In 1992, surrounded by English Cotswold sheep, this city girl found her calling. Dr. Robyn Metcalfe did not grow up on a farm but found her passion was preserving heritage livestock. She shared the story of her family’s efforts at Kelmscott Rare Breed Farm as part of the ongoing lecture series at Swiss Village Foundation in Newport, RI.
A few hundred years ago, farms across England raised Cotswold sheep for wool, Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs for meat and lard, Black Jersey Giant chickens for eggs and meat and Kerry cows for butter, cheese and milk. Before tractors, every farm had at least one English Shire horse for plowing, cultivation and transportation. These days, most farmers seek more efficient and cost-effective livestock, and many heritage breeds are nearing extinction.