Terry Graybill has a vision for Cherokee County that began more than a year and half ago after attending a presentation by Doug Gross. The presentation showed the rural counties that were succeeding versus those that weren‚t. Those that were succeeding all had three things in common. First, they all had a four-lane highway, second they had a lake, and third they raised more cattle than their surrounding counties.
Graybill thought that Cherokee could not only raise more cattle but raise better cattle than the surrounding counties. He did some research on what the best cattle would be. He discovered the Morgan Ranch in Burwell, Neb. At this ranch they raise American Wagyu and Kobe beef. It is said to be the best, not only for the genetic qualities of marbling, but also in the way it is raised. They raise their cattle naturally on the ranch without hormones, animal by-products, and in natural and humane conditions.
For those who don't know, Wagyu and Kobe beef is the highest quality beef available in the world and the Morgan Ranch is one of only seven American cattle producers currently certified to export their product to Europe. They also ship their beef worldwide, including Japan, the original home of the Wagyu breed.
Graybill's plan was to purchase a stud bull, bring it back to Cherokee county and offer area cattlemen the chance to breed their cattle to improve the quality of beef in Cherokee county. When Graybill contacted the Morgan Ranch with his idea they sold him a young bull at a good price. Kent Timmerman is currently raising and caring for the bull at no charge.
On the American Prime Scale the very best is rated at a 5; Wagyu beef rates around nine or ten on the prime scale. Graybill is offering the bull for stud to Cherokee county cattle producers for only the cost of the artificial insemination process. Graybill has purchased the bull and is offering this deal because he has a plan to produce more and better quality cattle in Cherokee county.
Cherokee county cattlemen will have an opportunity to develop premium lines of cattle and with that comes the advantage of developing the pricing rules. Graybill wants to see Cherokee county cattlemen get premium money for their cattle. He would like to know that when Cherokee cattle go to market those buyers will know it came from Cherokee just by the quality of the cattle.
It would also be possible to develop a line of Cherokee county cattle that could be developed from start to finish, including packing and shipping, placing Cherokee county on the world map. First, however, it takes the step of developing more and better quality cattle in the county.
Ultimately, Graybill would like to see cattle being sold out of Cherokee county based on the reputation, integrity and work ethic he knows area cattlemen can offer. A start in this direction would be to encourage area cattlemen to raise all natural (hormone free) cattle. This practice along with the Wagyu genetics would increase the marketability of the cattle to world markets not just United States markets.
Graybill has also talked to those companies willing to purchase the high quality beef. He said they are ready willing and able to purchase the cattle when they become available for purchase. There is a definite market for this type of quality beef. Graybill has named the Wagyu bull, Reggie, after the football player Reggie White who Graybill says saved the Packers. He hopes this Reggie will be a step toward saving Cherokee county.
Anyone interested in breeding cattle with the Wagyu bull can contact the Cherokee Area Economic Development Office (CAEDEC) to sign up. Contact Mark Bushkamp or Terry Graybill for more information about their plans to help Cherokee county produce more and better cattle.