The Wichita Eagle reports Koch Agriculture’s Matador Cattle Co. is investing in herds of Akaushi cattle to test breeding potential in the American cattle industry.

Akaushi cattle are the source of high-priced Kobe beef which sells filets for $160 per pound and hamburgers for $4 per pound. Koch owns a herd of 40 Akaushi cattle at Spring Creek Ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas and is building herds in other parts of the state and Texas and Montana.

Koch plans to breed full and half-blood cattle producing the reddish-brown Akaushi cows and hybrid offspring with more valuable meat. Akaushi cattle have more marbling, giving it more taste and tenderness. Bill Fielding, CEO of HeartBrand Beef, says Kobe beef has less saturated fat and more monounsaturated fat, giving it a healthier profile than other options.

The Akaushi bred in America are the property of HeartBrand Beef who Koch contracts with to produce the cattle.

The reward for raising Akaushi cattle stands out at the grocery store. While they don’t cost any extra to raise, a majority of the cow’s beef (80 to 98 percent) grades prime, the highest grade, with the remaining beef grading choice. The difference for ranchers is about $30 per pound more than the average cattle.

Koch plans to have its herd at optimum size within five years with 300 to 500 full-blood cattle. They haven’t sold any Akaushi cattle for meat yet.

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Source: The Wichita Eagle