Dr Michael Bradfield, CEO of the Wagyu Society, beloved scientist, geneticist, industry leader and friend who has left deep footprints in the red meat industry, passed away on January 6, 2022, at the age of 56, from cancer. His memorial service was held on the 17th of January at the Irene Country Club. During his eulogy Johan de Vos drew a parallel between the life of Michael and the poem A Psalm of Life written by Henry Wadsworth.


“When we contemplate the life of great men like Michael and their value to us, and we have grave questions, this poem directs our answers.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
“Life is but an empty dream!”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal

“Dust thou art, to dust returnest,”
   Was not spoken of the soul.

Then the poem carries on with some beautiful metaphors, of which I would like to share just one.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Michael was indeed a hero in his strife. And then the answer about the meaning of life, at the end.

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
Learn to labor and to wait.

This, for me, is Michael’s call to us.

Johan ended by setting the challenge for all of us to follow in the Michaels footsteps. The memorial service can be viewed at