By Steve Barcus
Wisconsin’s reputation as a leading producer and innovator in the dairy industry does not stop at the borders of the state. Even beyond international boundaries, the word “Wisconsin” is synonymous with “dairy.”
That has been the experience of Kazutoshi Ueno BS’85, founder of eAnimal Company, a Japan-based business specializing in feed products designed to increase the health and performance of cows, pigs, chickens, and even fish. Through eAnimal, Ueno consults with clients across Japan, providing input on farm management and efficiency practices and offering essential nutrients through colostrum-derived products.
Ueno imports the colostrum (the milk that cows produce in the first few days after giving birth) from the U.S., where it is more affordable and available in abundance. The products themselves deliver immune protection to livestock such as cattle, pigs, and chickens. Since calves and piglets are born without immune protections, the products lay a foundation for the long-term health of the animals.
“The most important way to make a livestock business high-performing is to make sure animals are healthy,” says Ueno, who majored in agricultural and applied economics while at CALS. “The animals have to perform for the farmers to stay in business. Ensuring that they are healthy and perform well is my role in this industry.”
A Life Dedicated to Livestock
Ueno’s passion for livestock and agriculture began at an early age. His father made a living importing chickens from Des Moines, Iowa, with Hy-Line International. In fact, he still remembers Americans visiting his father at the chicken house when he was 3 years old.
“Meeting Americans and seeing them visit the farm gave me the image of the U.S. as a wonderful country that had high-performance animals,” Ueno says. “This made me very interested in studying abroad in the U.S.”
Ueno first learned of Madison when reading his junior high English text book. He fondly recalled a passage about two children, Ben and Nancy, living in Madison, Wisconsin, where they skate on the lakes in winter.
“I thought it must be a wonderful place,” Ueno recalls. “I decided to go there so I could meet Ben and Nancy!”
Ueno never did meet them, but he forged valuable relationships with fellow students and built a strong foundation in agriculture and livestock, which he continues to draw upon to serve his clients.
“The fact that I went to the University of Wisconsin–Madison helps my business a lot, especially among dairy farmers,” Ueno says. “For Japanese people, ‘Wisconsin’ creates an image of a dairy state. Many farmers study dairy in Wisconsin as trainees. When I speak with dairy farmers and let them know I went to UW, they immediately think I am a specialist.”Click here to see more...