When looking at ways we could add value to our small farm, we realized that choosingrare breed animals was not only good sustainable practice, but also fit our holistic appoach to farming. We needed to find an animal that could cope with hills, was not too big, had excellent mothering qualities, was dual purpose with a good amount of milk and a decent meat animal. We decided cattle would fit the brief. The next step was finding the best breed.
Part of our morning routine is reading the farming news papers over breakfast. While this was not the only source of information we used to research best farming practices, it did give us information about different breeds and other snapshots into good farming practices. When we read about a prestegious meat award being won by a breed we had never heard of we were intrigued. What was a Hinterwalder? We did some research and started to get excited. It seemed to be the perfect animal for us. At that time it looked like there were only about 500 registered pure breed animls in Germany, a small pool in Switzerland and very few anywhere else in the world. We contacted the family who had won the award and asked if we could come and look at his animals. Mr Werner Gutt was delighted to have people interested in his Hinterwalders and was proud to share his passion with us. After that we were hooked.
We bought three cross bred cows, a 7/8th bull and some pure bred semen, our dream was falling into place. Of course it takes a lot of time to get to pure bred but we were comitted. Over the next few years we have slowly bred up and this year we have two little heifers that are 15/16.
We have been extremly happy with our decision to use the Hinterwalder as our breed and have been delighted with the results.
Our Farm is situated in a valley out side of the small town of Dannevirke. The fertile valley with both flat land and steep hills is the perfect place to develop our Hintervalders. Our organic principals work extremly well on this land and the lush healthy herbal grasses are perfect food for our animals.
The Waitahora Valley has been farmed from early European settlement times and has been recognized as a valuable farming area.
Predomanantly a large sheep and beef area, our small holding is using the land in a similar way to our neighours but adding value by using organic principals and breeding rare breed hinterwalder cattle.