Ancient White Park Cattle

The Stoddart Family Farm is home to Canada’s only herds of White Park cattle. The Stoddart’s host the Rare Breeds Canada herd of White Park in addition to their own herd.

The herd the Stoddart’s own arrived in 2006 from Glen Case in Ottawa. The herd has it’s origins with a single heifer that was sold to Joywind Farm at Marmora, ON in the late 1980’s by the King Ranch which had been home to the only known North American herd since the Second World War.

Our goals at the Stoddart Family Farm with respect to the White Park are three-fold:

1. Sort out the genetic lineage of the animals and increase their numbers.

2. Sell breeding stock in order to establish other herds of White Park in Canada.

3. Develop a niche market for the products of White Park and other rare breed animals in Canada.

To that end we are currently DNA testing all of the animals we purchased to clarify their lineage and ensure that they are true purebred White Park as we believe there are several animals amongst the ones we purchased that may only be percentage White Parks.

Why are we willing to invest our time, energy and resources in the White Parks? The White Park was an economically important breed in the British Isles dating back over 2000 years. It is mentioned in several ancient celt ballads (such as ‘Tain Bo Cualgnel — Cattle Raid at Cooley— click here for more information on the history of this breed). It is only with the changes to “modern” agriculture of the last century that White Park have fallen out of favour for animals that are more conducive to feedlot production of beef. In contrast, White Park excel in pasture based systems including poor quality pasture.

We believe it is important to preserve this important breed for a number of reasons:

1. It is one of the most genetically distinct of the British breeds and may be a source of important genes in the future.

2. As beef production shifts back to pasture based production, the White Park grazier genetics and ability to finish an edible carcass on grass will return to favour (try eating the meat of some of the modern breeds without finishing them in a feedlot—my guess is you’d prefer the hide to the steaks).

3. Extinction is forever.

4. We are called to be good stewards of all the creatures.

6 Comments

  1. the stoddarts have breeding their whiteparks to charlais to increase size.So much for the heritage breed aspect.

    • Not sure where you got your information from. I have never owned a charolais beef animal or even a char cross. We have mounted our White Park bull on some of our commercial cattle with a view to reduce frame size, improve meat quality and see how much heterosis we might get from the cross. In case you haven’t been following our story closely, we spent almost 4 months this summer importing two purebred white park cows and an unrelated bull from Southern Virginia. As well, we had arranged to import semen from the UK but the border closed before the bull made it through all the health protocols.

      In the future, I would appreciate you confirming your information before spreading unfounded rumours.

  2. hi folks we just got a notice of your upcoming farm tour and we can’t wait! we just bought a farm and closed on it a month ago and I had emailed you before inquiring about your operation. it is our intention to grow our small speckle park herd and i am interested in the berkshire hogs…. we intend to sell hormone free beef and i am leaning towards organic but don’t have the confidence yet… my uncle is doing great things with his organic herd and farm store but i am also a recovering industrial farmer… anyways i love what you are doing and look forward to the tour! thanks kevin

    • Looking forward to seeing you on the 16th. I think we have met at the auction sale of the previous owners of this place.

  3. Hi,

    I was just wondering if you guys knew of anyone around Nova Scotia who is into the Ancient Whites? I am actually looking into dealing with them as opposed to the many Herefords we have in our area. Right now I’ve a couple of Jersey steers but definately looking into something different.

    • As far as I know, we have the only purebreds in Canada. If you’re looking for something a little outside the traditional beef breeds. There is a farm in Massachusetts with Red Devons. They are excellent for grass-fed beef. The farm name is Hardwick. They have some of the Rotokawa Red Devon genetics imported from New Zealand.

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