Belted Galloway cattle were first imported into North America in the 1930s, traveling to Ontario from Britain. Though the origin of the belted color pattern is not clear, evidence points toward common ancestry with Dutch Belted (Lakenvelder) cattle of Holland. The “Beltie” as this breed of cattle is affectionately known, has grown in popularity in the US, with current registration at around 8,000 in the country.
The Belted Galloway is a dual-purpose breed originating from foundation Galloway stock. It is claimed that Belted Galloways are larger, milk heavier and grow more rapidly than the parent (Galloway) breed. The distinctive white belt found in the Beltie varies somewhat in width and regularity, but usually covers most of the body from the shoulders to the hooks. The white contrast to the black coat, which may have a brownish tinge in the summer, sets the breed apart with its striking color pattern. This breed provides an excellent source of beef in addition to its use as a milking animal. The Belted Galloway is extremely versatile, well adapted to cold, rugged climates but able to thrive in warmer climates better than most cold-adapted cattle. These cattle are well-suited for grass-based livestock management.
The Belted Galloway was our first rare breed here at the SVF farm and has developed into a mascot for the program. Although they are not critically endangered, they are a true New England heritage breed and are well known for success in small-scale, grass-fed beef operations. The SVF herd often attracts the attention of visitors to Newport, who take advantage of the beautiful scenery the grazing Belted Galloways provide.