Though the weather outside has been frightful, at Highland Wagyu, the last three months have been delightful with so much going on and lots of tasty projects in progress for 2015.
It?s been a whirlwind of a year and it was topped by completely selling out of all our beef early in December for the festive period to chefs, hotels and private customers, which was incredible and we now have a lengthy waiting list for the new year!
Our beef stays in the UK with consumers and chefs wanting 'British' beef and maybe this is why we are being contacted from around the globe, including Hong Kong, the Maldives and Dubai.
We?re delighted to now supply to Martin and Paul of traditional high class butchers Hook & Cleaver who are based in London (pictured below) and Northfield Farm who sell at the trendy Borough market in London as well as more amazing chefs and restaurants to add to some of the UK?s finest.
There?s been particular interest in our F1 Wagyu crossed with pedigree Aberdeen Angus ? or as we fondly call it, ?Wangus?, and we love it when customers let us know they?re happy with their deliveries on Facebook and Twitter. Feedback is so important!
In fact, our Wangus sausages caused quite a stir, selling to a place in Aberdeen who offered them to the builders working on a big project across the road. He sold out by 9.30am the first morning and is set to try the Wangus burgers for phase 2!!
With the beef all sold 23 days before Christmas, I was able to have some much-needed time to do my favourite and all-important genetics planning for next year.
This month we?ve just completed another embryo programme, flushing Wagyu, Shorthorn and Angus and implanting 60+ embryos. Here?s Highland Wagyu Apache in the crush. She?s used to it now!
From the successful flush, HW Angus now have embryos available for sale from Netherton Fleur L628 by our exciting new stock bull Rawburn Boss M554 (below), so see the HW Angus Facebook page if you?re interested.
We recently sampled our delicious FullBlood Wagyu Salt Beef (which isn?t for sale yet but watch this space) with the ?Roux clan? and Andrew Fairlie who were visiting the estate and, let?s just say, there weren?t many slices left! Mmmm.
We?ve had numerous visits from people interested not only in our beef but also our cattle and everything we're doing here at HW. We recently welcomed an executive chef of a luxury 5* hotel in central London for a weekend on the farm. Being a customer of ours, we were delighted to show him the whole operation and spend quality time with him and his wife. We find it important that our customers get the time to see the cattle and what we're about.
On the pedigree side, October saw the inaugural presentation of the Mohmar Trophy at the Stirling Bull Sales, awarded to James Porter of Uppermill ? congratulations!
Our Shorthorn Mohmar Heathermaid Irania, by prizewinning stock bull Quoiggs Extra Special and dam Quoiggs Irania, was crowned Supreme Shorthorn Champion at the Agri Expo in Carlisle.
While in November Netherton Evita N734 won the Female Overall Yearling Champion at the AA Winter National.
In more Angus news, we?ve made another big step towards breeding the ultimate in AA, with Phase 1 of a new Angus station at Tarneybackle moving forward.
Other exciting news in the past three months includes the new addition to the HW Angus herd of Rawburn Ella, a Double OSeven daughter in calf to Rawburn Boss and the launch of the Wagyu Beef Association down south, which saw a great turnout and good press coverage. This is the first new breed society to be launched in 25 years and we?re happy to be part of it.
It?s a reflective time of year and I my highlight has been that I have survived another year! Well it's true - we walked in here knowing nothing about farming or cattle. We wanted to be hobby farmers to breed beef for our own table because we were fed up with searching for great quality beef! Remember we were consumers so maybe this is why we only want to produce the best.
There's a saying that I have changed to suit me... When the going gets tough... The tough keep going!
The feedback that we get from everyone about our beef has to be a highlight! After all the hard work that goes into it 'from conception to, err, consumption? 🙂 ?So when the finest chefs tell us that our beef is incredible, well those few words make it all worth it. That's what it's about! We feel proud.
I have to say the cattle are the stars; such amazing animals to be around they leave me breathless some days with their individual personalities. I am totally smitten!
And of course the team at HW, without ALL of them this wouldn't work. It really is a 'team' effort! And of course my wonderful husband that puts up with me working all hours, my rants when it's been a difficult day and for cooking me the most fabulous meals every weekend.
And not forgetting my customers some who have supported us from day one! I want to thank you all for the support you have given us and for producing the most amazing plates of food using our beef. Thank you for believing in our cattle and us.
