REDMOND, Ore – December 15, 2009 – Today, Kobe Beef America (KBA) proudly announced that R.L. Freeborn, president and founder, was awarded the American Wagyu Association 2009 Producer of the Year Award. R.L. pioneered the development of Wagyu cattle in the U.S., taking the famous animal typically used for Japanese delicacies and creating an American Style Kobe Beef.

R.L. Freeborn is a past president of the American Wagyu Association and has been instrumental in the American Wagyu beef business and a pioneer in tracking American Wagyu genetics. His ongoing drive to find which Wagyu “super bulls” have the ability to breed Wagyu cattle that can produce superior beef at a more economical cost has resulted in a gourmet quality Wagyu beef considered a value by those who purchase and eat it.

“R.L. Freeborn was one of the first cattlemen to recognize the significance of a new breed introduction into the U.S.,” said Martin Anderson, president, the American Wagyu Association. “He has more experience and results in production, sales and marketing - more than any other member of the association. He deserves this lifetime achievers award.”

When presenting the award, the association cited R.L.’s willingness to share ideas, solutions, and mentor a young generation of Wagyu ranchers. With more than 40 years of experience in the cattle industry, R.L. has earned a highly respected reputation among those in the industry. This was validated by also winning the California Wagyu Breeders Association 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

R.L. Freeborn is a fourth generation beef producer from Redmond, Oregon, and the visionary behind Kobe Beef America (KBA™, LLC). Kobe Beef America is the oldest Kobe beef company in the U.S. and was established on the basic premise to provide unmatched flavor, tenderness and consistency… guaranteed. KBA’s American style Kobe Beef is unmatched in quality in the U.S. and fills the gap between how Americans appreciate steak and the Japanese delicacy. Freeborn has organized producers from various parts of the United States. Under his direction, they're channeling animal genetics and feed programs to produce superior beef products exclusively for KBA. All KBA Wagyu beef products are natural and free of growth hormones and no added antibiotics. The company is located in Redmond, Oregon, and was the first to market American style Kobe Beef in the U.S. Learn more about Kobe Beef America at