Shannon Rice-Nichols of Heamour Farm in Hadley, MA said preserving heritage dairy cattle is critical at a Swiss Village Foundation lecture. She stressed the importance of biodiversity and the challenges of making critically endangered breeds relevant and cost effective in modern farming. Afterward the lecture, nearly 40 participants enjoyed tasting farmstead cheeses made from specific heritage dairy breeds.
Historians have traced human migration across Europe by looking at the genetic lines of their livestock. Cattle were selected based on the suitability of their milk for making butter, hard or soft cheeses or for feeding to invalids or small children. Most cheese and butterfat yields are significantly better than those of modern Holsteins. Regional cheeses and butters were developed and earned a loyal following. [more]