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Minnesota Ranch Produces Wagyu Beef
Southern Minnesota beef supplier Fellers Ranch offers customers high-quality beef from a breed that’s hard to find in the United States - Wagyu cattle.
Fellers Ranch began in early 2021 when five friends (the “fellers”) saw an opportunity to combine their skill sets and backgrounds to start a Wagyu beef business.
“My partners and I knew we wanted to start a top-quality, farm-to-table beef business,” says Feller’s partner Don Savelkoul. “We were confident that people in this area would be interested in purchasing healthy, locally raised, high-quality beef if given the opportunity.”   
After several years of researching the best grass-fed beef options, the team settled on Wagyu cattle, a Japanese breed known for its tenderness.
Explains Savelkoul, “By coincidence, a relatively large herd of Wagyu was being raised by one of our friends (now a partner) for a rancher out of Wyoming. With the Wagyu being raised down the road, we were able to learn more about this special breed. More importantly, we were able to taste Wagyu for the first time ourselves - and it was excellent, by far the best steaks we’d ever had.”
It happened that this rancher was approaching retirement and looking for a buyer for his cattle. The partners decided to step up and start with that herd
Savelkoul believes Wagyu beef has some key selling points compared to conventional livestock options.
“Wagyu beef is much more flavorful and tender than conventional feedlot beef, and it is far healthier. A steak knife is seldom used with Wagyu, as it is easily cut by a fork. The health benefits are based on the higher percentage of good cholesterol compared to other beef.” 
This specialty breed requires an extra level of care. While feedlot cattle take about 15 mos. to get to slaughter weight, Wagyu typically take 30 mos. or longer. “That’s because they eat a more balanced diet,” says Savelkoul. “They’re fed much more hay and other fiber, while feedlot cattle receive much more grain. The result is extreme marbling, which creates fat within the meat itself, rather than on the outside of the meat.”
Today, Fellers Ranch prides itself on handling as much of its beef production onsite as possible.
“Most ranches are not involved with the processing, marketing, sales, delivery, and distribution of meat,” says Savelkoul. “We grow the hay, oats, and corn that feeds our cattle; we raise the cattle; we butcher the cattle, and we sell and deliver the meat. We can trace every cut of meat back to the calf that it came from.”
Those living in or around Minnesota can sample Fellers Ranch beef throughout the region’s restaurants or purchase it for cooking at home through the retailers specified on the company website. It’s also possible to order online for overnight delivery across the country.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fellers Ranch, 100 William Ave., Conger, Minn. 56020 (ph 507-265-3340; info@fellersranch.com; www.fellersranch.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5