Posted by: Mary Simpson | June 20, 2014

Rango, the bull, enjoys his home in Wooler, Ontario

Mary and Ross Snider stopped in to visit John and Connie Moelker’s farm to see how Rango is doing.  He bred 25 cows last year.  The farm’s goal is to “settle the Angus offspring down”.  The family was becoming frustrated by the high strung Angus herd behaviour.  They have to work hard at keeping the Angus cattle on the farm.  Fences have to be very strong.  And sometimes the Angus are just downright scary.  “They are all right until you have to handle them.”

Enter Rango.  The docile beast.  John found Stewart Simpson and his North Devon when he googled “gentle beef cows”. North American Devon came up.  The goal of the Old River Farm is to re-establish the North American Devon breed in Ontario, Canada.  So the North Devon bull #147 was immediately moved to the Wooler farm to introduce some genetic magic.  John says the Devon are great foragers.  Great walkers.  “The heifers strut, they walk fast.”

They are looking forward to trying the mixed breed beef finished on grass.  The grass fed Angus is too lean to finish on grass.  There is not enough marbling.  “Customers want tender beef, so they are not interested in grass fed Angus which are too lean and therefore tough.”  The North American Devon has more marbling, even finished on grass.

Daughter Rachel and her husband Brad market the Angus beef via word-of-mouth in Belleville.  You can order their Angus corn-finished quarters, halves, or wholes by phoning (613) 827-2530.  The meat is cut at Hayes Custom Cutting.

Mary Simpson pats Rango (despite almost having the experience of being gored by a bull in Nicaragua).  John and Connie Moelker love the docility of the North Devon breed.

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