Green Outdoors: Maine is epicenter for Oreo Cookie cows

6:33 PM, Apr 30, 2012   |    comments
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FRYEBURG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In several parts of Maine one can see Belted Galloways stading in fields along the roadside. "Belties" have one broad stripe or belt around them. They are originally from Scotland. The epicenter for this distinctive breed is Maine and many of the top Belted Galloways in the country come from Maine.

"The Belted Galloway is the only breed of cattle that has two distinct layers of hair," said Ron Howard of Aldermere Farms in Rockport. "There's a fine inner coat and a course downy outer coat that they grow through the winter time that insulates them"

This makes the breed almost "waterproof" and enables them to withstand the harsh Maine environment.  It also means the cattle do not grow layers of fat for protection meaning that Belties are leaner, lower in cholesterol and higher in Omega 3's.

Because they look so attractive in the field and because they produce less beef per head, they are often thought of as an "amateur's cattle."

Scott Adams of Moonshadow Farms in Starks, Maine thinks the breed has a chance to grow significantly.  He is breeding his cattle to be a littlle bigger, "I like them thick.  I like some beef to them.  We're raising beef.  The more beef I can get on my animals, the more money I can get at the butcher.

Many Maine Belted Galloways are sold for brood stock.  The national sale was held over the weekend in Fryeburg, Maine.

The oldest continuous herd of Belted Galloways is at Aldermere Farms in Rockport.  It produced the 2011 National Champion Belted Galloway, a heifer namef Aldermere Xander Lee.



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