We are a fourth generation family owned and operated farm and ranch with a history that started in the late 1800’s when K.L. Wiens “jumped ship to America.” While the machinery, crop yields, and cattle numbers have changed, our passion to make a living feeding people has not. From our beginning, cattle and wheat have been the heartbeat of our operation.
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While most of what we do revolves around these two operations, we also grow grain sorghum and feed sorghum for our cattle to graze in the fall. We also put up most of our own hay and straw to be fed in the winter months. In the fall, we buy young calves and sell them as feeder cattle in the late winter to early spring. We also buy calves mid-winter and feed them till the spring grasses grow for them to graze all summer. There can be from 400 to 1000 steers on our farm during the year.
Our Wagyu side of things came in early 2015 when my love for cattle collided with my love for cooking and a good steak. I studied the breed and liked what I saw; but what really set the hook was a taste of the juiciest, richest, best-tasting piece of meat I had ever sunk my teeth into. When it finally clicked that I could raise these cattle I pinned my ears back and I set out to find out how I could make it work.
Jumping into the Wagyu breed with no prior knowledge of Wagyu proved to have many hurdles, but I was determined to learn as much as I could in order to be successful and produce a top quality product. From the beginning, my philosophy was to not cut corners. I wanted to be the best. It would have been easier, cheaper, and much faster to go the route of the crossbreed “American Wagyu”, also known as 'American Style Kobe' but fullblood Wagyu has higher marbling and is more tender so I set out to raise a fullblood Wagyu herd.
I found successful and established men in the Wagyu breed who held those same ideals and I picked their brains till they were tired of me. I connected with Don Brown who has been in the breed nearly since its conception in America. He has worked closely with one of the best Wagyu breeders in Japan named Shogo Tekada and has used his model of breeding to produce a balanced, very high marbling and tender beef. Because there are so few fullblood Wagyu in the U.S., a registered fullblood animal does not come cheap. The best route to start my Wagyu herd was through embryo transfer. I bought 30 Angus cows and transferred some of Don’s best fullblood Wagyu embryos into them so I could start the base of my herd with the best genetics I could find. I also learned and followed as much as I could from Dr. Horner. He is a nutritionist who is the “go to” Wagyu nutritionist not only in the U.S. but also In Japan. Before Wagyu was even in the U.S., Dr. Horner was traveling to Japan to help formulate rations and improve the health of Wagyu. He tells me exactly what I need to be feeding my cattle and how I need to be taking care of them in order to reach the full potential of this wonderful breed.
While Wiens Wagyu does not have a long history in the breed, we have surrounded ourselves with experts who know Wagyu inside and out. In some ways, starting with a clean slate has been good. I am able to start my herd along side where the best Wagyu breeders are at today. I know there is no such thing as an original idea so I have learned from the best and in turn I can give the best to my customers.