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Aldermere Hamish, Champion and Grand National Champion 1975-76

Belties

Ask any local in Rockport or Camden where the "Belties" are, and they’ll point you to Aldermere Farm, long one of the area’s popular attractions, especially for kids longing for a look at the famous black and white colored "Oreo cookie" cows. But the Belted Galloways grazing in Aldermere’s green pastures aren’t just for decoration. Aldermere Belties are known to breeders around the world as some of the finest stock anywhere.

Bred primarily for beef, Belties originated in the mountains of Southwest Scotland--an area once called the province of Galloway. In this cold, damp, and rugged country, the Galloways bred by the Scots became an exceptionally hardy breed, adapting to the severe conditions. In winter they grow a shaggy overcoat which, in combination with the soft short undercoat, protects them from the cold and damp. Unlike many other breeds, the Belties were able to forage for themselves on the range during the winter. Their development under these conditions made the breed highly resistant to disease and genetic problems.

Manager Ron Howard makes friends (photo: Sara Gray)

In 1953 the Aldermere herd of Belted Galloways was established when Mr. Chatfield purchased a bull and six cows from Harry Prock of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chatfield subsequently brought more stock to the farm from Scotland. Between 1955 and 1972, he imported Lullenden Irene and Lullenden Arigusta from the Ian Hamilton herd, along with the bull Mochrum Orion which replaced first herd sire Aldermere Hapwood Dandie. In 1960 Burnside Great Scot, Supreme Belted Galloway in Scotland, was imported. In 1966 he bought two heifers from the Whittingehame herd at East Lothian, noting that the dam which produced these heifers, Whittingehame Serena Neilson, was the largest Beltie cow he had ever seen, weighing 1600 lbs.

Over the years the Chatfields and long-time Farm Manager Dwight Howard worked together to develop one of the premier herds of Belted Galloways in the world. In fairs around the country, Aldermere cattle have been awarded the highest level of recognition of any farm over the last 30 years. Today the Aldermere herd is the oldest continually-operated herd of Belted Galloway cattle in the United States today. Numbers generally range from 75 (winter) to 100 (summer) head.

Together the Chatfields and long-time Farm Manager Dwight Howard built a renowned herd.

Aldermere farm routinely sells cattle and semen to other breeders.

Other Beltie web sites of interest:


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Upcoming Events

March - April: Agricultural Poster Contest in the Five Town Schools

Students in the 3rd through 12th grades in the towns of Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, Hope, and Appleton are eligible.

A great day to start the Agricultural Poster Contest is on National Ag Day, March 18, to celebrate the importance of agriculture in our lives. The theme for the Poster Contest this year is “Where does food come from - highlighting a local farm and the products they produce,” so you could discuss a number of local farms in your area and use the list provided.

First and second place winners in four different grade divisions are chosen by local judges and prizes awarded. Aldermere Farm will display all the posters at its Calf Unveiling Day event on Saturday May 9, and posters returned to students thereafter.

All posters will be picked up on Thursday April 16.

Contact hbaker@mcht.org or call 236-2739 for more information.

April 29 - June 3 Spring Farm Hands Session

Farm Hands is the premier youth program at Aldermere Farm where youth ages 12-18 work with the young Belted Galloway calves learning to halter train, groom, and lead them. This provides a community service to the Farm because it allows the calves to get use to being around people, and to be well tempered and manageable. Participants also learn about important agricultural, conservation, and environmental issues as well as skills such as team work, trust, and patience. Our spring session will be held on Wednesday afternoons beginning April 29 from 3:15-4:30pm and will run for six weeks. Contact our office for a registration form at 236-2739 or jlucas@mcht.org. Sessions are limited to 8 participants.

May 9 - Calf Unveiling Day

Please join us for our open house event here at Aldermere Farm. This is an opportunity for the community to visit with the new calves and the rest of the herd. There will also be other farmers who will be on site with their goods and animals for you to enjoy. The event is scheduled for 10:00am-3:00pm.

Farmers Registration Form 2015.pdf