Heritage Dairy Breeds at Today’s Farms

Shannon Rice-Nichols of Heamour Farm in Hadley, MA.

Shannon Rice-Nichols of Heamour Farm.

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]


About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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