Local Farmer Raises Kobe Beef
WESTPHALIA - One Westphalia farmer does things a little differently at his place. Terri Neuner raises Kobe Beef, as opposed to angus beef. This process takes a bit longer.
"The objective is to grow them very slowly. Its helps with the tenderness, and takes a little longer," Neuner said.
He raises the cattle on two different farms. The first is where the cows are bred, and the second is where the older cows come. The trick with raising Kobe beef is their diet.
"We keep ours hormone free, drug free, but more than that, they have to be fed a diet, and on a diet that allows them to gain continually, but very slowly," Neuner said.
At Neuner's farm, he has many different pastures that he rotates the cattle through so the grazing stays fresh. It's the difference between having a salad with good lettuce and bad lettuce. Another foundation to growing Kobe Beef is the genetics.
Neuner said, "First thing you've got to do is get the genetics all right, and that takes a long time."
The Missouri Cattlemen's Association says that they were not aware that anyone in the state of Missouri raises Kobe Beef. They say that it would not be worth all the extra time and money. However, Neuner gets an extra 10-20 percent on all of the beef he sells. He sells to local restaurants in St. Louis and in Columbia. One of those establishments is Broadway Brewery in downtown Columbia. One of the chefs love Neuner's meat.
"When we make something with it, we get really excited about it and we want to tell everyone about it," said Aaron Polston, a chef at the Broadway Brewery.
Polston says that many people ask where they get their products from. Buying fresh, local, Kobe beef is very important to him.
"To be honest, the taste difference is exponential, like you can see the color, the taste, and the big thing is just supporting your local community," Polston said.
Neuner can tell the difference too.
"When you pair it with wine, it is tender and has a really good aftertaste," Neuner said.
It cooks differently than regular beef as well.
Neuner said, "You have to be careful when you cook it, you have to watch it because it cooks 30 percent faster."
Another difference is the cow itself. Neuner's diet keeps the cows smaller.
"They are not bred to be big, they are bred to be tasty," Neuner said.