Best of breed on show at open day

MORE than 60 cattle breeders gathered at a Vale farm to talk all things farming – and to view some spectacular cattle.

Breeders and farmers, including members of the Devon Cattle Breeders’ Society, were at Lower Mere Park Farm in Mere on October 9 for an open day event, where visitors had the chance to see the rare breed up close at the home of an award-winning herd.

Lower Mere Park is farmed by the Armishaw family and farmers from across the county and beyond took the opportunity to view the Red Ruby Devon Cattle on show, as well as talking about wider farming issues and catch up after a difficult few years during the pandemic. But the breed itself was the focus of the day.

“Devons can be used for conservation and are ideal for the new environmental schemes being put forward because they’re low input, who will finish on grass,” said Ruth Armishaw.
“They are a medium-sized carcass and get amazing, marbled meat, fed only on grass.”
“They are a beef animal, grown for their beef, and it’s beautiful beef,” said Lisa Weaver, breed secretary of the society.
“They are designed to thrive in this country – and while certain animals are not allowed on conservation ground, they are.
“Red Devons have great big feet, which stop them causing so much damage.”
And Ruth said she was delighted to show off her herd, which features last year’s best cow, Mere Park Jubilee, and this year’s best young bull.
“My cattle can be seen out there, doing their job clearing both woodland and scrubland for the National Trust,” she said.
“Devons are lovely cattle, very gentle, particularly the bulls. They’re famous for their wonderful nature.”
And Lisa said the day had been a big success.
“There were well over 60 people there. It was a lovely day and they are lovely hosts,” she said.
“Many of those attending members of the Devon Cattle Breeders Society and we like to get together as much as we can.
“Farmers can become very isolated and the last two years have been very difficult, obviously. But on the day, the hospitality was really, really lovely and it was a wonderful chance to get together. A great success.”
If anyone would like to know more about this lovely breed can contact Ruth by email.

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