Wagyu International is owned by Steve Bennett. He was Executive Officer with the Australian Wagyu Association until ten years ago and resides in Sydney.
With a diverse background in livestock, he has held leading roles in academia, research, production and corporate. After completing a B Sc Agric degree at KwaZulu-Natal University, specializing in Animal Science, with a bias for genetics, Steve lectured at Gwebi Agricultural College, outside Harare, in Zimbabwe where he progressed as Head of the Animal Husbandry Department. He had a keen interest in the Hereford stud and ran a cell of a national beef crossbreeding research trial which generated Africander, Mashona and Sussex pure and crossbred progeny for the second phase on Matopos Research Station.
His interest in practical management led him to the role of Livestock Manager for Donnington Farms Pty Ltd breeding Angus, Brangus and Tuli seedstock and commercial terminal Charolais over criss-crossed Angus with Tuli. Donnington Farms had an annual production bull sale and stock were finished in an on-farm feedlot for export to the European Union. He balanced the on-farm rations using stubble for roughage in the high-energy diet. Endorsement was given when winning the hoof and hook section at Kadoma Agricultural Show (formerly Gatooma Hartley).
Steve left the land after the "winds of change" and took over the Animal Health business for Bayer (formerly Hoechst) in Zimbabwe. Whilst a supplier, he served on the council of the Society for Animal Production and was a visiting lecturer to Gwebi Agricultural College, Blackfordby Tobacco Training Institute and Animal Breeders Co-op on beef husbandry and animal health programmes. He wrote a number of articles of topical interest and the economics of beef production in The Farmer and The Financial Gazette.
Promotion to Lusaka to take over as Head of Agriculture for Bayer (formerly Hoechst) in neighbouring countries Zambia and Malawi provided interesting opportunities. His keen interest in cattle resulted in positive outcomes for subsistence farmers in areas of Zambia which were afflicted with the ravages of testse fly and East Coast Fever during collaborations with Zambian Government agencies.
After five years, Steve followed his Australian roots and brought his young family over. After a span of seventeen years in agriculture with a Swiss corporation he moved to Armidale for the Agricultural Business Research Institute and was contracted to administer the Australian Wagyu Association.
Steve reported to Dr Joe Grose, President of the Australian Wagyu Association. Joe introduced Japanese digital imaging of carcasses and the foundations were put into place for this to be integrated into Wagyu BREEDPLAN in 2015. The Australian Wagyu Association is at the forefront of the evaluation of Wagyu genetics globally outside Japan and they and the Japanese are the only two Wagyu associations that provide single step genomic evaluation..
After leaving the AWA as Executive Officer, Steve founded "Wagyu International" as he recognised at that time that there was a void of information for the growing Wagyu industry outside of Japan, Australia and USA. This website was established in 2013 to serve as a reference for the Wagyu industry outside Japan and incorporated the history of Wagyu around the globe. He attended the Wagyu World Congress that was held in Queensland in 2015 and the initial Technical meeting in 2016 but operates independently now.
Steve's translation of the Kenicho Ono books gave him another greater depth when evaulating the global Wagyu herd. Steve exports Wagyu semen and embryos from the diverse Wagyu breeders in Australia. He was given responsibility for distribution of Quality Genetics International for Europe and Mayura Pioneer and Circle8Bulls Q122 semen was launched by Wagyu Genetics Jerathe in 2020.
When he couldn't find a direct association of marbling with genetic merit of elite Wagyu, Steve unravelled the importance of nutrition throughout the process. A review of the Japanese Feed Manual of 2008 gave a thorough understanding of the principles of raising Wagyu. He reviews the latest research results from Japan because refinements are always being evaluated. This accumulation of data allows practical recommendations to be given globally for diverse operations which range from grass to grain finishing. The emphasis is on integrating backgrounding on the pasture into the operation for optimal carcass quality.