Belted Galloways: An Original in Faux World
strongly believe that the Belted Galloway breed’s time has come again!
As more and more people recognize what this breed brings to the table
(no pun intended). If we promote and breed for the finest qualities
within the breed so that they are maintained, we will be highly
successful. People are caring more and more about what they eat and how
it is sourced. They are realizing that good health and long active life
does not come with a magic pill. Belted Galloway breeders and owners
have or are getting the message. GLBGA members, let’s share our stories
and what we are doing on a large or small scale to enhance and raise
awareness of the outstanding characteristics of this breed!
H.C. Sims Farms raises, observes, and sells Belted Galloway cattle,
genetics, and beef. We have a large herd. Our vision goes in the face of
current management practices. Feedlots, quick turnover, genetic
engineering and additives are not what I looked for in this breed. I
have always looked to Belted Galloways because of their inherent
qualities. You have all read about them.
Docile: I would say calm and confidant. Don’t separate or corner one. Don’t get between a cow and new calf. Being docile in stressful situations is not guaranteed!
Beautiful: Like Marilyn Monroe. Lawn Ornaments! PLEASE GET REAL! For
years, people haven’t looked beyond the belt. The real value isn’t just
the pretty coat, but all of the other factors people are waking up to
today. Faux nothing, they are the real thing!
Naturally good genetics: Yes, that is true. Some say 1,000 years of
natural selection. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean every animal
is like that today. The weak or inferior in the wild die off, that does
not happen often in a farm situation. To preserve the fine natural qualities of the breed, buyers and breeders must be knowledgeable and selective.
Perfectly marked Belties are the only good Belties: With a history as
old as theirs, so far I haven’t hear a good explanation for a mismark.
In a show ring or a breeders herd, I would prefer not having them.
However, their form can be exceptional! Can a mismark have a perfect
calf ? Oh, yes! I would steer the bulls, however. The mismarked animals are just as good for beef production, so there is a definite place for them. Some shows now have a category for them.
Longevity: The cattle business seems to function on quick turnover. At
H.C. Sims Farms, we are testing health, productivity, and quality over
the long haul. How long do these bulls live and remain productive? How
about the cows? Can the cows have healthy births and raise healthy
calves at 10 or 20? I’ve heard that they can. Some of you may have proof
you need to share with GLBGA members through the newsletter. I know
they have them in UK by report. We are testing that out for ourselves.
What if a cow skips a breeding season? Well, if you get 18 out of 20
years worth of calves what do you think she cost you?
Healthy cattle: Yes, they are as a whole. However, the buyer must be
aware of the questions they need to ask and the answers they receive. If
you are unfamiliar with a seller’s terminology, ask what they mean.
BSE, exposed to a bull verses breed checked, 2 testicles exposed for a
bull, steered, Vet checked, health certificate and many more things are
fair game to ask and get answers for. Many customers are new
to the breed and new to cattle. We want them to stay in the breed and
help to increase our numbers and spread the word about how great Belted
Galloways are; not how they were misled.
These cattle take care of themselves! I can buy them, put them in a
rough pasture, and they will take care of themselves: No, they need
proper forage. Vet checks for things like pinkeye, birthing assistance,
and general observation. They are animals to be valued and cared for!
Nutritious, naturally lean beef: Yes, depending on how they are feed.
H.C.Sims Farms sells pasture raised and lightly grain fed Belted
Galloway beef. I like the taste and texture. We will soon have some
grass-fed and grass-finish beef for sale as well. Our newest
effort is Special Reserve 36- pastured aged in the tradition of our
Kentucky heritage (Aged like fine bourbon). I love it and so do our
customers! Other Beltie beef producers are working at shortening the
time to harvesting. This is all great for the breed. If GLBGA provides a
forum for breeders large and small to share their observations and
report their findings, it can only help this breed and it’s owners to be
successful and flourish.
They mature more slowly: Yes they do! They are not a good choice for a
feedlot situation. However, they can mature and grow beautifully on
grass. They have a luxury that many of us lack time! I think
that many of have found out that the high stress life style is not
great for us. Why would it be good for what we eat? I sound like a real health nut! Yes, one who loves a good Belted Galloway steak!
As I said above, I strongly believe that the Belted Galloway breed’s
time has come again! Many of the things I have mentioned are not news to
long time breeders and cattlemen. They are new to many of our customers starting out with Belties.
