Meet the Farmers

Creating the best Wagyu in the UK is no easy feat. Find out how our talented and experienced team of dairy farmers, rearers, growers and fatteners go about obtaining that legendary status right here.

JOANNE HALL, INGLEWOOD EDGE FARM

We have been up in the hills on the 906-acre grassland farm at Inglewood Edge since 1947, based between Penrith and Wigton the stunning landscape rises in places to 1000 feet above sea level.

The farm’s green fields have proven to be great for the selection of livestock we have onsite including sheep, dairy cattle and of course the beautiful Wagyu – although we are phasing out some of these as we are keen to take on more and more Wagyu!

Currently we have around 320 Wagyu’s on the farm and they are a fantastic breed to work with; they are very calm, easy to handle and easy to manage. Wagyu cows suit our farming systems because of how flexible the breed can be, if the weather is wet the Wagyu can come earlier in the season, which suits them just fine. They are hardy to the weather and will do just as well in the heat as well as throughout the cold winters. Their lighter footing, in comparison to other breeds, means that we don’t have issues with ground poaching in the fields, which is another plus to us!

The beauty of the Warrendale Wagyu scheme is that we know what we will get for the cattle beforehand, providing that they put on the expected weights. The scheme in my eyes is very fair to each part of the process chain from farm to fork.

GEORGE FABI, KIRKBARROW FARM

For the last 25 years I have farmed across the lush landscape of Kirkbarrow Farm, set in 420 acres of the Lake District National Park.

On farm, we currently have 320 dairy cows alongside the new additions of 100 Wagyu cows. The Wagyu cows are a joy to care for, they are very friendly, easy going and well natured breed that are happy in all weathers!

The Wagyu scheme is great for farmers and cattle alike, it is a fair scheme for all involved - we know what we will get paid and where the Wagyu onwards from our farm. We enjoy being part of a high welfare process whereby all those involved treat the cattle with the same respect and welfare considerations. It is great to be part of something bigger and to know that the cows have the best care and treatment from farm to fork.

SIMON GRAHAM, HALLRIGG FARM

Hallrigg Farm consists of 200 acres, sitting north of Penrith in the Eden Valley of Cumbria. It has been farmed by my family for 3 generations since the 1960s to which myself and my parents are now holding the reigns!

We have the joy of having the Wagyu calves up until they are around 22 months old, taking on batches at a time and ensuring they are given tender love and care in their first few weeks and months with us. By the end of next year, we aim to have 360 Wagyu cows altogether onsite alongside our other livestock consisting of Texel sheep and winter cattle.

The Wagyu cows are so easy to work with, we love having them on the farm and each one of them is a character! The calves are strong and quick to get going, and as they mature, they are very quiet and gentle which is not the case for all breeds of cow. They look amazing in the fields as they grow and are easy to spot with their browny-black coats shining in the sun.

From a farming point of view, the Wagyu scheme works brilliantly for us, all the calves that we get come to us in excellent health and well cared for, there’s no poor farming standards in any part of the growing chain which is great to be a part of and has recently been reflected within the welfare award we won from Compassion in World Farming. We also get a guaranteed price for the rearing of the Wagyu cows which supports us as British Farmers in the current ever-changing landscape of uncertainty in the sector.

ALAN DICKINSON, NORTH NETHERSCALES

My family and I have a good diversity of livestock on our 200-acre farm between Penrith and Carlisle covering laying hens, meat goats, sheep and of course Wagyu cows. We developed taking on the Wagyu cows over some years, it was a new breed in the UK and this has been built up to approximately 120 cows on farm.

The Wagyu cows come to us between 18 and 21 months old from local grass-fed farms meaning we don’t have a large dent on the environment in transporting them from farm to farm. We ensure that the Wagyu has the finest quality food, this is developed with Warrendale Wagyu’s nutritionist and is made up of our own crushed barley, straw, rape meal, beet pulp and extra minerals, meaning the cows have a fantastic blend and balance of everything they need to produce a high-quality product.

The Wagyu cows have such a lovely temperament, we have had other breeds in the past that have been very jumpy and easy to scare. Being able to get through our jobs that we need to do with the cattle such as moving pens, TB testing and bedding up are made so much easier and with less stress on the cows as a result. The finished product is now sold online, in restaurants and shops and it has been wonderful to see our hard work in a final product on the shelves and to know it was our in put and attention to detail that means such a high quality product can be accessed by all.