AWA Prefix: GIN
From commencement in 1998, Ginjo Wagyu has focused on the production of profitable fullblood feeders, superior breeding stock selected both on feeder performance and adaptation to Australian conditions, and the recovery of rare Japanese Black fullblood genetics.
Operations commenced about seven years ahead of any open fullblood feeder market in Australia. A foundation target is the production of fullblood feeders capable of competing at Japanese carcass competition level – the premier world benchmark, and all breeding references Japanese practice. Premium Ginjo seedstock are marketed internationally under the MarbleMax™ registered trademark.
A related target is production of ‘balanced’ fullblood breeding stock supporting optimised meat quality and financial returns in fullbloods; with increased growth and maintained marbling in Wagyu crossbred production. This addresses the increasingly problematic (in terms of challenged genetic diversity) and largely Western tradition of relying on small, highly inbred Hyogo/Tajima Wagyu sires for marbling and depending solely on dam genetics for other key performance traits.
Ginjo principal Mike Buchanan holds a Master of Agriculture degree from the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, NSW, among a variety of rural science, communications and marketing awards. His ‘other’ career spans over 30 years in multi-national corporate marketing and communications.
He is a current (2016-17) director of the Australian Wagyu Association and a former director of the Australian national and international organic certifier, NASAA. He co-founded the Australian Wagyu Forum and related website in 2007 (with Takao Suzuki of Blue Mountains Wagyu). This site is among the most popular international Wagyu producer sites on the Web.
Profitable fullblood feeder cattle was the key initial target of 100% fullblood Ginjo production, with an emphasis on low-cost achievement of high yearling sale weights to support optimum feeder returns. Early production was fed on retained ownership with David Blackmore’s programs at ICM Peechelba from about 2002.
A pre-2005 emphasis on high Tajima fullblood feeders was abandoned on analysis of feeding outcomes, replaced with a sharp focus on enhanced early growth based on maternal selection and targeting higher terminal weights, with maintained marbling. Feeder sales to AACo Aronui feedlot at Dalby commenced in 2005, and continued through 2012. Carcass feedback has been the most influential criteria in selection decisions since 2003.
Genetics, seedstock and feeders from the core breeder group of about 200 have attracted international attention, with sales in the EU, USA, RSA, NZ, and the Middle East.
Australian adaptation objectives in Ginjo breeding include the production of improved ‘growth progeny’ without supplementation under normal Australian grazing conditions. Calves are intended to be capable of finishing on feed with high marbling at superior weights, or be suitable for retention for breeding without routine supplementation on the basis of superior maternal qualities. The operation runs 150-250 fullblood breeders (depending on production cycle and seasons), at properties at Tea Gardens and Gloucester, NSW, Australia. Fifty/sixty breeding bulls are sold annually, along with drafts of breeding heifers and PTIC females. The herd was first recorded within AWA Group Breedplan in 2010, with recorded animals back to 2004, and is also EU market accredited.
The herd foundation group consisted of eight fullblood embryos were purchased in 1998, with six heifers forming the breeder nucleus in 1999. Five adult females, were added in 2000. These included two descendants of the exceptional Miyazaki prefecture cow, Yuriko, whose lineage now continues through numerous Ginjo females. Early Itozakura strength in many pedigrees ensured good foundation frame scores.
Tottori/Kedaka infusion commenced in 2007, and the herd has since benefited from the addition of rare, threatened Japanese Black genetics. Outside Japan, few Japanese Black herds worldwide include such a diversity of prefectural genetics.
What Bird Is That ? – The Yatagarasu Story
The three-legged raven of Japanese mythology, Yatagarasu, depicted in Ginjo Wagyu advertising, symbolises divine guidance, re-birth and rejuvenation. It is the official symbol of the Japanese Football Association. Throughout Asia, mythic three-legged ravens are associated with the sun (and, therefore, life).In Inuit (and much Native American) mythology, the raven is responsible for light and the birth of the world. In the Ginjo context, the Yatagarasu acknowledges Japanese guidance.