Some think sale barn cheap Belties are the same as show or top breeding
stock. They become discouraged and leave the breed when they get more
information or run into problems. They don’t ask the breeder the right
questions, are disillusioned and leave the breed. We need to do the best
job we can to create a great Beltie experience for these new buyers. It
doesn’t matter if they want to show with their kids, have a small farm
upon retirement, create a beef business, or just have a few to keep
their fields clean; it is our duty as breeders to know our customer and
make their experience a great one! Belted Galloway breeders and owners
have or are getting the message. These customers are embracing the
Belted Galloway breed because they care about their own health, their
family, and their life style. They see the story and the qualities of
this breed as the perfect match with their
goals. It is our job to help make their experience a good one as best we
can. Belted Galloway cattle deserve to maintain their originality. They are the Real Deal!
GLBGA members, let’s share our stories and what we are doing on a large
or small scale to enhance and raise awareness of the outstanding
characteristics of this breed within our group and with our new
customers. The opportunity is NOW!
MEET THE BOARD
Ellen Sims - H.C. Sims Farm
Our farm is now in the fourth generation. I am Ellen Sims, ( second generation) and many
ask why the farm isn’t named for me. Where is he? Well, here is the
story. H. C. Sims Farms was original founded by and later named for a
man of vision. A man, who grew up and was educated in the school of hard
knocks. He had major successes and failures, both of which were in part
caused by outside forces such as World Wars, Economic Depression,
accidents, and inventions. He rolled with the punches, but never felt he
couldn’t learn from failures and in some cases turn them into amazing
successes. He never got too old to dream or learn! When my brother and I
were born, he bought a farm for us to grow up on. A place where he said
you could see and feel the hand of God everyday. A place where a child
could explore, learn about the joy of work well done, the love of the
animals surrounding us, and get to know who we were and who we wanted to
be. He wanted us to be strong, resilient individuals; who could pursue
our dreams and withstand the ill winds that sometimes blow without
defeat. He asked me to make him one promise when I was 18; to keep the
farm. I did! I am Ellen Sims, the torchbearer of his vision! I am doing
all I can to insure that strength, resilience, and individuality is
sustained in Howard Clark Sims III, Rebecca Sims Illig, ( the third
generation) and their children: the fourth generation. I surprised a lot
of people when I bought a Belted Galloway bull when I didn’t have any
cows. Why? I saw the bull with the qualities I was looking for and
didn’t want him to get away. Yes, I do things my way! I value my
successes and learn from my mistakes! That bull wasn’t one of the
mistakes. He is still with me and I see him everyday! He has created
champions both male and female. From his start, we have had many other
Champions and their genetics along side his have given us great joy. We
sell breeding stock from all of our varied bloodlines. We sell semen
from our many bulls. Some of those bulls were Champions and some were
never shown, but have produced Champions. We have sold semen and
breeding stock to people who have been highly successful with them in
the show ring, and have sold stock to those who are successfully
building their own small herds. We are happy for them. Our newest
endeavor is our beef store! We are having another great adventure! But,
it is not quite what we expected! A dark cloud called Covid-19 has
caused a few frustrations. Early on, they targeted my age group as most
likely to be unable to survive the virus. I decided if it was going to
kill me; I was going to look darn good in my casket! So I started on a
journey using this time to read about and implement habits to improve my
health and mobility. I needed to think out of the box! I knew I needed
to eat my vegetables and less meat and fast food. Cut out the sweets!
And I did! Boy, does that get old fast for someone who grew up on a farm
and loves beef. Then, I started seeing a change in medical opinions.
Fish were being questioned and for the first time on the limited list
due to farm raised practices (China),and contamination ( in the oceans)
endangering their benefits. Meat was described as store -bought,
feedlot, and even faux. Several no red meat Drs. are now saying smaller
portions of meat are acceptable if pasture raised, grass-fed, locally
sourced etc! Belted Galloways, this is made for you. Covid-19 has
awakened the public to their food supply and the supply chain. How about
that! Well, a new definition of our customer, what they need, and how
to facilitate their purchases is needed. Clark Sims is my partner in
Belties in the Bluegrass LLC. We are developing a more interactive
online persona to make shopping safe and convenient for our customers.
Rebecca Illig was to serve Belted Galloway beef in the restaurant.
We look forward to that as governmental restrictions ease in the
future. Our family has resilience. I sincerely hope that what H.C. Sims
founded and I have nurtured will be here along with our Belted Galloway
Cattle for many generations to come. Yes, I’m wearing my Beltie mask for
Be safe and well! I look forward to meeting you soon at GLBGA events!