Reprinted from an earlier blog from August 16, 2012
Kidder Creek Camp
So, I’m still in a tiny state of shock right now, but I talked with my husband Pete about raw milk, A2 milk, cultured dairy products, and the like and he actually suggested that I look into co-purchasing some A2 dairy cows to share with other interested cow owners in our community! I can hardly believe it–for several reasons! First of all, I would never have pictured myself as a cattle rancher/farmer; second, Pete is just not the health nut that I am. I think what most intrigued Pete are two factors–the demand for these rare beasts, and the beef option.
We live next door to Kidder Creek Camp, a beautiful property in a valley of apple orchards and pastures, and Pete says that, if I can line up people to take ownership in a cow and have all owners sign up for various days each month to milk this cow (so that we don’t have to do it every day), it might be worth our while to look into such a venture. (I have a friend in Quartz Valley who has been doing this very thing and she has people lined up not only to milk their co-owned cow, but to purchase future calves from this cow.) Pete feels that cattle grazing in our pastures would add to the peaceful ambiance of the camp, as well as provide us with possible beef cattle and cows to sell.
Pete has already been running a business classified as agricultural for over a decade now. He breeds, raises, trains, and sells hunting, pointing Labrador retrievers. Consequently, he has studied the genetics of the working field trial Labs and recognizes the value of a good pedigree. He is proud to have learned to administer his own AIs (artificial inseminations) on dogs too, although he says we’ll hire someone else to do our bovine AIs. (I have helped with a couple of canine AIs and I know we’re not ready to do the same with cattle.)
So, I will blog from time to time on the progress and status of our A2 cow search. So far, I have learned quite a bit about the Dexter cattle at the Hope Refuge Farm in Kentucky and am intrigued by that breed. Dexters are the smallest of the European cattle breeds and raised for both milk and beef. Most seem to test A2 positive. A2 genotyping can be done at UC Davis. More about the Dexter breed can be found at at http://www.purebreddextercattle.org/.