Southern Cross Ranch Founder Andrew Coates was raised on large cattle ranches in central Queensland, Australia. From a young age, he was mentored in the cattle industry by his father and experienced cattlemen employed by his family. This exposure to ranch life ignited Andrew’s passion for raising cattle, teaching him the value of hard work, the importance of paying attention to detail, and providing all the skills necessary to become a successful cattleman. This hands-on upbringing also instilled in Andrew a commitment to quality and dedication to producing the very best product, a goal for which no shortcuts can be taken.
When Andrew was 19 years old, he moved to California to train cutting horses. It was here that Andrew met his wife and Southern Cross Ranch Co-founder Nicole, who was born and raised in Sacramento, California. Nicole’s love of horses and the outdoors started at a young age. After showing horses in the Hunter/Jumper world, she went on to excel in the cutting arena. Her parents, who were born of Portuguese immigrants, ensured that their daughter grew up practicing their two greatest values: love of family and hard work.
This dual family history, in pursuit of quality and hard work, led them to establish Southern Cross Ranch in 2003, with the purchase of a ranch in Esparto, California. The name stems from the “Southern Cross” constellation of stars on the Australian flag, an iconic symbol for Andrew, and a daily reminder of his heritage and where he is from. It was at this new facility that they continued to train high caliber cutting horses, and incorporated a commercial cattle business.
Although they were proud of their herd, they yearned to provide a product of even higher quality. So they turned to Andrew’s father, Chris Coates - a second generation cattleman, notable veterinarian and embryologist in Australia. Chris was a pioneer in Australia’s Wagyu industry with his family in the 1990’s. His embryo transfer work on the original Fullblood Wagyu cattle imported from Japan to Australia was instrumental in the development of some of the biggest and most successful Wagyu programs in Australia today. This extensive experience was invaluable as they worked to establish their own Wagyu program. With Chris’ help, Andrew and Nicole forged a partnership with Jerry Reeves of Bar R Cattle Company, who played a major role in importing the first Fullblood Wagyu cattle from Japan to the USA in 1992. Jerry went on to spend 28 years refining and building his original herd of Fullblood Wagyu, and the influence from his program can be seen throughout the American Wagyu industry. This was the premium cattle program Andrew and Nicole had been searching for and marked the beginning of Southern Cross Ranch Wagyu.
Jerry Reeves’ mentorship and superior Wagyu genetics allowed Andrew and Nicole to establish an elite herd backed by proven data right from the start. They now strive to be the USA’s leading Wagyu beef and breeding program. Of course, family is still the most important aspect of their lives. They are blessed with two children, Talon and Riley, whose love for ranch life, horses, and cattle fuels their dedication to solidifying Southern Cross Ranch as a force in the Wagyu industry. They are proud to manage the ranch as a family, providing Talon and Riley with skills not easily acquired in other walks of life.
From breeding and calving, to feeding and harvesting, Southern Cross Ranch is hands-on every step of the way, making sure the herd is humanely raised and finished. The Coates family cares deeply about providing natural Wagyu beef with the health of the consumer in mind.
We infuse superior genetics in order to produce outstanding beef quality
We provide a farm to table experience, producing natural Wagyu beef with no added hormones, sustainably raised in the USA.
Ranch raised Wagyu
FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS