Farm Practices

Established in 2007, Vermont Wagyu produces some of the best beef in the world by pushing the boundary on taste through restorative agricultural management, low stress handling practices and our data-focused breeding of Wagyu (Japanese Black Cattle).

This amazing breed of cattle has evolved over generations with the potential to produce exquisitely marbled beef, with an abundance of tender, juicy flavors.

Vermont Wagyu’s success in harnessing this marbling potential can be measured in our national awards for taste and tenderness: American Royal-Reserve Grand Champion, Triple Crown Steak Challenge-Winner of Taste and Tenderness, and Taste of Vermont-People’s Choice Award, Stratton Vermont.

A land first focus is not just right for cattle, but it’s right for the community.

Frequent testing allows us to monitor the pH balance of our soils, preventing chemically imbalanced water run offs to occur, and to keep our Connecticut River Basin with clean waters.

We follow the Vermont “Best Agricultural Practice Guidelines” as mandated by the state, including maintaining adequate distancing of our cattle from brook beds, filing yearly Manure Management Plans, Forest Management Plans along with our soil testing.

We rotate our cattle daily in the summer months across our intensive pasture field system to maximy the proteins from our grasses, a naturally rich commodity in this harsh agricultural environment. These grasses are a precious nutrient, they appear in the spring, and then explode with a Vermont intensity unlike most other world wide grasses, as they have a brief six month growth period to make their mark in nature, and on the intensity of the flavors in our beef. (Reference: fellow Vermonter’s “the Art and Science of Rotational Grazing”, by Sarah Flack) 

Caretakers of Happy and Healthy Cattle

Low stress, low stress, low stress-it is a well researched fact that decreasing stress increases marbling in the wagyu breed (Asian-Australian J Animal Sci. 2018 Jul: 31 (7): 1043-1061). Our cattle are born on our summer pastures, and raised naturally without antibiotics and hormones, just an abundance of Vermont’s verdant summer grasses. One to two acres of pasture per cow-calf pair.

No, we do not massage our cows to decrease stress and increase marbling; instead, we supplement our animals’ grass diet in the winter with a local brewer’s mash full of nutrients to add protein and palatability to their fare. Healthy cows = happy cows = better marbling  

Harnessing Data – Being at the Forefront of Wagyu Genetics

  • Leading the mapping of historic Wagyu lineages in the U.S and in Australia, understanding the pedigrees of our dams and sires and their genetic influence on marbling
  • Meticulously monitor key metrics within our herd at our on-farm lab, created by our founder Dr. Sheila Patinkin, statistics including steer Frame Size, Hip Height, Rump Fat Thickness, Birth Weight, Weaning Weight, Yearling Weight, Average Daily Weight Gain, Basic Marbling Scores, all to ensure a best-of-the-best breeding program generation after generation (learn more about our breeding and genetics)
  • Many breeders only collect data after harvest, our program uses live ultrasound results, DNA information and phenotypic growth data to make in-time decisions that prioritizes the health of the mother and calf
  • Offering 100% Full Blood Wagyu DNA Parent Verification certified through the American Wagyu Association, so you know it’s the real deal Important

Above all else, we approach every day as a learning experience and ask ourselves, how can we, as farmers, continue to bring you the best quality beef in the world.

Transparency is important to us, and we want you to really know who we are. Come visit us at the Farm to learn more!