Reinventing Ranching With Wagyu Beef
Don’t have time to read? Listen here:
Patrick Montgomery went from ranger to rancher in the span of a few short months.
His story is unlikely, but inspiring. I had the privilege of interviewing him on the Cash Cow Farmer Podcast recently, and I’ll be summarizing his story here in the rest of this post.
From Army Ranger to Rancher
Patrick Montgomery dropped out of school his sophomore year and joined the army in 2010. He bounced around a few places but was deployed soon afterwards to Afghanistan.
A month after deployment, his brother-in-law was killed in Afghanistan. It shaped Patrick into the ranger he became and the man he is now.
He eventually did a second deployment with the U.S. Special Forces Army Rangers. Army Rangers are considered the direct action contingency of the Army, so they work hand in hand with all special operations in the other branches of the military. As you can imagine, being a ranger taught Patrick the work ethic and principles that would later aid his efforts as a businessman in the civilian world.
About a year before his end-of-service date, he was debating whether he should re-enlist. His wife suggested veterinarian work, because he loves animals, and when he did research he found tons of other fields to study in that space. He loved what he did in the Army, but with all the politics floating around the military he decided to get out, and he found a second calling: animal science.
Initially, his plan was to go to university to become a veterinarian, but he soon realized that wasn’t something he wanted to pursue long-term. He discovered his two greatest passions were cattle and business, and he started working on an MBA.
He had a buddy who’d been out of the Army for four years and had set up a successful wagyu beef operation in Austin, TX. The man was slaughtering about one head a week, and since the meat is expensive, he was doing well for himself.
His farming operation inspired Patrick to do the same. He began to raise cattle and sell wagyu beef, and he’s now on the cusp of beginning a business that couldn’t be much further away from what he was doing just a few years ago.
Q&A w/ Patrick Montgomery
What’s the difference between the beef we’re used to seeing and wagyu beef?
The main difference is in the marbling. It’s actually a genetic mutation that the Japanese have collected on for 100 plus years. Wagyu beef has a lot more omega-3s and omega-6s because of the mutation, which strips off hydrogen normally deposited by saturated fat. This is why a lot of heart-healthy people don’t eat beef, but are more open to eating wagyu.
Wagyu is also a super tender cut with a very different flavor profile from American and European beef as well.
Does the stress level of cattle at death-time affect the taste of the meat?
Supposedly, the stress hormone in cattle taints the meat, and some species are more prone to it than others. There’s not a lot of science that goes behind that, but I believe that you can taste the difference when the animal is treated humanely. There isn’t research to back it up, but I feel like I can taste the difference.
How are you going to take on Arnold Schwarzenegger now that he’s telling people to eat less meat?
That’s the great thing about wagyu. There’s a lot of research into it being much lower in saturated fat. It has the fat you want to consume on a regular basis.
What are you looking at doing right now?
Currently, I’m applying for the Missouri Value Added Grant. That will help me out a lot.
Side note: As a farmer, if you haven’t heard of federal value added grants, check them out. The worst that happens is you don’t get it, but the best is that you get $200,000 from the U.S. government that you don’t have to pay back.
I’m working on getting some sales in the rural Kansas City area. I’m shooting for February-March of 2017 for getting my beef on the market.
How can people get ahold of you if they want to reach out and give you a ton of money?
I’m currently building my website. For now, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hop on social media and search for KC Cattle Company.