On the Farm At Caroland Farms…… is a new feature with Farm Manager Matt Rainey to find out what’s going on with the leading Wagyu farm and distributor in the Carolinas.

 Matt you guys have some really cool things going on with Clemson University and research.  Tell us about it.

It’s pretty exciting and in the infant stages.  There’s just not a lot of extensive research on this side of Japan of Wagyu and the health benefits.  You have to remember that Wagyu has only been in America since 1976. And it wasn’t until the early 90’s that the first full-blood Wagyu calf was born in the U.S.  Of course, those of us committed to the bloodline trace our cattle back to Japan and we only breed full-blood. There’s still so much we just don’t know about Wagyu full-blood in the U.S. and research will help us learn more and protect the DNA and bloodlines. So we are partnering with another farm in Charlotte and Clemson University’s Department of Agricultural Sciences (AS), which is part of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.

Why Clemson?

As a Land-grant university, Clemson is a natural choice because of the research already being done through its Ag Sciences department.  Land-grant universities and colleges have a rich history of teaching agriculture, science, engineering, and military sciences, so there is an established path of extensive research in each of these areas.  Clemson has been doing agricultural research and studies for a long time and by partnering with them we can draw on their historical research, resources, and students to do some ground-breaking research on this phenomenal specimen of beef cattle.  No one else is doing this so it’s pretty exciting.  

What is the focus of the research?

We already know that full-blood Wagyu has health benefits that other cattle don’t have.  However, there’s so much that’s not documented in the U.S. through quantitative and high-quality academic research.  Things like fat composition, specific acids and their development in the cattle, cholesterol impact and the nutritional footprint of these American-born Japanese cattle.  We have some research in the U.S., but not to any level of the depth a resource like Clemson can study over several years in a controlled environment. There are only about four universities in America doing this research so it’s really in the infant stages and Caroland is proud to support this kind of research and be part of the leading edge in our industry.

How will it work?

As I stated earlier, Caroland Farms and a farm in Charlotte have come together and we have sent some of our bulls to Clemson so they can replicate what we do on the farm.  We are taking some of our embryos down there and hopefully, we will get some really good data. Research at this level is nearly impossible to do on a working farm because we have our hands full running the farm, breeding, planting, harvesting and producing prized full-blood beef, semen, and embryos for the market.  Clemson has the resources and people to focus solely on the kind of published research from which every American Wagyu farm will benefit.  

This is your passion, isn’t it?

I’ve been working on this for about two to three years.  We’ve sent genetics to Clemson to raise cattle birth, weaning and yearling weights to grade them and see how well they did.  Hopefully, the research will morph into feeding full-blood Wagyu to students and athletes so they can research and study the health, or nutritional benefits as well.  We hope to study cattle from the point of social and economic aspects all the way up to the packing process, menu diet, food preparation and more. It will help small farms and impact the economy.  It will also help our industry by providing academic research with tangible results.

Matt Rainey is the Farm Manager for Caroland Farms the largest full-blood, Wagyu farm and supplier in the Carolinas.  You can contact Matt about buying semen, embryos, beef and more.

For more information contact:                                                                                                             Matt Rainey, Caroland Farms Manager 864.61.6309                                                                                   mrainey.carolandfarms@gmail.com                                                           

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