Makoto Kaneko was born in Kikuchi, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan in 1981, and raised in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture. He is the son of Tokio Kaneko and Yukiko Kaneko. He has a younger twin brother (by ten minutes) and an older sister.
In 2000, Makoto began his biological production undergraduate program at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT). He received his agricultural BS degree in March of 2004. In April of the same year, he began his master's degree at the same university with the Department of Science of Biological Production under the advisement of Dr. Yuzo Kurokawa. In March 2006, Makoto finished his program and acquired his M.S. degree. The following month he began his doctorate, which he completed in March 2009, at the same lab. During his nine years at the University, he studied in the laboratory of the university ranch. He attempted to elucidate the phosphorus dynamics at the grazed and non-fertilized Japanese lawngrass (Zoysia Japonica.) pasture. Additionally, he developed grass height management for Japanese lawngrass pasture during his doctoral degree.
In April 2009, Makoto began his work as a researcher at the National Agricultural Research Center for Tohoku Region, National agriculture and food research organization (NARO), Japan. This center is located in northern part of Japan. There are short summers and long cold winters. There he developed: 1) forage soybean cultivation system intercropping in Italian ryegrass regrowth sward without herbicide and 2) Festulolium cultivation system using new cultivar “Tohoku 1”. Then he conducted a digestion test using sheep of Whole Crop Silage (WCS) soybean and identified WCS soybean as a useful source of high crude protein feed for winter in 2009-2010.
In April 2010, he moved to NARO Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center (KARC), Kumamoto, Japan and worked as tenure track researcher. KARC located in western Japan in a warm temperature zone. There he joined the grazing fattening project as a pastoral responsible researcher. Year-around grazing fattening was carried out using Wagyu cattle and Italian ryegrass and Brachiariagrass pasture. He determined the herbage intake from pasture and the nutrition component of grasses. Based on these results, he developed a pasture management system using spring seeding of Italian ryegrass. In April 2013, he acquired a permanent position at same location and continued the grazing fattening project until March 2016. In April 2016, Makoto left his grazing research and joined a new project involving grass production by machine harvesting. He introduced and tried new varieties of Brachiariagrass and Guinea grass.
In 2017, he got the opportunity to do research at UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona, FL for one year. His organization, NARO, sent him as part of a young researcher training program to develop tropical pasture management technology using tropical legume. Makoto’s program with Dr. Vendramini began in April 2017.