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Japanese Food Journalists Provided Broad Look at U.S. Beef Industry

Japanese food journalists Satoko Fujisaka, left, and Mamiko Kume, center, help prepare chicken fried steak at the Farthing Ranch  in Wyoming (photo courtesy of Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

Japanese food journalists Satoko Fujisaka, left, and Mamiko Kume, center, help prepare chicken fried steak at the Farthing Ranch in Wyoming (photo courtesy of Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

From wide-open Wyoming cattle country to the nooks of New York City’s foodservice and fine dining districts, USMEF recently provided a team of Japanese food journalists with a broad view of the U.S. beef industry. Funding support for the media team, which was led by USMEF-Japan Consumer Affairs Senior Manager Tazuko Hijikata, was provided by the Beef Checkoff Program.

The team, made up of editors and photographers from prominent Japanese publications, began its visit in Colorado with tours of Marczyk Fine Foods and Tony’s Meats, where Chef Mick Rosacci presented a beef cooking demonstration and beef recipe ideas. That was followed by a trip to the Farthing Ranch in Iron Mountain, Wyoming.

Located about 45 miles northwest of Cheyenne, Farthing Ranch is a century-old cow-calf yearling operation with about 800 producing cows over 55,000 acres. The visit was arranged by the Wyoming Beef Council and provided the Japanese journalists with a look at one of the first stages of U.S. beef production.

Included in the visit was the opportunity to watch ranch workers move and handle cattle, including young calves. The visit concluded with a chuckwagon lunch featuring chicken fried steak.

Suzanne Strassburger of Strassburger Steaks explains high-quality cuts of U.S. beef to the team of Japanese food journalists

Suzanne Strassburger of Strassburger Steaks explains high-quality cuts of U.S. beef to the team of Japanese food journalists

One member of the Japanese team, Yuko Shimada, editor of Oceans magazine – a publication aimed at Japanese men in their 30s and 40s — told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that she had learned a lot from the experience and was impressed with how the Farthing family and employees care for their cattle.

“The quality of life is very high,” she said. “Ranchers, they are really proud of their work. I’m really amazed and I like the way they think.”

Shimada added that Japanese consumers don’t possess a lot of knowledge about U.S. beef, but predicated that cattle raised on an operation like Farthing Ranch would certainly be of high quality.

The team traveled to New York City for tours of meat shops, food distributors and restaurants. They also met with Suzanne Strassburger, president of Strassburger Steaks and creator of the Suzy Sirloin line of natural meat products, at the Hunt and Fish Club, a 9,000-square foot steakhouse in Midtown Manhattan.

Strassburger Steaks, a fifth-generation family business, specializes in Prime, dry-aged steaks and high-end cuts of Berkshire Pork. She discussed the unique attributes of U.S. beef with the team and provided them with ideas for using specific cuts.

While in New York, the team also visited the Eataly Marketplace and dined at one of its finest restaurants, Manzo Ristorante.