Aldemere Farm - one the world's leading breeders of Belted Galloway cattle, also known as the "Oreo Cookie cow"
Aldermere Farm, located in Rockport, Maine, is a great experience both because of the farm and the inspirational story behind it. It is home to the famous Belted Galloway cattle or "Belties." The Belted Galloway is a rare beef breed of cattle originating from Galloway in Scotland, adapted to living on poor grazing conditions and the windswept terrain of upland Scotland. Belted Galloways are primarily raised for their quality marbled beef, although they are sometimes milked and purchased to adorn pastures due to their striking appearance. Locally, these cows are often referred to as "Oreo cows" (after the Oreo cookie), ""panda cows" or "police car cows". They are black with a giant white stripe covering the middle third of their body. They are a very hearty breed that grow a thick coat in the winter to stay warm and can forage for themselves over the rockiest of terrain. They are regarded as some of the best beef stock in the world.
Aldermere Farm is a working farm that is quaintly nestled on 136 acres in Rockport near the ocean and has been a landmark for generations. The herd of Belties at Aldemere Farm is world-renowned and permanently protected by conservation easements. Aldemere Farm is currently one the world's leading breeders of these beautiful cows. The herd of cattle was originally started in 1953 by Albert H. Chatfield, Jr. from six cows and a single bull. In fairs across the United States, Aldermere cattle have consistently been awarded recognition at the highest levels for over 30 years. It has now become the oldest continually operated herd of Belted Galloway cattle in the United States.
Today, Aldermere Farm is run by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust having been bequeathed to that organization by Mr Chatfield upon his death in 1999, and is well known as a traditional New England saltwater farm. It spans across rugged fields, a rocky shoreline, and simple yet inspiring structures. There are even some wetlands to compliment the fields and wooded areas. While Aldermere Farm is best known for its Belted Galloway cattle, it is also a shining example of progressive, sustainable, organic, agricultural techniques as well as constantly leading innovations with regard to conservation land management.
Aldermere Farm is regionally known for its pastoral vistas and undeveloped shoreline. These scenic features that are hard to find anywhere across the country will remain intact forever, thanks to the conservation easements of Mr. Chatfield and the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Mr. Chatfield was determined to always protect the farm from the development that was happening around the rest of the Maine coastline. His easements legally disallow subdivision and development on any of the land. The farm is also an inspiring example of how a farm can effectively function while focusing on conservation and community planning. Aldermere Farm is an instant inspiration to anyone that steps foot on it. It is beautiful, natural, and very unique amongst farms because of the many different types of terrain as well as a landscape that borders a natural shoreline.