With thick shaggy coats and long curved horns, Scottish Highland cattle are built to withstand the harsh climate of the mountains — the wind, the rain and the cold. For countless generations, this stocky animal has been prized by the Scottish for its hardy nature, gentle temperament and the lean beef it produces.
For Dan Hughes, who became a farmer late in life, the animal has been a way for him to connect to his heritage and produce grass-fed beef for his community.
“I’m almost 100 percent Irish-Scotch,” said Hughes, owner of A Wee Bit Farm in Orland. “And since I was a young kid, I had an interest in farming … but I never went that route.”
Hughes and his wife moved from Boston to Maine in 2002 after their children had entered college. Embracing country living, he purchased four Scottish Highland cattle from a farm in northern Washington County with the intentions to raise the cattle for his own joy, and to educate others.
“I’d take them to fairs and talk about the breed, and I’d wear my kilt — because I have bonnie knees, you know,” Hughes said with a chuckle.
Aislinn Sarnacki is the BDN Act Out editor, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @1minhikegirl, and Instagram:...
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