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Advancing The Breed At Anderson Hill Farms

Now here's an enticing outline for a movie screenplay with just the right mix of Horatio Alger, John Wayne and - in Dick Anderson's case - his hero Willie Mays whose celebration of 'being out there, doing it' has long been Dick's life inspiration. It goes something like this: Boy reads book about the creation of a beautiful farm (Louis Bromfield's Pleasant Valley) and he dreams...

Grown up boy works hard, is very successful, but never forgets his dream...

Man finally buys a farm and despite many challenges, creates one of the finest cattle bloodlines in the USA.

Man is happy - his dream has come true.

Anderson Hill Farms Is a Place Out of a Dream

And today Dick Anderson is indeed happy, convinced that his string of farms nestled in Vermont's Green Mountains, and his prize herd of over 200 Belted Galloways, are the perfect match. "You could almost say they were meant for each other," is one of his favorite phrases. There's a touch of Scotland in these hills here around Susie Peak. And indeed, that's where Dick found some of his finest imports in 1988 when he purchased four heifers from the oldest foundation herd in Scotland, dating from 1854, in addition to the great award-winning bull, Bolebec Dun Controller, and a Half Sister from Christopher Marler's world-renowned Bolebec Farm in England.

"That's when the dream started to become real, and the excellence blossomed," Dick claims. "We established the Anderson Hill Farms motto - 'Out Quest - Only the Best.' I realized we needed a 'new genetics' for the breed. The typical Beltie is heavy in the front shoulders and neck, and a little pinched on the hind quarters - a very valuable part of the carcass. Controller was instrumental in readjusting the shape. With all his prior awards in Britain you could tell this amazing creature was a 'kin' and his regal offspring provided the perfect foundation for our top-quality herd."

Dick Anderson Today

Controller produced such magnificent show-stopper bulls as Ironside and Nashua, but that was just the start. Dick's insatiable search for the best possible genetic bloodlines led to the purchase of Bolebec Dun Concorde and Boreland Golden Oriole and the subsequent emergence of such top breeding animals as Anderson Hill Unbridled II, Usher, Valley Man and Bop Man.

The refinements of our herd today compared to the early 80's are immediately apparent. Our close association with Vince Oatley, a local expert, and Matt Claeys, our genetics consultant from Perdue University, has enabled us to introduce herd-ultrasounding to gauge ribeye development and body condition-scoring using handheld computers in the pastures. With Vince and Matt's professional expertise we now breed cleaner front ends, thicker and deeper bodies, improved muscling and enhanced hindquarters - and all without altering the basic frame size of the animals. That was our original quest and that's why we're among the very best breeding centers in the USA - and maybe one day - the world!

But there's no resting on laurels here at Anderson Hill Farms. We are in constant search for any innovatgion that will enhance our top-quality stock. This includes skilled personnel, animal genetics, new state-of-the-art equipment and buildings, and additional land purchases to ensure adequate grazing and hay production.

As dreams go, it's been over 30 years of endless hard work, constantly driven by new challenges and new possibilities for breed and farm enhancement. But the best dreams of all reflect reality - in this case, a wonderfully tangible reality created by Dick Anderson and his remarkable team.

35 Years Is Just The Beginning...

In March 1981, Dick Anderson presented to his new farm manager, Bob Stimson, a copy of Lord David Stuart's An Illustrated History of BeltedCattle (1970). Dick's handwritten didication to Bob read as follows:

Here's to the building of a farm and herd that will give us pride, enjoyment and everlasting friendship. Your friend - Dick Anderson.

Twenty-five years ago the dream was in its infancy. Today that same dream is now a reality and Dick's small farm has become a 7-farm complex of around 1700 acres with over 250 acres of hay and pasture land, and a herd of Belted Galloways over 200 strong - and growing...

Dreams, however, have that habit of melding and changing and what began as a personal vision has now become a far more extensive 'mission of excellence' on the part of Dick and his team to benefit the whole of the national/international Belted Galloway fraternity of admirers and breeders.

It is interesting to trace the course of this dream over 35 years since its inception to see how a unique goal is fast becoming a vibrant and visionary reality:

Anderson Hill Farms Were Established in 1969

1969: Purchase of Lanfear farm by Dick Anderson. Land and building in state of neglect. Dick and farm manabger, Bob Stimson (now retired) began renovations, cleared and reseeded land. The vision of a fine cattle farm began to grow.

1977: First purchase of Belted Galloways from domestic (Maine and Ohio) stock, and Anderson Hill Farms Registered Belted Galloways was born.

1981: First farm expansion with purchase of 'The Valentine Meadows' primarily for hay cultivation.

1985: Meadows enhanced for hay. Herd now 15 head.

1986: Dick Anderson builds a new home high on the mountainside overlooking his new farm and the Green Mountain range.

1986: A third property, the Mason farm, was purchased, again primarily for hay. Much renovation of house, barn and pasture.

1988: A critical year with the purchase of the great award-winning Bolebec Dun Controller from Christopher Marler's farm in England, along with 1 heifer, and five additional Belties from the Boreland herd of George Sproat, along with 4 heifers...the oldest foundation herd in Scotland dating from 1854.

1988: The old barn was outgrown and a new state-of-the-art barn for up to 100 head was built, including hospital room, calving pens and open arena.

1989: Even more hay needed for the ever-expanding herd. This led to the purchase of the Gilmore working dairy farm by Tinmouth Channel - a beautiful wetland and wildlife area of deer, moose, bobcats and even the occasional bear.

1994: Today: The start of a string of major awards at N.A.I.L.E. for key Anderson Hill champion bulls and females.

1999-2000: Additional wooded areas purchased for cattle 'hangouts,' and then the historic Boule Farm, renowned for its hidden 'roadhouse' dance floor (not a hangout for the team!)

1999-2000: More crucial purchases of Bolebec Dun Concorde and Boreland Golden Oriole, which led to the establishment of the best genetics available, and the finest in breeding stock.

2000-2005: A continued surge of over 50 major regional and national awards, including Grand Champion awards for Anderson Hill Usher and Anderson Hill Unbridled II (Showbull of the Year in 2004).

2001: Dick Anderson received the prestigious Harry T. Burn Award for his outstanding support for and promotion of the Belted Galloway breed.

2007: This is the latest proud addition to our 'southern nest' of farms in the Tinmouth area. And what a magnificent place it is boasting a spectacular log home modeled after a traditional 19th century hunting lodge. In the day when this was a working pheasant, quail and partridge preserve, the lodge hosted many celebrities including General Schwartzkopf, among others. In addition, three ponds - one trout and two bass - hay meadow and several hundred acres of woodlands, the preserve borders the Tinmouth Refuge - a veritable Noah's Ark regional wildlife including occasional bobcats, lynx and black bears.

Belties In a Pasture
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