KITASATO UNIVERSITY

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Efforts Towards Resource-Recycling Based Livestock Breeding(Kitasato University School of Veterinary Medicine Field Science Center Yakumo Experimental Farm)

Kitasato University School of Veterinary Medicine Field Science Center Yakumo Experimental Farm is located in the Southwest region of Hokkaido in Japan. Located in a typical Hokkaido area with rich natural surrounding near the Yurappu River, more than 100,000 salmon run up annually, with predators including eagles and bears populating the area. Known to be the cradle land of the dairy industry in Hokkaido, numerous ranches surround the region as well.

Yakumo Experimental Farm conducts a different practical method from others. All 270 of the beef cattle bred at the ranch are only fed pasture grown inside the barn. In essence, they are attempting a livestock breeding technique based on resource-recycling of natural energy given by Earth.

Instead of regarding the barn as an enclosed production site, they conceptualize a breeding site for both nature and cows run by channels of soil, plants, and cow excrements. Designating mother nature as the supply source of energy, energy is absorbed through the plants growing on natural land, which is then returned back to the soil through excrements. The excrements are then broken down by microorganisms, allowing for a sustained production by providing healthy soil conditions. In other words, this is an effort to harmonize human food production with the work amounting to billions of years done by mother nature.

The "Kitasato Yakumo Beef" brand is distributed as a crossing between the Japanese short-horned breed that grows well by consuming grass, and the meat-dairy dual purposed French-born Saler breed. The end result is a low fat red meat enriched with nutrients. Shipments of the "Kitasato Yakumo Organic Beef" started in the fall of 2011, maintained under strict feeding management. However, the current ratings are low in the general market since they are on opposite ends with the luxurious marbled-beef. Thus, they are working to establish a new outlook on food within the society itself, and pioneer in a new route in distribution/sales for the value of Kitasato Yakumo beef to be rated.

Just like the saying "Shinofuni," a harmonized production is only made possible by resource-recycling that interweaves the characteristics of the local region. On the other hand, production based off of global economic evaluations will only address yield and cost, ultimately resulting a violent production that will potentially destroy earth. No way will this prove to be beneficial for future generations. Yakumo Experimental Farm's objectives are rooted in such future visions.

As a side note, the name "Yakumo" is derived from a song sung by Izumo, one of the gods in Japanese mythology, towards his wife and family for protection. The 17th Lord of Owari Tokugawa Yoshikatsu, founder of the region, named the land as so.

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