Our Herd

Our herd of cattle is unique containing two different breeds: Red Devon and Wagyu. Each breed has a different unique flavor and characteristics. Below you will find a brief history of each breed along with information about our herd make-up.

Red Devon

Red Devon, also referred to as North Devon, is a cattle breed that originated in southwestern England in the county of Devon. They were primarily native to the counties of Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, and Somerset. Amazingly, evidence has shown that the Romans noticed these red cattle when they occupied this area in 55 B.C. This ancient breed has a long history in England that was culminated by Francis Quartly and his family who at the potential downfall of the breed in 1794 focused their efforts on the improvement of the Devon breed.

131 years after Columbus discovered North America, Red Devons were one of the earliest purebred breeds to be introduced to North America. One bull and three heifers were brought from Devonshire to Edward Winslow, the agent of Plymouth Colony, on a Pilgrim ship named Charity in 1623. After their introduction, Devon cattle were seen as far as Florida during the 1700 and 1800’s as well as west being used as draft animals on the Oregon Trail. After a decline in the demand for multipurpose cattle in the 1950s there was a split in Devon communities. One focused on the selection for characteristics optimal for beef production while the other stuck with the selection of beef, milk, and draft animals. Throughout their history in the United States this breed of cattle has been preserved from the industrialization of beef production. During and after World War II feedlots were introduced and utilized for cattle finishing, but the Devon breed was saved from this dishonest industry. Cattle finishing was instead in the hands of Devon breeders ensuring their quality.

Red Devon cattle are a medium sized breed; mature cows range in size from 950 to 1,300 pounds and mature bulls range in size from 1,700 to 2,200 pounds. They are very docile animals known for their red ruby coat that is thick and curly during the winter season and short and smooth during the summer season. Having the thickest hide of any cattle breed in the world, Red Devons are very adaptable to changing climates and temperature extremes. The combination of their ability to thrive on rough forage and hardiness makes Devon cattle an excellent breed to finish on grass. Possessing very well-formed udders, Red Devons are naturally maternal with amazing milk production abilities.

In our herd we have a variety of Red Devons in our seedstock as well as finishers. Finishing our Devons on grass and grain we do not utilize feedlots but rather hand feed our cattle at home. Please visit our finishing page for more information!


Wagyu originate from Northern China and are documented to have migrated to Japan via the Korean peninsula in the second century A.D. In Japan they were used as draft animals selected for their endurance to assist with rice cultivation, mining, forestry, and transportation activities. This selection promoted the development of animals with more intramuscular fat cells (marbling) which acted as an energy source. Until 1868 eating beef was not popular in Japan due to religious reasons. In 1868 the Meiji Restoration occurred and the new government introduced Western food habits and culture into Japan allowing for the consumption of farm animals. This resulted in an increase in cattle breeders and a demand for beef production. To fulfill this demand the Japanese government imported several foreign breeds to increase their production and genetically improve local cattle breeds. These imported breeds included Devon, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Aberdeen Angus, Shorthorn, Simmental, and Holstein.

There are four types of Wagyu: Japanese Shorthorn, Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, and Japanese Polled. Wagyu were first introduced to the United States in 1976 when four bulls, two black and two brown, were shipped from Japan by Morris Whitney. These bulls were used for research and then bought by Wagyu Breeders Inc. It was not until 1993 that female Wagyu were brought to the U.S. by the Mannett Group. This meant that prior to 1993 all Wagyu offspring were crosses with other breeds to create percentage animals.

A Fullblood Wagyu is 100% Wagyu. When a Fullblood Wagyu is bred to another cattle breed the offspring is called an F1and is 50% Wagyu and 50% another breed. With subsequent breeding of the crossbred Wagyu animals with Fullblood Wagyu the offspring increase in the percentage of Wagyu breed. Once up to 93.75% Wagyu and above the animal is considered a Purebred Wagyu animal. This breeding scheme allows for another breed to influence the characteristics that may not be very desirable in Wagyu such as their milking abilities, carcass weights, or calving size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Busboom, Reeves 1997 

Wagyu is best known for its incredible marbling that exceeds the USDA standards of prime quality. The Japanese standards of grading integrate a Meat Quality Grade and a Yield Grade to grade an individual head of cattle. The Meat Quality Grade ranges from 1-5 and includes an analysis of the following qualities: beef marbling, meat color and texture, and fat color and quality. The Beef Marbling Score examines the percentage of intramuscular fat present in the meat. This number ranges from 1-12, 8-12 corresponding to a 5-quality grade. The Yield Score is an estimate of the percentage of edible cuts in an animal and ranges from A-C. A being the highest score represents a yield estimated percentage of 72% or higher, B represents 69%-71%, and C represents a yield estimated percentage under 69%.

In our herd we have a range of percentage Wagyu cattle as well as Purebloods and Fullbloods. Although we do not produce A5 beef according to the Japanese scale, our beef exceeds prime quality in terms of the US scale.

Devon References:
Cove Creek Farm. “30 Interesting Facts about Red Devon Cattle.”, December 31, 2019, https://www.covecreekfarm.com/interesting-facts-about-red-devon-cattle/. “History in England.”, https://www.devoncattle.com/history-in-england/. Norris, Andrew. “Breeds of Livestock – Devon Cattle.”, May 30, 1996, http://afs.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/devon/index.html/. Red Devon, USA. “Devon Cattle.”, https://reddevonusa.com/devon_cattle. The Livestock Conservancy. “Red Devon Cattle.”, https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/beef-devon.

Wagyu References:
American Wagyu Association. “Breed Info.”, 2021, https://wagyu.org/breed-info/. American Wagyu Association. “What is Wagyu?”, 2021, https://wagyu.org/breed-info/what-is-wagyu/. Busboom, J. R., and J. J. Reeves. “Japanese Meat Grading.” Washington State University 3rd Symposium, 1997. Global Ag Media. “Cattle Breeds – Wagyu.”, https://www.thecattlesite.com/breeds/beef/49/wagyu/. Lone Mountain Wagyu. “A History of Wagyu Beef – Infographic.”, January 11, 2018, https://blogs.lonemountainwagyu.com/a-history-of-wagyu-beef-infographic. Lone Mountain Wagyu. “The History of Wagyu in America.”, January 11, 2018, https://blogs.lonemountainwagyu.com/the-history-of-wagyu-in-america. Namikawa, Kiyoshi. “Breeding History of Japanese Beef Cattle and Preservation of Genetic Resources as Economic Farm Animals.” Washington State University 3rd Symposium, 1997. Rocking 711 Ranch. “Wagyu History Outside Japan.”, http://www.rocking711.com/wagyu-history-outside-japan/. Twinwood Cattle Company. “Wagyu History in Japan.”, https://twinwoodcattle.com/breed-history/wagyu-history-japan. Wagyu International. “Wagyu Around the World – Japan.” http://www.wagyuinternational.com/global_Japan.php. Wagyu International. “Wagyu Around the World – USA.” http://www.wagyuinternational.com/global_USA.php.

Meat Grading Reference:
Busboom, J. R., and J. J. Reeves. “Japanese Meat Grading.” Washington State University 3rd Symposium, 1997.

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