The Annual LRF Stockman School took place once again at Aldam from October 11th to October 13th, 2023. This year’s theme centred around “Profit Drivers in Bull Selection.” Renowned for its commitment to excellence, the Stockman School consistently invites distinguished local and international speakers to address pertinent topics related to leveraging science and technology for successful livestock operations. Among the esteemed international speakers featured in this year’s Stockman School were Mr Paul Williams from ABRI, Dr Steve Miller from the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit of the University of New England, and Ms Lisa Rumsfeld from Vytelle. The sessions covered a range of topics, including Single-Step Genomic Evaluation, selecting bulls for improved carcass traits, and Bull management. The practical sessions held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons emerged as highlights of the school, offering hands-on experiences that enriched the learning environment.
We extend our congratulations to the LRF for orchestrating another successful Stockman School. The event maintains its significance on the livestock calendar, serving as a crucial platform for enhancing the knowledge base of leading farming operations. The commitment to bringing together experts and fostering discussions on cutting-edge practices underscores the school’s ongoing contribution to the advancement of livestock management. Kudos to the LRF for their dedication to the dissemination of valuable insights and best practices within the farming community.
Stella Wagyu wen die prys vir beste koei groep van die jaar. In die foto is Johan de Vos, saam met sy voorman Gert Prinsloo en sy vrou Delia Prinsloo.
On the evening of October 12th, 2023, the LRF hosted its prestigious award ceremony, a momentous occasion where recognition is bestowed upon farmers who exemplify successful farming through the integration of scientific principles. The awards, spanning various categories, are open to farmers across all breeds registered with the LRF. The ceremony aims to honour farmers who consistently strive for excellence, embodying an ongoing commitment to improvement and success in today’s dynamic livestock industry. It serves as a testament to the collective dedication of individuals who leverage scientific principles to elevate their farming practices. In acknowledgement of tireless efforts, unwavering dedication, and a profound passion for the livestock industry, we are delighted to announce that Stella Wagyu emerged as one of the winners in the Cow Group of the Year category. This recognition is a testament to Stella Wagyu’s outstanding contributions to the field. Heartfelt congratulations to Stella Wagyu for this phenomenal achievement. Their success not only reflects individual excellence but also contributes to the collective advancement of the livestock industry. We commend them for their continuous commitment to innovation and excellence.
The LRF recently organized a comprehensive and enlightening two-day experience, the Ovarian Scanning and Selection Index Workshop, held at the ARC Irene. The workshop featured the esteemed speaker, Mr Paul Williams from ABRI, whose insights added considerable value to the event. A major highlight of the workshop was the in-depth discussions led by Paul Williams on the significance and benefits of ovarian scanning, shedding light on its pivotal role in enhancing reproductive management in livestock. The session was further enriched by a hands-on practical demonstration, providing participants with a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the scanning process.
The workshop also delved into engaging conversations about selection indices, exploring their importance and practical applications in the livestock industry. This aspect of the workshop aimed to equip participants with valuable knowledge and tools to make informed decisions in the realm of livestock breeding and management. The event not only provided a platform for theoretical learning but also offered a practical dimension, ensuring that participants gained tangible skills and insights that can be directly applied in their respective fields. Congratulations to the LRF for demonstrating their commitment to organizing such educational initiatives that contribute to the continual advancement of practices within the livestock industry.
Alfa bywoners smul lekker aan Wagyu wat vir hulle gaar gemaak is
The NAMPO ALFA Livestock, Hunting, and Outdoor Expo took place at NAMPO Park just outside Bothaville from October 12 to October 14, 2023. Celebrating the harmonious intersection of livestock, outdoor lifestyle, and hunting, this event holds significant relevance within the South African agricultural community. The expo showcased practical demonstrations, including 4×4 vehicles, caravans, camping gear, hunting equipment, and a shooting range. Attendees had the unique opportunity to experience these aspects firsthand, immersing themselves in the practical use of various equipment. While smaller in scale compared to the annual NAMPO event held in May, the ALFA Expo drew an impressive 33% growth in attendance, with 8,330 tickets sold over the three-day period.
