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Randall Lineback Cattle Making A Comeback
For a low input, all purpose milk and meat cow, take a look at Randall Linebacks. A breed developed in the Colonial days, Randall Linebacks are coming back.
  Named for the Vermont family who saved the breed and for the characteristic white stripe along their spines, Randall Linebacks are a small and very sturdy breed.
  At Chapel Hill Farm in Berryville, Virginia, Joe Henderson is developing a herd of Randall Linebacks. Of the approximately 250 purebred Randall Linebacks known to exist, 120 are in his herd. He sells their meat to several high-end Washington, D.C. restaurants where chefs prepare Randall Lineback sausage, heart, tongue, kidney, and the standard rack of veal.
  Randall Linebacks and other so-called Landrace cattle descended from European cattle imported in the early 1600's. Once herds were established, shipments of cows from Europe stopped by the early 1700's. With the coming of mechanical power in the early 1900's, animal power was no longer as important, and dairy farms began acquiring more specialized milk cows, especially Holsteins. But in Sunderland, Vermont, three generations of the Randall family continued to guard their closed herd. They kept their cows from interbreeding with other cattle, even castrating bull calves before sale so that they could not be bred elsewhere. After the death of the last Randall farmer, the herd was sold and dispersed, and many were slaughtered. A twisting trail of ownership followed. At one time, there may have been as few as 15 purebred Randall Linebacks in the world.
  Now the number of Randall Linebacks is increasing. Through the efforts of Joe Henderson and groups with an interest in saving rare breeds, Randall Lineback numbers are rising. These intelligent, calm cattle are both handsome and easy to keep, especially in areas where winters are harsh. They seem to prefer being outdoors, reveling in the snow.
  By late 2007 or 2008, Joe Henderson hopes to be able to offer Randall Lineback stock to qualified breeders. Young bull calves for the rose veal market are currently bringing over $1,200 at market. Older breeding heifers will likely be priced at about $2,000. To ensure that this rare breed is not wiped out by accident or disease, Henderson would would like to see a minimum of 1,000 animals divided into at least five geographically dispersed herds.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joe Henderson, Chapel Hill Farm, P. O. Box 797, Berryville, Va., 22611 (ph 540 955-6367; chapelhill@randalllineback.com; www.randalllineback.org).
  For further information: http://randallineback.com; The Randall Lineback Breed Association; http://randall-linebacks. org.

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #2