The Drury family began with Waguy cattle in 2006 and now offers seedstock and beef
DCR Wagyu, a family owned and operated business, sells fullblood Wagyu seedstock cattle, embryos, and semen straws. They also raise Wagyu/Angus cross along with a smaller division of fullblood Wagyu for their beef program, and will begin selling their own beef by the end of this year. They currently operate a herd ranch in Strafford, Mo., as well as a ranch in Rogersville, Mo., off of Missouri 125. While their business offices have been operating out of Cape Girardeau, Mo., they are in the process of moving those offices to the Rogersville, Mo., area.
With a focus on breeding Wagyu cattle, DCR Wagyu has 10 fullblood Wagyu breeding bulls (some of which are for sale), 40 fullblood Wagyu cows and 130 Angus cows in their herd. The fullblood herd consists of about 80 percent black Wagyu and about 20 percent red Wagyu cattle. One of the strategies used for growing the DCR Wagyu fullblood herd is transferring fullblood Wagyu embryos into their Angus recipients. For those embryos that do not attach, then a full blood Wagyu bull breeds the Angus to produce cross cattle for a division of the DCR Wagyu beef program.
According to Bryan Drury, who manages the business and marketing side of the operation, there are several benefits to working with the Wagyu breed. They have a very calm temperament, have great breed-back percentages, receive a premium above market prices, and their marbled meat is amazing.
“The melting point of the Wagyu fat is lower than common breeds of beef cattle, the fat is healthier, and the taste of the meat is unbeatable,” said Bryan. The mono-unsaturated fatty acid to saturated fatty acid ratio in Wagyu beef is higher than in other beef, making it a healthier choice. The meat is also more tender and has a better flavor than other beef due to its fatty acid composition, amount of marbling, and marbling distribution. The calving ease is another huge benefit to using Wagyu bulls, according to Bryan. This saves money and veterinary bills and results in heifers breeding back earlier.
“We’re not going for average. We have high standards and are accomplishing the highest quality,” Bryan said.
The venture began in 2006, when Bryan’s father, Jerry Drury, bought the land, which was originally an alfalfa farm. The fields have mostly been converted to high quality pasture while a portion of the alfalfa farm has been kept for growing their own alfalfa hay for the cattle, along with grass hay and a corn-based feed. For a while, the Drury’s raised Angus cattle as more of a hobby than a business. They have been in the Wagyu business now for four years and have found the breed to be very pleasing to care for. Bryan’s brother, Patrick Drury, is also a part of the family business, helping with strategy and promotion of the premium Wagyu product lines.
Bryan’s nephew, Brent Drury, has been managing the herd and the pastures since the family first entered into the Wagyu business. In fact, he worked on the property back when it was still an alfalfa farm. He and Travis Daniels, who has been working with the family for about five years, rotate the feeding pastures so the herd doesn’t deplete the resources of an entire pasture. No growth hormones or any unnatural substances are added to the feed. The feed ration is all-natural and scientifically-balanced based on feeding methods and practices used by Japanese Wagyu farmers – Japan is where the Wagyu breed originated. DCR Wagyu consults with nutritionist Dr. Jimmy Horner, who is based out of Texas and has been traveling to Japan twice yearly to learn Japanese feeding and husbandry practices for Wagyu.
DCR Wagyu sells their bulls and seedstock cattle by way of private treaty. One of Bryan’s marketing strategies is selling bulls to local farmers, and offers a calf buy-back program for his business.
“We advertise mostly online and market by visiting with farmers/ranchers to discuss the breed’s benefits,” said Bryan. Anyone interested in more details on the Wagyu breed, what DCR Wagyu has to offer, and finding contact information can visit the company’s website at www.DCRwagyu.com. According to Bryan, there is high demand for their products, and they have received several phone calls from interested parties in the area lately after putting up a large sign that can be seen right off of Missouri 125.
As for the future, Bryan said, “We will be in the seedstock business, as well as the meat and genetics businesses.” He said one of their goals is to improve “what can be accomplished with Wagyu and to provide the highest quality products.”
Bryan believes the Wagyu breed is becoming more and more popular throughout the area, thus necessitating the enlargement of their operation.
“Based on the amount of interest we’ve received, we are working on increasing the herd,” said Bryan.
He said due to the benefits of the Wagyu breed and the superior quality of their meat, there is and will continue to be an increase in demand. As more people sign up with the American Wagyu Association to become breeders, the industry continues to grow.
“This is going to take off, and DCR Wagyu will be here to provide the many amazing product lines. We are excited to be a part of this excellent breed,” Bryan said.