Grit Blogs > The Daily Commute

Cattle from the Highlands

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief


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A few head of Scottish Highland cattle arrived at the farm recently. They are easily the most docile cattle I have ever been around. Kate wants to blog about our new Highlands in more detail, but I just couldn’t wait.

Highland Cattle at the Will place

When Kate asked me what I wanted for my birthday, at first I couldn’t come up with anything. We have this tradition of trying to do something for each other’s special day, so it just wouldn’t fly that I really couldn’t think of anything. After a few minutes of musing, Kate said that some Highland cattle would make a nice present. I totally agreed.

As it turns out there are a number of successful Highland herds in Kansas. One of them, OZ Highland Farm, is a mere 20 miles away from our place. Early this month, Kate and I spent a few hours with John and Debbie Jenkins out at OZ Farm looking over their lovely stock and sampling the best grass-finished beef I have ever tasted. Long story short, my friend and partner in livestock crime, Bryan Welch, showed up with his truck and trailer last Saturday and we brought two bred cows, two young open heifers and a young bull home to Osage County.

Boss Dun Highland Cow

I am pretty sure that Kate will tell you all about the names she has bestowed upon the beasts. I still refer to them by ear tag number. After spending so many years with slick black cattle, I find the hairy, multi-colored Highlands to be pure joy. In the photos, which Kate took and shared for this blog, you will see a white heifer, red bull and cow and dun heifer and cow. The dun is kind of a beige/gray color; I really like it.


Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .

j.holschuh
11/7/2008 9:54:07 AM

Not currently. I'm currently confined to Milwaukee, where I write for and edit Farm Equipment Magazine. We met briefly at the Cub Cadet Yanmar media day but didn't speak much. I searched for your blog to see your reaction to the Ex450 and to CCY as a whole, and have been keeping up since. I'd like to get back to livestock someday, though--you seem to have a nice operation.


hank will_2
10/30/2008 2:58:05 PM

Hey J.Holschuh -- Thanks for your kind words. I have really enjoyed blogging here. It's kind of my journal. In fact since I started doing this, I haven't made many entries in my journal. We raised black Angus cattle for a number of years and they were beautiful, and fun, but there are so many interesting breeds out there. I was really pleased to learn that the Highland cattle could thrive in Kansas. When we get more settled and our space better organized, I think we will bring in a dairy cow. Quite a few years ago we made our own cheeses and yogurt. I think it would be fun to do that all over again. Do you have any livestock?


j.holschuh
10/30/2008 2:36:51 PM

Been keeping up with the blog for a while now, and I'm impressed by its consistency. The cattle looks great--I am definitely jealous. Keep it up.