Nothing compares to the luxurious, umami flavor of wagyu beef, and many Americans understand that how it’s raised is a significant contributing factor to the decadent dining experience it provides. What you may not realize is that where wagyu beef is raised also plays a significant role in determining the flavor profile on your plate.
Wagyu translates to “Japanese cow,” and the four wagyu cattle breeds (Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn) were bred to thrive in Japan’s climate. More specifically, Japanese Brown cattle (alternatively called Kumamoto Red, Akaushi, or the Emperor’s Breed) were bred to pasture in the Aso region of Japan by cross-breeding with foreign breeds such as the Swiss Simmenthal since the Meiji time period. The result was a larger animal prone to eating roughage and building lower-body muscle mass, creating leaner meat with a milder flavor compared to other wagyu cattle.
At Hall Farmstead, we understand that Akaushi cattle taste best when raised in an environment that mirrors the climate of Kumamoto Prefecture as closely as possible. Fortunately, our farm is located in Monroe County, a county in south central Kentucky sharing many similarities with Kumamoto. We invite you to keep reading to learn more about how the natural resources of Monroe help us produce purebred wagyu beef that exceeds expectations with every bite.
What makes Tompkinsville in KY comparable to Kumamoto, Japan?
Tompkinsville is the Monroe County seat and the place we’re proud to call home, and the number of things it has in common with Kumamoto is startling. Each city has a similar latitude, with Tompkinsville located at about 36 degrees while Kumamoto sits at approximately 32. As a result, our pastures mirror Kumamoto’s in terms of grass nutrients and soil composition. Akaushi cattle were bred on these nutrients, and our herd enjoys the same access to them as they would in Japan.
Furthermore, Monroe and Kumamoto share a humid subtropical climate categorized by four seasons including hot summers where temperatures regularly exceed 80 and cool winters with temperatures in the mid-40s. Since Akaushi cattle were bred to thrive in this type of climate, the weather rarely poses a threat to our herd.
Both Monroe and Kumamoto feature rolling hills, with Kumamoto sitting on a caldera created when nearby Mount Aso erupted. Both Monroe and Kumamoto are also relatively rural, lacking the large population of major cities like New York or Tokyo. This allows cattle herds in both regions to enjoy free-range pasture instead of being cooped up, reducing their stress levels and leading to more tender meat.
Most importantly, Akaushi were bred to feed on roughage rather than the corn-based diet many cattle are fed to promote marbling. Our Monroe farm allows our herd to do the same, with abundant limestone-filtered springs and streams for hydration and a variety of vegetation for grazing. Kumamoto has a rich tradition of pasturing cattle, and we’re continuing that in Tompkinsville, even though we’re separated by thousands of miles geographically.
We don’t take our connection to Japan lightly, frequently calling our products “Japanese-American wagyu” to celebrate the roots of the Akaushi cattle that are so important to our mouth-watering, melt-in-your-mouth beef. We’ve also consulted with Japanese experts on our herd’s dietary needs and sampled authentic Japanese wagyu to collect the data needed to make sure our wagyu is worth the premium cost associated with Japanese beef.
The Japanese beef industry is known for rigorous genetic testing to ensure purity as well. For example, all of the Akaushi raised in Kumamoto are required to pass stringent DNA tests before being sold as wagyu beef. Likewise, all of our Artisan Wagyu cattle are DNA-tested and tracked for authenticity, repeatability, and consistency, ensuring the cuts of beef we produce exceed expectations each and every time.
Are there any other benefits associated with raising cattle in Monroe County?
At Hall Farmstead, our mission is to introduce wagyu to a region that may not be familiar with it while establishing a marketplace business strengthening the ties that bind our community together. We aren’t in Monroe because we found the local tax code attractive, but because our founder has a rich family history of living and farming in the area. We understand the unique needs of the people who make their homes in Monroe because we count ourselves among their number, and we treat our customers like family, whether they live in Tompkinsville or anyplace else.
That means that we don’t want to simply sell you a premium steak but empower you with the resources you need to make the most of the experience. Many corporations try to treat customers as dollar signs, and we’re proud to be a smaller operation in a rural area like Monroe viewing customers as human beings first and foremost.
Experience premium Hall Farmstead Japanese-American wagyu for yourself today
The natural resources of our farm in Monroe aren’t the only thing that makes our Japanese-American wagyu so special, but we know that sourcing ingredients from our local county helps us produce delectable products that stand out in the luxury beef space. Our herd ranges from 15/16 to 31/32 Akaushi genetic makeup, and our land’s similarity to Kumamoto, Japan, ensures that every item we sell delivers the indulgent, luxurious experience our customers have come to expect. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you haven’t yet experienced a premium steak “imported” from Monroe, we offer a variety of buying options to get you started. Brand-new Hall Farmstead party packs are available to introduce newcomers to the one-of-a-kind flavor of our purebred wagyu in burgers, tacos, or burritos. Alternatively, you can order ground beef to elevate your favorite family recipes or search our catalog for a more indulgent cut. We even offer a subscription service to ensure that your family never needs to go too long between memorable meals.
There are no bad choices here, so it’s time to dig in and enjoy some of the best meat you could ever taste. Check out our wagyu beef shop today.