Stay The Course
You don't have to keep betting on the future, capitalize on the current data and trends.
To understand my level of confidence in Akaushi’s future is to understand the value and demand for branded beef programs’ USDA Prime level (and higher) product. This is the category of beef connoisseurs that has consistently held and gained consumer demand and market share over the past five years. There are more branded beef programs entering the marketplace for DNA verified (and unfortunately non-verified) Akaushi F1’s and higher in breed content. In a time of low fat cattle prices in the southern plains (~$1.00/lb live) we are seeing the highest premiums (on an actual & percentage basis) on Akaushi fats in quite some time. If you can’t hear this consumer demand then I don’t know what you’re listening for.
Imagine the brand expansion when (hopefully) there is more grass finished Akaushi product available. Simply try a strip steak from Desert Mountain Grass Fed Beef (desertmountaingrassfed.com) versus a grass fed Angus strip steak and you’ll see why their program has grown so well over the last 6+ years in that market place.
Maybe this next section should be labeled, ‘Get on course’. As Akaushi breeders, we need to place a higher level of emphasis on breeding quality Akaushi cattle, not exclusively higher quantity. We, as a breed, need to breed better cattle. We, as a breed, need to breed cattle with a better purpose than merely multiplying based on pedigrees. The measure of a program’s direction is any deviation from random selection. With no purpose in a breeding program is like a shopper wondering throughout a mall…gathering random genetic samples of this and that. There is a preconceived notion that since less than 15 animals came over from Japan there’s not much difference in cattle quality across herds. This couldn’t be further from reality. It is very easy to identify program direction (or lack thereof) after visiting dozens of Akaushi breeding programs across five different continents.