How it all began
The humble beginning of our beef story….
Steve and Michelle, founders of Mid Lake Wagyu, began their humble story with no beef experience at all!
Steve had spent his entire childhood crop farming for his dad as well as for his best friend’s father. So, thankfully he had full knowledge of equipment, hay, silage and feed in general. At least from the extent that he knew how to ‘make it’.
In 2010 they acquired a Black Angus steer. They were both thrilled to have the opportunity to raise a steer for themselves, but had no idea what was involved.
Since that experience, Steve and Michelle decided they liked the idea of raising beef free of hormones, antibiotics, steroids and no pink slime or anything else that is detrimental to our health or our kid’s health. In 2012 they decided to get two more steers and raise them from bottle babies. They learned A LOT! Steve and Michelle loved raising the calves and at one point had about 8 bottle babies they were raising for themselves, family and friends.
Then in 2014, the founders discussed how much they had learned about feed, fencing and the overall handling of cattle; and how much they enjoyed raising the animals! Knowing the origin and contents of what they were eating because extremely important to them - and they never wanted to return to “mystery meat.”
During our discussion, Michelle suggested they begin a business around beef. But not common beef. They wanted to raise super special cattle. Their core mission, values and quality standards would not allow for anything less.
They began researching the Wagyu breed, knowing that was the MOST special cattle in the world. Both began discussions with other ranches and farm owners and decided that the Wagyu breed was the one for them.
It certainly hasn’t been an easy road! They decided from the start that we were only going to do 100% full blood Wagyu. We began by purchasing an entire herd of surrogate mom cows at various ages. Then when most of our girls were old enough we purchased our first 20 embryos. In the US Wagyu cows can no longer be imported from Japan. So, your only options would be to purchase live animals which is totally cost prohibitive! Or, you can use surrogate cows which have no relation whatsoever to your embryo and ask that surrogate to grow a baby for you. This is what we did! Our momma surrogates consist of mostly gentle Hereford cows that give birth each year to a baby who has no genetic relationship. They raise their babies with lots of love and care. Of course we have some 100% full blood girls now who we are breeding…fast forward to 2019.
Also, it takes 28-30 months to raise a Wagyu steer since they are very slow growing animals vs an Angus who can generally be processed at 18 months of age. Again, it’s been a long road of years waiting and nurturing and feeding and we’re finally here.
Our animals are raised in the front of our home on 11 acres as well as at our larger farm 30 minutes south of where we live around Skaneateles Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. We make our own hay, corn and silage without pesticides and our cows are living in two idyllic setting free of stress with lots of attention and plenty of space to be happy.
Literally Farm to Table….Snout to Tail!