Way back in 2006, the Coey family made their tree change to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in the pretty little town of Maleny. We purchased a 56 acre grazing property with lovely views but in need of a bit of TLC. Our three kids attended the local school and my wife worked in Maleny while I fixed up the farm and the house. We bought some Angus and Hereford cows and used them as surrogates for some Wagyu embryos, which turned out to be a good decision based on the increasing popularity of the Wagyu Brand.
The whole “paddock to plate” endeavor evolved about 2010 with our first Wagyu being ready for market and almost worthless at the local saleyard. Our enterprise was too small to export our animals (which is where most Wagyu end up) and thus the idea to finish (farmer talk for fatten) off our own animals and sell to the locals was born. Strangely the most successful part of direct selling was how much people enjoyed meeting the farmer on farm – it gives the beef dimension – makes it taste better.
In 2016 the focus changed from direct marketing to the public to wholesale supply for the local gourmet deli, and later to also include a restaurant brewery who have been passionate supporters of the “paddock to plate” concept.
I remain very enthusiastic about farming and would like to think I can always do better. Customers always respond well to passionate people.
Cheers Ken Coey