Tales from Wagyu Mama: Oct to Dec 2014

Though the weather outside has been frightful, at Highland Wagyu, the last three months have been delightful with so much going on and lots of tasty projects in progress for 2015.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year and it was topped by completely selling out of all our beef early in December for the festive period to chefs, hotels and private customers, which was incredible and we now have a lengthy waiting list for the new year!

Our beef stays in the UK with consumers and chefs wanting ‘British’ beef and maybe this is why we are being contacted from around the globe, including Hong Kong, the Maldives and Dubai.

We’re delighted to now supply to Martin and Paul of traditional high class butchers Hook & Cleaver who are based in London (pictured below) and Northfield Farm who sell at the trendy Borough market in London as well as more amazing chefs and restaurants to add to some of the UK’s finest.

155_hookandcleaver

There’s been particular interest in our F1 Wagyu crossed with pedigree Aberdeen Angus – or as we fondly call it, ‘Wangus’, and we love it when customers let us know they’re happy with their deliveries on Facebook and Twitter. Feedback is so important!

beef Wangus deliveries

In fact, our Wangus sausages caused quite a stir, selling to a place in Aberdeen who offered them to the builders working on a big project across the road. He sold out by 9.30am the first morning and is set to try the Wangus burgers for phase 2!!

With the beef all sold 23 days before Christmas, I was able to have some much-needed time to do my favourite and all-important genetics planning for next year.

This month we’ve just completed another embryo programme, flushing Wagyu, Shorthorn and Angus and implanting 60+ embryos. Here’s Highland Wagyu Apache in the crush. She’s used to it now!

HW Apache in the crush

From the successful flush, HW Angus now have embryos available for sale from Netherton Fleur L628 by our exciting new stock bull Rawburn Boss M554 (below), so see the HW Angus Facebook page if you’re interested.

Rawburn Boss M554

We recently sampled our delicious FullBlood Wagyu Salt Beef (which isn’t for sale yet but watch this space) with the ‘Roux clan’ and Andrew Fairlie who were visiting the estate and, let’s just say, there weren’t many slices left! Mmmm.

Salt Beef

We’ve had numerous visits from people interested not only in our beef but also our cattle and everything we’re doing here at HW. We recently welcomed an executive chef of a luxury 5* hotel in central London for a weekend on the farm. Being a customer of ours, we were delighted to show him the whole operation and spend quality time with him and his wife. We find it important that our customers get the time to see the cattle and what we’re about.

On the pedigree side, October saw the inaugural presentation of the Mohmar Trophy at the Stirling Bull Sales, awarded to James Porter of Uppermill – congratulations!

Our Shorthorn Mohmar Heathermaid Irania, by prizewinning stock bull Quoiggs Extra Special and dam Quoiggs Irania, was crowned Supreme Shorthorn Champion at the Agri Expo in Carlisle.

MohmarHeathermaidIraniaSupremeShorthornChampionAgriExp2014Carlisle

While in November Netherton Evita N734 won the Female Overall Yearling Champion at the AA Winter National.

Nov2AAWinterNationalChampYearlingNethertonEvitaN734

In more Angus news, we’ve made another big step towards breeding the ultimate in AA, with Phase 1 of a new Angus station at Tarneybackle moving forward.

Nov13 Tarneybackleph1 Nov20Tarneybackleph1

Other exciting news in the past three months includes the new addition to the HW Angus herd of Rawburn Ella, a Double OSeven daughter in calf to Rawburn Boss and the launch of the Wagyu Beef Association down south, which saw a great turnout and good press coverage. This is the first new breed society to be launched in 25 years and we’re happy to be part of it.

It’s a reflective time of year and I my highlight has been that I have survived another year! Well it’s true – we walked in here knowing nothing about farming or cattle. We wanted to be hobby farmers to breed beef for our own table because we were fed up with searching for great quality beef! Remember we were consumers so maybe this is why we only want to produce the best.

There’s a saying that I have changed to suit me… When the going gets tough… The tough keep going!

The feedback that we get from everyone about our beef has to be a highlight! After all the hard work that goes into it ‘from conception to, err, consumption’ :)  So when the finest chefs tell us that our beef is incredible, well those few words make it all worth it. That’s what it’s about! We feel proud.

I have to say the cattle are the stars; such amazing animals to be around they leave me breathless some days with their individual personalities. I am totally smitten!

And of course the team at HW, without ALL of them this wouldn’t work. It really is a ‘team’ effort! And of course my wonderful husband that puts up with me working all hours, my rants when it’s been a difficult day and for cooking me the most fabulous meals every weekend.

And not forgetting my customers some who have supported us from day one! I want to thank you all for the support you have given us and for producing the most amazing plates of food using our beef. Thank you for believing in our cattle and us.

We’re really looking forward to a well-deserved break over the festive period, spending time with family and friends and eating good food while we recharge our batteries for many more exciting things happening in 2015.

So, from our family to yours, have a very happy Christmas and a wonderful new year.

Martine x

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18th December 2014