Cows in the Meadow


Without question, one of the most visited spots on Maine’s midcoast is Aldermere Farm, a hop and a skip from my home in Rockport.

Here is where the belted galloways graze oblivious to the crowds they attract.

What, you ask, makes these cows so interesting?

It is likely their unique banded coloring, which makes them resemble an oreo cookie, and their shaggy hide.  In any case, the roadside by the farm is always lined with people , camera or sketchbook in hand,  observing the cows frolicking in the meadow,

taking a midday rest

or nibbling at freshly cut hay.

The herd at Aldermere Farm originated in 1953, making it the oldest continuously operated herd of Belties in the U.S.  At first limited to this area, there are now herds of belted galloways throughout the country.  They are beef cattle, but I can’t bring myself knowingly to eat the meat after having seen them in the field.  You see, the cows have also won my heart!

Aldermere Farm is now under the auspices of Maine Coast Heritage Trust which offers a variety of programs and events that educate visitors and encourages sustainable agriculture.  

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

13 thoughts on “Cows in the Meadow

  1. As a native Midwesterner, I can’t believe I have never seen this kind of cow…ever!!! We see cows all the time as we travel up and down the highways and even in the area surrounding our neighborhood, but these are really unique!!!!

      • One reason that you may have not seen this breed is that they are considered a heritage breed. They were used in the past, but as factory farming and feed lots have become more the norm, most people moved to the more noted breeds like Jersey, Holstein, Hereford, and Angus. There are conservation efforts going on for various breeds, as well as many people returning to them as grass fed programs are on the rise and homesteading gains in popularity. We raise Red Poll Cattle, which are also a heritage breed. To find out more check out our website http://heritagebreedsfarm.com or check out http://albc-usa.org/

  2. They look like they were too lazy to shift off the road when the line marker came by, so they got a painted stripe down their middle LOL.

    I’ve never seen this sort of cow before … and “belties” makes me want to paint on a few fake holes and a buckle into them LOL (brilliant name though!)

      • I think that what’s so unusual is that the white is so restricted to their bellies… the colours are so “compartmentalised” …not even a tiny dab of white on their faces, it accentuates the unusualness of the breed.

  3. We have a herd close to us that has started to go more to Belts. They are a grazing operation and found that Holstein cows do very poorly in a grazing situation. Holsteins are better suited to larger factory farms. I am excited to see many more herds popping up of heritage breeds. We raise Red Poll cattle and know people raising Milking Devons and Kerrys. It is interesting the diversity that is out there! I really love the American Livestock Breed Conservancy Website: http://albc-usa.org/

    • Thank you for your informative comments. I can testify to the Belties being great for grazing. From spring to fall, they are munching in the field and what was lush with growth is chewed to the ground by the time winter arrives. At that time, they have to be satisfied with hay.

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