Beltie breeders tour Canada

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SIX ladies from Scotland, all keen Galloway cattle breeders, recently returned from trip across the pond to attend the Galloway Cattle World Conference in Canada.

The ladies were representing some of the finest Galloway stock in the country and included Jane Landers, Ulrike Kaufhold and Elaine Milven from Wigtownshire, and Jennifer Taylor from Ayrshire. Wearing matching pink sweatshirts for the trip they quickly became known as the “Pink Ladies”.

The conference was held in Guelph, Ontario, with 110 delegates gathering to discuss and view Black, Dun, Belted and White Galloway Cattle.

Ulrike called in to the Gazette on her return to give us a report on their visit. She writes: “Jane for the Belted Galloway Society and Scott for the Black Galloway Cattle addressed the conference with reports on what was happening in their respective breeds. The evening banquet was held in great style with a Canadian lady marching in playing the bagpipes, followed by the speakers carrying their national flags.

“Over the following days we visited many farms and looked at Galloways of all colours. Bob Irvine at Avon Acres made us welcome with bagpipes and rolled the red carpet out! He is a Beltie breeder and his Silver Duns were lovely. He also collects vintage cars and he got the Pink Ladies to pose with his Cadillac.

“We visited Niagara Falls which was very popular – and crowded! So the Pink Ladies had no problems being spotted in the crowd. We were taken to a fantastic farmers’ market where there was a spectacular abundance of fruit, flowers and vegetables, all prepared for a Canadian Thanksgiving which was taking place that weekend.

“Glenfiddich Farm is the 
home of John and Lee McIlwraith and they welcomed us with pancakes, blueberries and maple syrup. Absolutely delicious! The family also have tremendous cattle. John is originally from the Machars farm of Stannock near the Isle of Whithorn.

“On our last day we went to an agricultural show at Erin, with a great root and home produce section. We saw horses doing barrel racing at great speed and at the cattle show John McIlwraith won the Galloway section with a great cow and bull calf. He later won the overall breed section – you see, this area produces great stockmen.

“During out stay the autumn colours were lovely with the maples coming up in all different shades. Ontario has had a very dry summer and some crops failed like the soya beans but now the grass has come back and is rich with clover.

“Our fellow breeders of the world are convinced that our Galloways are the great conservation breed, as they eat everything and thus help to maintain biodiversity. Their 
quality meat is sold at a premium, is tasty and healthy and full of Omega 3 which we now know is needed in our diet. Galloway are a most cost-effective breed eating 25 per cent less feed per kilo for weight gain compared to other breeds.

“So get yourself a Beltie!”

The famous Galloway cattle sales will take place at Wallets Auction Mart in Castle Douglas on Friday, October 26.