I had a tremendous 10 days in Houston visiting with international cattle raisers and watching the Wagyu show on February 15th. I was joined by Alejandro Velezmoro, his wife Gina, and Javier Bentacourt....all are representatives of ASOWAGYU Colombia. Also, Alex Romero, President of ASOWAGYU Ecuador, and his daughter joined us a couple days. We visited with producers about Wagyu and Akaushi almost nonstop. The amount of interest and enthusiasm from international cattle producers for higher quality beef was truly impressive. It was great to hear where they were from and how they raise and market their beef.
We were joined by fellow Akaushi breeder Javier Moreno and his uncle Abraham from McAllen, TX for dinner at Tango & Malbec by the Houston Galleria. Akaushi steaks prepared Argentinean style were enjoyed by all.
The next morning we gave a presentation to a group of producers from Nicaragua. Currently they are forming an ASOWAGYU Nicaragua association. They are very optimistic about the expanding the Akaushi breed in Central America and generating more marbled products to market.
The Wagyu show presented good entries for PJ Budler of Fort Worth, TX to evaluate. In my opinion, Mr. Budler did a great job and was very thorough in his evaluation. PJ is originally from South Africa and runs the "Wagyu of the World" competition on Facebook. It was a pleasure watching him judge.
The Grand Champion red Wagyu bull was exhibited by Jim and Kathy Moore of McGregor, TX. He was raised by Bill Fisher with Legendary Akaushi Genetics…..sired by Umemaru and out of the impressive Kaedemaru 2 cow. Kaedemaru 2 is starting to leave her legacy. Congratulations to Bill Fisher and Moore family for preparing one of the best bulls I've seen exhibited on a national level. His shoulder set, hip and hingleg, and feet were constructed right. I believe this guy’s structural design and functionality is what we should strive to produce in Akaushi cattle.
The Grand Champion Black Wagyu heifer was exhibited by Christina Hall of Colorado. This is the same female that won in Denver this year as a calf. In my opinion, she's phenotypically exceptional for a black Wagyu female because of her body shape, flexibility, and natural dimension throughout.
Lastly, I would like to say thank you to the International Committee at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for their tremendous hospitality. Kelley Sullivan and her crew did a great job!