Terry Neuner worked eight years for 3M in Japan before his employers treated him to a Kobe beef dinner. The meal was worth the wait.

"It was so good, I knew then that this was something I wanted to bring back home," says Neuner, who owns Westphalia Vineyards, a farm southwest of Jefferson City.

And he did bring Kobe beef to central Missouri — as much as anyone could have. Trademarked Kobe Beef is found only in Japan and costs up to 100,000 yen per kilogram, or $550/lb. says Daisuke Terao of the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. It is one of several brands of upscale beef from a Japanese breed of cattle called Wagyu. Scientists and farmers say Wagyu cattle produce some of the highest quality beef in the world, and it is prized for its flavor, tenderness and snow-white marbling.

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