The Wagyu Society made a notable presence at the Wagyu house, offering visitors the chance to directly purchase Wagyu products from the breeders. In a unique twist, consumers could even request that the steaks they purchased be prepared on-site for immediate enjoyment. Within the Cattle complex, Wagyu was showcased with a bull, cow, and calf, providing onlookers with a firsthand encounter. This event underscored the ongoing interest among consumers and livestock enthusiasts to gain insights into Wagyu production and understand the nuances of preparing Wagyu to capture its enhanced flavour profile. Special thanks go to Zuney Wagyu for actively participating in educational demonstrations and facilitating direct-to-public sales. Additionally, gratitude is extended to Soldus Wagyu for contributing their animals to the event, enriching the experience for attendees who relish the opportunity to see and interact with these remarkable cattle.
The Society’s annual inspector’s course, held on September 6, 2023, was a significant educational event. The course was facilitated by two of the Society’s Senior Inspectors, Mr. Stefan Terblanche, and Mr. Waldo Scheepers. Their dedication and enthusiasm were evident throughout the day, leaving a lasting impression on the attendees. Participants in the course were particularly appreciative of the two inspectors’ passion and commitment to the Wagyu breed. Their ability to present complex information in an easily understandable manner was a noteworthy aspect of the course. The inspector’s course also marked the launch of the newly designed illustrative Wagyu Inspector’s Manual. This resource was made possible through the contributions of Mr. Charl Hunlun, a long-time friend of the Society, who ensured the information was both updated and accurate.
The manual’s design and illustrations were the work of Ms. Robyn Kars. The manual can be accessed on the Society’s website at https://wagyu.org.za/manuals-breedplan/. Furthermore, the event was made possible with the support of Fredericksburg Wagyu, who provided their facilities and cattle for demonstrations during the inspector’s course. Their involvement and generosity were integral to the success of the course. This event and the launch of the new manual have contributed to the dissemination of knowledge and the improvement of inspector training within the Society, reflecting the commitment to maintaining and enhancing the breed’s standards.
The “Carcass to Canvas” Wagyu showcase on September 7, 2023, at Allee Bleue Wine Estate was a remarkable demonstration of the art of cooking Wagyu beef. Chef Lehan Botha, an esteemed culinary expert, led the showcase, featuring three different cuts of Wagyu: Rib Finger, Brisket, and Bavette. Each cut was prepared using a distinct cooking technique, offering attendees a diverse and mouthwatering experience.
The showcase included the following preparations:
- Flame-grilled Wagyu Bavette with black garlic savoury butter, tomato concassé, chimichurri, and olive oil bruschetta.
- Smoked Wagyu Brisket pastrami served with Dijon mustard and chive mayo, pickled cucumber, wild rocket, and sourdough bread.
- Roasted Wagyu Rib Finger in hard shell tacos, garnished with lime & jalapeno mayo, and red onion & cucumber.
Chef Lehan’s culinary skills and innovative recipes captivated the audience, making the demonstration a great success. The event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the sponsors, who contributed to the overall excellence of the Wagyu showcase. This event not only showcased the delicious possibilities of Wagyu beef but also highlighted the culinary artistry of Chef Lehan and the collaborative efforts of the sponsors.
Zest – Taste for Africa
The 2023 conference was a deep dive into the world of Wagyu beef, providing attendees with an informative and inspiring experience. The event featured exceptional presenters who covered a range of topics, including Wagyu for health-conscious consumers, insights into how beef consumers allocate their spending, and the psychology of selling Wagyu beef. These presentations left attendees with fresh perspectives and ideas. Over the course of two days, more than 80 participants from various sectors of the Wagyu value chain were in attendance, making it a well-rounded and informative event. The presentations from the speakers can be accessed on the Wagyu website at https://wagyu.org.za/events/. The success of the event was attributed to the support of sponsors and the dedication of the speakers. Special appreciation was extended to Allee Bleue Wine Estate, Charmaine Alberts, Waldo Scheepers, and the Society office staff for their hard work in organizing the conference. In addition to the conference, the organization launched illustrative manuals aimed at simplifying complex concepts. These manuals include the Inspector’s Manual and Breeding Tools Manuals, which cover topics like EBVs (Estimated Breeding Values) and recording performance data. The Wagyu Beef 101: Wagyu Carcass Breakdown booklet was also introduced, and developed in collaboration with Mr. Anton Olckers, a specialized Wagyu Blockman. All these booklets were thoughtfully illustrated by Ms. Robyn Kars and can be accessed on the website at https://wagyu.org.za/manuals-breedplan/. This conference and the accompanying resources have contributed to the dissemination of valuable knowledge and information within the Wagyu community, further advancing the understanding and promotion of Wagyu beef.
