‘New and dis­tinctly Cana­dian’

Cana­dian agri­cul­ture is pro­duc­ing in­no­va­tive and uniquely Cana­dian prod­ucts

Sentinel-Review (Woodstock) - - FRONT PAGE - HEATHER RIVERS

There’s a new breed of cat­tle in town.

Thames­ford farmer An­drew Met­calfe show­cased two of his Speckle Park cows at Canada’s Out­door Farm Show on Wed­nes­day.

About 30 Speckle Park cat­tle for­age on grass and hay on his 180acre farm near the western bor­der of Ox­ford County.

He said the ben­e­fit of the breed is that they pro­duce high-qual­ity beef with­out re­quir­ing a lot of ex­pen­sive grain.

De­scribed as new and dis­tinctly Cana­dian, Speckle Park cat­tle have slowly gained ac­cep­tance from the Cana­dian beef in­dus­try since be­ing rec­og­nized as a breed in 2006.

“There are a unique breed,” he said. “They have a low birth weight and a good tem­per­a­ment.”

Na­tive to Saskatchewan, Speckle Park are only the sec­ond Cana­dian breed to be granted dis­tinct breed sta­tus.

They are named af­ter the speckle pat­tern on their rear quar­ter and the fact some of the cat­tle dis­play a white park colour pat­tern else­where

There are a unique breed. They have a low birth weight and a good tem­per­a­ment. Thames­ford farmer An­drew Met­calfe

Down the laneway at the mas­sive show held ev­ery year north of Wood­stock an­other Cana­dian com­pany is work­ing on pro­vid­ing cat­tle with bet­ter nu­tri­tion by cre­at­ing an im­proved va­ri­ety of seed.

Elite Seeds, owned and op­er­ated by Le Coop fédérée in­tro­duced their new Lo­gan corn silage, a feed for all types of cat­tle.

“The pur­pose of the silage is to in­crease en­ergy by by­pass­ing the ru­men or stom­ach of the cow,” said ac­count man­ager An­dré Chol­let. “It in­creases the value of the en­ergy and they use the en­ergy to pro­duce bet­ter and more milk.”

Roundup re­sis­tant, the va­ri­ety took about ten years to go from first gen­er­a­tion to com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion.

“It is all about ge­netic se­lec­tion,” he said.

Chol­let said it was the first time the va­ri­ety was at the show, and was in­tro­duced to Que­bec in 2016 and On­tario in 2017.

Pro­duc­tion — aside from a few plots here and there — has mostly taken place in Que­bec.

So far the re­ac­tion has been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive.

“Ev­ery­body walk­ing by wants to try it,” he said.

Canada’s Out­door Farm Show, which boasts 750 ven­dors, con­tin­ues un­til Thurs­day.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. out­door­farmshow.com.

HEATHER RIVERS/SEN­TINEL-RE­VIEW

A new breed called Speckle Park is on dis­play at Canada's Out­door Farm Show.

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