We're delighted to share this news about the forthcoming Wagyu Revolution Conference...


Close to 400 delegates representing the complete beef industry production chain are gathering in the NSW Hunter Valley, Australia to learn more about the Wagyu breed which is generating superb eating experiences and health benefits for consumers plus unprecedented premium prices for cattle producers.

The conference runs on May 3 and 4 at Crowne Plaza at Lovedale, near Pokolbin.

The world’s leading researcher on the ‘healthiness’ of marbled Wagyu beef, Dr Stephen Smith of Texas A & M, will present his latest findings which indicate Wagyu beef contains extraordinary amounts of monounsaturated ‘healthy’ oleic acid and this increases with marbling and days on feed.

World-wide demand for Australian Wagyu beef has led to a boost in prices for cattle producers using Wagyu genetics. At present a 400 kg steer from traditional breeds could make just over $3/kg or around $1200. A Wagyu sired steer of the same weight could bring close to $6/kg or around $2400, a 100% premium.

This premium has generated a rapid move by cattle producers to breed Wagyu. At the conference Australian Wagyu Association’s CEO Graham Truscott will reveal growth levels and predictions for future growth which will see Wagyu becoming a major influence in the Australian beef cattle herd.

“Membership has grown 32% and registrations of cattle by 20% over the past 12 months and registrations are predicted to triple in the next three years,” he said.

Healthiness in all foods is a major focus, and none more so than at the premium pricing level.  Customers willing and able to pay for the best expect the best, and that often equates to health benefits.  

In Australia our often diet conscious customers have been educated to appreciate low fat in all food types, particularly animal products like beef.  But Wagyu has high levels of marbling fat which clearly deliver the outstanding juiciness and flavor for which it has become famous – and it is claimed to be healthy fat.  So could it be that the world’s best steak might also be good for our health?  Now that would be a consumer’s dream!  

Dr Smith is a Regents Professor of meat science in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University and a member of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Food Science and Technology and the Intercollegiate Faculty of Nutrition.

He received his bachelor’s degree in biology at California State College, Bakersfield, and his doctorate in metabolic physiology from the University of California, Davis.  Before joining Texas A&M University, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Research Chemist at the renowned USDA Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center, Nebraska. Dr Smith’s primary contribution to the animal sciences is the documentation of the nutritional and genetic regulation of the concentration of oleic acid in animal tissues.  

Dr. Smith demonstrated that the concentration of oleic acid, a healthful monounsaturated fatty acid, increases with time on a grain-based diet in feedlot cattle.  Dr. Smith developed assays for the activity of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD; responsible for producing oleic acid) in tissues of livestock species, and was the first to report SCD activities and gene expression in bovine and porcine tissues.  He documented that adipose tissue from Japanese Wagyu cattle has higher SCD activity and gene expression than adipose tissue from domestic U.S. cattle, which provided strong evidence for the genetic regulation of SCD gene expression in livestock species.

Dr. Smith published some of the earliest research to document that Japanese Black cattle, known for their ability to accumulate marbling, also had unusually high concentrations of oleic acid in their muscle and adipose tissues. Beginning in 1991, Dr. Smith began collaborative research with scientists at Kyoto University in Japan, which lasted for over 10 years. 

Jim Bloom senior and Natasha Bloom are representing the Wagyu Breeders' Association at the conference.