The annual gala dinner was held on the evening of 7 September 2023. Congratulations to all our award recipients.
Completeness of performance – Carcass data (>100) – GLEN WALTON WAGYU sponsored by CPG.
Completeness of performance – Carcass data (<100) – SIMPLY WAGYU sponsored by Genepro.
Completeness of performance – Carcass data (CWB) – TEHILA BOERDERY BK sponsored by Soldus Wagyu.
Completeness of performance – Overall (>100) – FREDERICKSBURG WAGYU Sponsored by Ebuhlanti Wagyu Breeders.
Completeness of performance – Overall (<100) – LP BOERDERY sponsored by Allflex.
Completeness of performance – Overall (CWB) – TEHILA BOERDERY BK sponsored by Stella Wagyu.
Breeder with most SNP files on record – BEYOND BEEF sponsored by Unistel Medical Laboratories.
Sire with most progeny recorded – AW190038 – ABSOLUTE WAGYU sponsored by CPG.
Wagyu Chairman’s Award – JOHAN DE VOS sponsored by LA Farms.
Nomination for ARC Platinum Bull of the Year – EBUHLANTI WAGYU BREEDERS sponsored by Stella Wagyu.
The Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 6th, held at Allee Bleue Wine Estate in Franschhoek, was a successful gathering of members. The meeting addressed both the challenges faced and the achievements made during the last year. The AGM provided an opportunity to acknowledge the challenges and achievements of the Society in its mission to promote and enhance the Wagyu industry in South Africa.
Facilitating Access to Export Markets: The Society faced challenges in ensuring access to export markets for Wagyu products.
Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD): Addressing FMD was another important challenge, as it can impact the movement and trade of livestock.
High Input Costs: The rising input costs in the Wagyu industry posed economic challenges.
Revised Strategic Focus: The Society successfully revised its strategic focus, likely to address the challenges it faced.
Revised Per Capita Levies: Changes in per capita levies were made to support the Society’s initiatives.
Defining CWB Protocol: The Society defined the CWB (Certified Wagyu Beef) protocol, ensuring a clear and structured process.
Genetic Evaluation: The establishment of a well-structured genetic evaluation system was an achievement.
Dedicated Members: Despite challenges, dedicated members continued to produce animals.
Participation in the Hong Kong Food Expo: The Society successfully attended the Hong Kong Food Expo, expanding its presence in international markets.
Increase in Breeding Females: The number of breeding females increased from 5949 to 6312.
Sustained Carcass Growth: Slaughter data indicated sustained weekly growth in carcass numbers.
Recognition in Genomic Technologies: Wagyu SA gained recognition as a leader in genomic technologies within the LRF (Livestock Research Foundation) members.
World-Class CWB Protocol: The CWB protocol, with its traceability measures, is regarded as a leading program in South Africa.
During the year, two Board members, Ms. Karen Hoffman (Product Support) and Mr. Francois Loots (CWB), resigned from their positions. The Society expressed its gratitude for their service. Mr. Henning Klopper was nominated and elected to the board, while Dr. John Grewar was coopted onto the board, filling the vacancies. Congratulations and best wishes to Henning and John in their new roles.
Bob Hobson – President
Johan Strydom – Vice-President, Corporate Governance and Finance
Fritz Bezuidenhout – Certified Wagyu Beef
Waldo Scheepers – Breed Improvement and Genomics
Dr Baldwin Nengovhela – Social Development
Henning Klopper – Product Support
Dr John Grewar – Export Facilitation