How an Ottawa Farmer Was able to Raise the World’s Most Expensive Cattle

Blue Jays à Toronto, et j’ai emmené quelques collègues avec moi. Nous sommes allés dans un restaurant et j’ai dit : J’achète tout ce que vous voulez sur le menu.”,”text”:”Je suis allé à un match des Blue Jays à Toronto, et j’ai emmené quelques collègues avec moi. Nous sommes allés dans un restaurant et j’ai dit : J’achète tout ce que vous voulez sur le menu.”}}”>I went to a match blue jays in Toronto, and I took some colleagues with me. We went to a restaurant and I said I buy what you want on the menu.

A friend then pointed to the menu for an eight-ounce wagyu steak that, with some sides, cost $150. The Osgoode native then replied: Anything but that!

This type of beef is known in culinary circles for the marbled texture and rich, decadent mouthfeel of the steaks.

Since that fateful meal, Mr. Velthuis, who raises dairy and beef cattle on approximately 800 acres of land in rural southern Ottawa, has become one of the few farmers in Ontario to own a herd of precious Japanese Wagyu.

Steven Velthuis (right) with his son, Brendan

Photo: CBC/Trevor Pritchard

Accurate data is hard to come by, but Steven Velthuis and his son Brendan say the number of Wagyu breeders in the province is in the double digits at best.

And that number will not increase, as Japan declared Wagyu cattle a national treasure in 1997. The country no longer exports live animals or their DNA to overseas markets.

However, about five years ago, Mr. Velthuis partnered with a Quebec farmer to purchase a cow whose lineage dates back to Japan. His entire herd of about 50 animals now consists of his offspring.

For the time being, Velthuis mainly sells through word of mouth, high-end restaurants and sports bars.

$. J’aime les chiffres”,”text”:”Il y a deux jours, un de mes amis se trouvait dans une ville située à 15 minutes d’ici, et trois quarts de livre de bifteck de côte Wagyu se vendaient 80$. J’aime les chiffres”}}”>Two days ago a friend of mine was in a town 15 minutes from here and three quarters of a pound wagyu prime rib steak was selling for $80. I like numberssaid Mr Velthuis.

If you like good wine, if you like good whiskey, good brandy, good cigar, you will love Wagyu beef.

A quote from Steven Velthuis, breeder

DNA registration is important

When it comes to the terminology surrounding Japanese beef, there are a few things that need to be explained.

Wagyu refers to the four types of cattle raised in the country for beef production: black, brown, stubborn, and short-horned.

Famous Kobe beef, arguably the most famous Japanese brand, is a special type of Wagyu, which is cultivated to high standards in a specific region.

Then there’s the American Wagyu, which you see on a box of hamburgers in the frozen meat aisle of your supermarket or, increasingly, in fast food† It is a hybrid of Wagyu and other breeds such as Angus or Hereford.

There is also the snow beefa cross between Wagyu and Holstein heifers that has become a niche product in Canada.

Mr. Velthuis says that his herd is a real Wagyu, not a crossbreed. He can prove it: His genetics are registered with the Wagyu Associations of the United States and Australia.

This is important, he says, so customers can be sure they’re getting an authentic product.

The DNA Registration Process for a Full Right Wagyu Herd Is quite intensivesaid the director of research, education and programs at theAmerican Wagyu AssociationHanna Ostrovskic

We have a database strong enough to certify [l’ADN de] These animals. This is very important for our producers and for the consumers, who know what they are buying.said Mrs. Ostrovsky.

We all want to make sure that what you pay is what you get.

A quote from Hanna Ostrovski, Director of Research, Education, and Programs at the American Wagyu Association

The popularity of Wagyu has risen sharply in recent years, Ostrovski says, not least because more and more chefs are putting it on their menus.

If you go to the supermarket, you will see Wagyu. There are more and more. We continue to grow and we try to help our growers with that growth as well.

Steven Velthuis explained that his animals are fed a special diet of ground maize and hay. They are slaughtered in a local slaughterhouse when they are 30 to 36 months old, later than other cattle, to take full advantage of the marbling. All of this explains the higher price, he added.

When it comes to serving these juicy steaks, mister Velthuis recommends consuming them with a good glass of red wine. If you like well-done steaks, the Wagyu is definitely not for you.

If you invite people to eat to serve them Wagyu, chances are they will arrive on time.

With information from Trevor Pritchard, CBC

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