AWA Friday Newsletter - October 22, 2021

AWA Friday Newsletter - October 22, 2021 To receive our weekly newsletter in your inbox, contact the AWA office and request to be added to our email list.


Wagyu Breeders Work to Ensure Integrity of Wagyu Beef

By Burt Rutherford

When consumers purchase Wagyu beef, how do they know it’s really Wagyu beef? That’s what Colorado State University (CSU) and the American Wagyu Association want to ensure.

“You can go into a lot of restaurants and a lot of retail stores around the world and find ‘Wagyu beef,’” according to Dr. Keith Belk, head of the CSU Animal Sciences Department. “The question becomes, particularly for consumers who don’t really understand the roots of the breed, is it actually Wagyu beef?”

Speaking at the 2021 annual conference of the American Wagyu Association in Fort Collins, Colo., Belk told Wagyu breeders of an effort underway with USDA to develop a voluntary specification and certification program for Wagyu beef. “This will allow U.S. producers to protect the quality attributes that are tied to true Wagyu genetics as they move into marketing platforms in retail and foodservice,” Belk said.

Drivers of Change

Wagyu breeders are enjoying a rapidly growing consumer base as more and more people discover the unique quality and taste of Wagyu beef. That means, according to Dr. James Pritchett, dean of the College of Agriculture at CSU, it’s important to understand the drivers of change, those things that fundamentally alter relationships in the industry.

“The first thing I think about is a growing population across the world,” he told Wagyu breeders. “And even more importantly, incomes are growing at the same time. When folks become wealthier, what does that mean for the demand for your product? It goes up.”

Over time, that increasing wealth and beef demand prompts consumer preferences to evolve, he said. So, another driver of change in the beef business is that the food industry in the United States and around the world is becoming more demanding in what they require from beef producers in terms of the type of production and the types of information consumers require.

For beef producers to be more successful, he told Wagyu breeders, the U.S. beef industry must drive that change and be at the forefront of transparently providing the information that consumers want.

Then there’s technology. “The types of technology you’re using—whether that be in your production practices, whether that be in how you gather information and make management decisions, whether that be in your marketing—has truly revolutionized the types of things you do,” Pritchett said.

“One of the things that helps this association are some of the types of technologies that allow you to communicate, to touch more and to tell your story.”

What about government? Good or bad, it’s a fundamental driver of change in the beef business, he told Wagyu breeders.

“Government drives a fair bit of change when it invests in research. Government can be really good when it does export enhancement and helps build relationships, especially international relationships and in setting standards that become important for us,” he said.

There are also challenges when it comes to the government. And that, too, can be a fundamental driver of change. “Don’t be a bystander as part of that driver of change,” he challenged Wagyu breeders.

Finally, there’s climate change. “That makes it important for the industry to talk about how to be resilient when things are changing in our climate, because that will be a fundamental driver of change,” he said.

“We can think about adapting our rangelands. We can think about improving soil health. We can think about changing our management practices and even the genetics of the animals. But we have to be cognizant of the drivers of change.”

For more information about Wagyu cattle and Wagyu beef, go to


Entries for North American International Livestock Show

Attached is the sign-up form for the Wagyu Show in Kentucky, North American Intentional Livestock Expo (NAILE).  This year our show will be on November 17, 2021 at the Broadbent Arena at the Louisville, Kentucky Exposition Center.

Also attached are the Wagyu pages from the premium book with the classes listed.  Deadline for registration is November 1, 2021.

Please fill out the entry form attached and send it in via email to as soon as possible.  If you have any questions at all please contact Martha at the office.  208-262-8100.

Parking fees and Exhibitor passes will be addressed in a later email.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Click Here to View Registration Form
Click Here to View Class Listings

Did You Know?
Breeding Inventories: Part 4 - Embryo Inventories Continued
There are options that are listed under each embryo record to either Adjust the Inventory, Mark as for Sale via Private Treaty, Record Use, or Record Sale.

To Edit/Adjust Inventory: Click the ‘Edit/Adjust’ option. The Embryo Inventory Maintenance menu for this record will appear in a new window, and you can edit the existing record (tank/canister ID, quantities) or add additional records. Click ‘Save Inventory’ to save your changes.

To Record Use:  Click the ‘Record Use’ option. The Embryo Inventory Usage menu will appear in a new window. You will be prompted to enter the date the embryo was transferred and registration number of the female that was used as the recipient dam. Click ‘Save Breeding Usage’. The female will now appear under Herd Mgmt: Breeding: Embryo Transfer with this breeding information.

To Mark for Sale: Click the ‘Private Treaty’ option. The Embryo Inventory: Private Treaty menu will appear in a new window. You can mark the straws for sale or remove the straws from Sale Listing if previously marked for sale. Comments can be entered that will display to prospective buyers. Click ‘Update’ to save the sale status. If marked for sale, the listing will appear under the Marketplace feature in Digital Beef (link located at top center of page).

To Record Sale: Click the ‘Record Sale’ option. The Embryo Inventory: Sale menu will appear in a new window. You will be prompted to enter quantity of straws sold to individual buyer, the buyer ID (enter the member number of buyer if an AWA member), and the date the straw was sold. Click ‘Transfer Embryos to Buyer’ to transfer the entered inventory to the Embryo Inventory of the buyer’s Digital Beef account.


Team Wagyu Shirts
Whether you’re interested in something for yourself or a gift for your customers, we have several items to choose from. With each purchase you are helping support your association and proudly support this great Wagyu breed.

Share a Favorite Photo
We make lots of memories with family, friends and Wagyu cattle! What activities have you been up to on the farm? Send us a picture and we will chose one to feature in an upcoming newsletter!
AWA Calendar
January 1, 2022 - Start of 2022 Membership Renewal
January 1, 2022 - Spring CAR Enrollment Starts
February 1, 2022 - Spring CAR enrollment fees Increase
April 1, 2022 – Annual Membership Renewal – Late Fees Apply
May 1, 2022 – Fall CAR Enrollment Starts

June 30, 2022 – Fall CAR Enrollment Deadline – Fees Increase July 1

Upcoming Industry Events/Livestock Shows
November 2-18, 2021 – NAILE – Wagyu Show – Louisville, KY
January 8-23, 2022 – NWSS – Wagyu Show – Denver, CO

February 1 – 3, 2022 – NCBA  Trade Show – Houston, TX
February 28 – March 20, 2022 – Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – Houston, TX

Upcoming Member Events
October 23, 2021 – Vermont Wagyu Production Sale - At the Farm in Springfield, VT
November 6, 2021 – Texas Wagyu Association - Fall Harvest Event - Luling, Texas
January 8, 2022 – Mile High Wagyu Experience - Denver, CO
March 19, 2022 – Triangle B Ranch - 14th Annual Spring of Opportunities Sale - Stigler, OK
March 26, 2022 – A5 Wagyu Production Sale - Virginia
March 26, 2022 – The Top Shelf Collection - Genomic Marvels at their Finest - Luling, TX
April 9, 2022 – M6 Ranch Wagyu - Bull Battery Sale - Alvarado, Texas

April 23, 2022 – 13th Annual "The Steaks are High" Texas Wagyu Association Sale – Salado, TX
May 14, 2022 – Diamond T Ranch Production Sale - Jacksonville, TX
May 28, 2022 – Bar R Ranch Wagyu Production Sale - Pullman, WA
June 4, 2022 – Passion For Prime - Salina, Kansas

To post an upcoming event or to advertise your event with a live link, please contact the AWA Office.