High tech integrated farm from the kingdom of Wagyu prefecture.
City of Akune is located in the northwest of Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu, the furthest southwest of Japan’s four great islands. With its key position for both sea and land transportation, shipping and commerce in this area has historically flourished. Located in the north of the city, the Wakimoto District faces the East China Sea. Blessed with a warm climate, the area’s stock raising and agriculture industries are booming.
Maruzen Farm raises 1,500 selective wagyu cattle. In order to provide comfortable and stress-free environment for the cattle, they have put into action various initiatives at this friendly cattle farm.
Firstly, when the cattle step foot into their barns, pleasant music is played. By regularly playing to them, music box tunes with a therapeutic effect, and the cattle are induced to sleep. Furthermore, using a farm vehicle known as a vertical harrow can make the ground of the barns and bedding softer. This ensures that they get good rest, and also helps reduce the risk of them falling over. As a counter-measure for the heat, roof shingles are overlaid. Also by introducing a system whereby a disinfecting mist is sprayed in every corner of the barn, it helps to manage the temperature and combat any bacteria inside.
By drying the manure from the barns and returning it to local crop farmers, Maruzen Farm is also engaging in a cycle of sustainable agriculture.
As a designated Craft Wagyu Farmer, Maruzen Farm is extremely selective with calves, taking only the genuine pedigrees from the Kagoshima Wagyu bloodlines. The cattle are fattened by using rice-plant fodder fortified with grass that is rich in vitamins. They are also fed on a mix of soybean flour, roasted soybeans, and corn. This gives the meat its high-quality fat that contains large quantities of Conjugated Linoleic Acid(CLA) and has a low melting point, creating meat with the finest texture.
Kagoshima Craft Wagyu is a brand name given only to the selected integrated farms, which is extremely rare in the world.
The heifers of Maruzen Farm are characterized by the very fine velvety texture, juicy flavor, delicate but rich taste will linger on the palate.
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.
Kurono Seto Ohashi Bridge
Cranes at migration grounds ©︎K.P.V.B