident prevention as well as witnessing births. They are also able to collect data, which allows the farm to streamline its management.
Through this process, high-quality meat is made with a low melting point, so the fat melts at body temperature and produces an extremely smooth taste. Moreover, the farm maintains a steady performance with over 93% of its Wagyu at A4 and A5 grade.
Kagoshima Craft Wagyu is a brand name given only to A5 heifers from the selected integrated farms, which is extremely rare in the world.
The heifers of Makihara Farm are characterized by thefirmness and smooth rich texture of meat, color, luster, sublime in flavor.
This meat quality is due to the differences in bone structures and muscle fibers between steers and heifers.
However, since heifers are smaller than bulls and unlikely to have marbled meat, Wagyu producers do not like to raise heifers. Therefore, there is very little Wagyu beef from heifers and it is very rare.
The fat of Wagyu heifers contains more unsaturated fatty acids than that of steers. Unsaturated fatty acids cannot be synthesized in the human body and must be consumed. Palmitic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid and other unsaturated fatty acids account for 80 to 90% of beef fat. In other words, a texture and flavor differing from that of bulls can be enjoyed because of the fine texture and difference in the fat of heifers.
Kanoya Rose Garden
Surrounding environment of Makihara farm