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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

Moonlight Ski/Snowshoe Tour - Saturday, January 23 - CANCELLED

Ski or snowshoe through the pastures and woods of Aldermere Farm in Rockport under the first full moon of 2016. At the end of the trail, there will be a small bonfire with hot chocolate and treats to enjoy. Previous experience on skis is recommended and participants should bring all their own gear, including a headlamp or flashlight for skiing through the darker wooded sections. **Due to lack of snow for us to have a good base on the trails, we are postponing this event.

Great Maine Outdoor Weekend - Saturday, February 13

Join a guided afternoon ski and snowshoe tour through the pastures and woods around Aldermere Farm. Everyone will meet at 1:00 at the main barn, 20 Russell Ave in Rockport. We will discuss the trails and then leave as a group. Bring your own gear. Registration required. FMI and to register email jalbury@mcht.org.

Moonlight Ski/Snowshoe Tour - Monday, February 22

Ski or snowshoe through the pastures and woods of Aldermere Farm in Rockport under the beautiful, full moon. At the end of the trail, there will be a small bonfire with hot chocolate and treats to enjoy. Previous experience on skis is recommended and participants should bring all their own gear, including a headlamp or flashlight for skiing through the darker wooded sections.