We?re really looking forward to a well-deserved break over the festive period, spending time with family and friends and eating good food while we recharge our batteries for many more exciting things happening in 2015.
So, from our family to yours, have a very happy Christmas and a wonderful new year.
THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED!
Thank you for all your entries. The winners are being notified.
For all you creative carnivores, fantastic foodies and burger lovers, this Twitter contest is just for you!
We?re looking for the best slogan about Highland Wagyu to be in with a chance of winning SIX of our amazing Wangus ?beef burgers.
That?s 1 kilo of beautiful Wagyu crossed with Aberdeen-Angus?beef.
So what are you waiting for? Tweet us your best slogan now!
You have until:?midnight on Friday 31st?October 2014.
Here?s the deets:
1. Follow us on twitter @chapmanmartine
2. Reply to @chapmanmartine on twitter with your slogan suggestion, which MUST include the hashtag #HighlandWagyu
3. You can send multiple suggestions but multiple entries of the same suggestion won?t be accepted. Please don?t spam us.
4. Once the contest is closed, we?ll announce the best THREE on twitter and DM each individual to arrange delivery of our delicious burgers.
Photo credit: Martine Chapman - The Scran and Scallie's Wagyu burgers. Yum.
They say variety is the spice of life. If that?s the case, it?s been a very hot and spicy three months at Highland Wagyu.
Autumn?s definitely arrived. I love how the scenery changes colour and welcoming the little ones in the autumn calving, but I already miss the long summer days and warm evenings.
As the summer drew to a close, we had a last BBQ and chill out as a big thank you to everyone at team HW. Wonderful weather, beautiful Perthshire setting and, of course, our fabulous fullblood Wagyu steaks all round. It was great to be social and just relax with everyone who puts up with us!
Meanwhile the show season closed with Quoiggs Freud making Reserve Male Champion at the Great Yorkshire Show so we have a few more rosettes on the table:
We had great fun ? and an overwhelming response ? with our first ever Highland Wagyu goodie-bag Facebook competition. The next one is coming very soon ? on Twitter this time ? so keep your eyes peeled.
On my favourite subject of genetics, it was great to use our shiny, new lab in August and September. In preparation for further embryo programmes, we?ve added our semen and embryo offering to the website. And we?re planning to do our own AI work on the farm too. We?ve also had many enquiries from people interested in breeding Wagyu from home and abroad.
On the beef front, orders of our delicious Fullblood Wagyu were heading out all over the country last month with our newly-available Wangus beef (Wagyu X Angus, below) generating a lot of interest too, including Grosvenor House and Adam Handling?s new restaurant, Adam Handling at Caxton. It?s also great to see lots more enquiries from new, private customers too.
And we were proud to supply the Ryder Cup caterers with our Fullblood beef.
Finally, in more ?business? news, we?re delighted that Highland Wagyu has been accepted onto Wikipedia, putting Scotland on the map for the breed. In line with this, we?re pleased to be part of highlighting British Wagyu as one of the directors of British Wagyu Association, which will launch officially in November.
Team HW has been busy moving cattle around and preparing everything for the winter months ahead. With so many exciting projects on the go (watch this space for the work we?re doing on our Wagyu hides), the next few months will fly by. Christmas orders are coming in fast and furious so get in touch soon to avoid disappointment!
In the meantime, enjoy the autumn months, wrap up warm and follow your passion. We are!
The HW Angus herd has been augmented with the purchase of ten new heifers this month.
Earlier in August, we bought nine Jerusalem heifers at Penrith from Linda and Bryan Ronan of Jerusalem Farm, Colby near Appleby, bringing the total of our Jerusalems to 35. It?s great to see them settling in nicely - who wouldn?t with this view? (Top picture).
Then, on Saturday, August 16th, we attended the Wedderlie Open Day in Berwickshire along with 800 others for the Tilson family?s centenary celebrations of the herd.
It was a full day with 800 visitors enjoying practical demonstrations, a stockjudging competition and sheepdog demonstrations.
We were delighted to take part in the charity auction for one of a pair of pedigree Angus heifers on display, placing the winning bid of 3000 guineas for Wedderlie Blackbirdy N882. This August 2013-born daughter is sired from Nightingale El Paso J489 and her dam comes from the renowned Blackbird line and the great bull TC Stockman.
