First annual American Akaushi Association convention

Dec 1, 2012
by WLJ

The first annual Akaushi Association Convention was held in Bastrop, TX, in November.

Over 200 members attended the event, traveling from California to Florida and Canada to Brazil.

The meeting was hosted and organized by the American Akaushi Association.

Phil Davis of Davis Cattle Company, an Akaushi producer from Idaho, said he appreciated the entire convention because it was a representation of leaders in the Akaushi industry who are seeing the benefits of the breed for what they are— quality, flavor and health benefits—without any apparent loss of production.

Dave Myklegard and his wife Diane Davis Myklegard, also from Idaho, said it was enlightening to learn more about the history of the breed itself and its potential here in the U.S. “The beef is one of a kind in its quality, flavor, taste and texture. The health factors were also impressive with lower amounts of the LDL cholesterol. This is a new breed for our family and we appreciate learning about all the facets of its industry.”

Friday was a casual day of golf and resort activities ending with a Tradeshow Reception and a “Taste of Akaushi Dinner.”

Saturday started very early with a welcome from Bubba Bain, executive director of the American Akaushi Association, and an opening prayer from Austin Brown II. Colin Woodall from National Cattlemen’s Beef Association talked about the “Post Election analysis and its Impact on Cattlemen.” Matt Cherni, DVM, followed with his assessment of “Managing Risk in Beef Production without CME.”

Cassie Webb, with her unique perspective, described how her belief systems underwent a transformation from the media-misinformed views currently shared by many consumers to those which are scientifically ascertained. Dr. Stephen Smith, Texas A&M, reviewed his Akaushi research in his presentation, “The Importance of Akaushi Beef in the American Diet,” and Dr. Keith Bertrand, University of Georgia, helped members understand the importance of EPDs. with his “National Genetic Evaluation Programs for Beef Cattle.” Bill Fielding, CEO of HeartBrand Beef, talked about “the Greater Good Of Akaushi” and then led a panel discussion that included Austin Brown III, producer, Lanny Binger, feeder, Trevor Caviness, packer and Jordan Beeman, distributor. These gentlemen fielded an array of questions from production to consumer expectations.

The Akaushi beef was served in a variety of ways: Fajitas, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Barbeque Beef and Sausage, and a beautiful New York Strip Steak. There were numerous comments on the consistency, delicious flavor and tenderness of the different cuts of Akaushi beef.

The final evening we enjoyed a delightful steak dinner. The guest speaker was former Texas Ranger Clete Buckaloo, who is now the director of law enforcement for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Buckaloo spoke of the history of the Texas Rangers and his involvement and experiences with these iconic lawmen.

The first annual “Securing the Legacy” Award was presented to the Ronald and Joan Beeman family. They were honored for their commitment of protecting the genetics, promoting the breed, and for carrying on the tradition of how the breed was raised in Japan.

The meetings ended on Sunday morning with Country Church Service led by Pat Hail and a tour of the Heart- Brand Ranch Sunday afternoon.

Next year’s event will be held at the Hyatt “Lost Pines” near Bastrop, TX, Nov. 8-10, 2013. For more information, contact the American Akaushi Association at 830/540-3912 or email — WLJ