The day raised around ?4000 for the RSABI and Macmillan and we wish many congratulations and continued success to John and Marion Tilson and their daughter Wanda Hobbs for the future.
It was a good morning with a group of Icelandic farmers visiting Scotland who came to see our Wagyu then headed up to Netherton for the Aberdeen Angus.
Our Wagyu steers are always keen for some attention, just look how friendly they are...
...And out in the field, our Fullblood Wagyu females are trying to figure out what all the photos and note-taking is about.
The past three months have been all about new life, cute calves and quality breeding.
We?ve welcomed 200 calves from our Angus, Shorthorn, Highland and Wagyu breeds, collected semen from four bulls and had a very successful flush.
And we?ve had great interest from South America in particular for our Wagyu semen and requests for semen from our champion Beef Shorthorn bull Quoiggs Extra Special while Quoiggs Freud has generated his own little flurry of enquiries with his success on the show circuit (see below).
Recent press interest in the Wagyu breed has brought Highland Wagyu to the attention of UK chefs who are surprised and delighted it?s being bred ?on their doorstep? especially with the demand from customers to source quality meat closer to home.
We?ve also been contacted by a number of private customers looking at our Wagyu beef for a treat or a special occasion. In fact, we now have a waiting list!
April and May saw the majority of our new arrivals, including 50 calves in 10 days ? that was a busy week! And it?s been so exciting to see the arrival of more of our F1s (50% Wagyu) and we also saw our first F2s (3/4 Wagyu).
Here are some images of the little ones:
In an exciting first for us, we had three of our fullblood?Wagyu boys at stud?in May with their semen collected for our use and for sale in the EU. We?re also planning on collecting semen for international sale in the future so stay tuned.
Here are our stud muffins...
We also took semen from one of our Aberdeen Angus bulls, Idvies Proud Painter K460, and our Wagyu bull, Odyssey, for sale in the UK only. To round everything off at the end of May, we flushed for embryos in six of our Fullblood Wagyu girls and implanted 25 into Angus, Shorthorn and Highland surrogates and froze the excess haul.
The month of May also saw Mohsin become Vice President for Stirling on the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland board and we were proud to be one of the main sponsors of the Royal Highland Show ? the ?Greatest Show on Earth?.
This year?s show season over the summer has been fantastic ? as has the weather. It?s hard to believe we?re in Scotland with all this sun!
The HW Shorthorn team has been incredibly busy in May and June. Our star line-up of our champion shorthorn bull Quoiggs Extra Special, young bull Quoiggs Freud, Mohmar Georgina, Quoiggs Rhona E530 and her bull calf Mohmar Hercules, heifer Mohmar Gracious Broadhooks and yearling bull Mohmar Genghis Khan brought home the rosettes and trophies from Ayr Show, Fife Show, Stirling Show (for which we were also main sponsors), and the Royal Highland Show.
It?s not all about Wagyus and Shorthorns. In June we made a big announcement for the Aberdeen Angus breed with our exciting partnership with W & D McLaren of Netherton Angus, our neighbours and good friends.
In the last six weeks I?ve been going through the genetics, matchmaking the Wagyu girls with the bulls. I love genetics; I could talk about it all day. To get the Wagyus officially registered, DNA has to go to Ireland before heading to The Australian Wagyu Association. It?s a time-consuming process but absolutely fascinating. I just wish I could spend more time doing it.
As we say on the website, raising Wagyu is considered an art and in order to be successful, it?s 70% genetics and 30% diet. We also like to add in a huge dollop of passion and respect.
The "King of Angus", ?John Elliot of Rawburn Angus, spent a day with us at Highland Wagyu looking at all our cattle, although we believe he was really here to check on?Double-O-Seven!
Pictured are George McCulloch, Mohsin Altajir, John Elliot and Martine Chapman.
Our ambitious plans for Wagyu beef and Highland Wagyu are featured on pp14-15 of Sheep & Beef Producer?Winter 2013/2014.
Say hello to a couple of Rawburn Aberdeen Angus heifers bought at the Stirling Bull Sales on Monday. They're settling into their new home nicely along with a third?Angus heifer and seven Shorthorn girls purchased on the same day.