Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
PRIESTMAN'S RIVER, Portland:APPROXIMATELY 450 heads of cattle at the Errol Flynn's Farm and Estate in Portland were certified as high-quality breeding stock during an appraisal exercise conducted recently by the Cattle Breeders' Society.
The stock, which comprised bulls, heifers, and calves, is believed to be in excellent condition. According to Lanny Gardener, secretary of the Cattle Breeders' Society, such a high-quality breed of stock could last for decades to come.
"The appraisal was a success. What we saw here today is of the highest standard, and with such quality stock, this level of breeding can continue for a long time. This exercise is to ensure that they meet the requirement of the breeding standards," Gardener told The Gleaner. "There are certain specifications that we have to look for on the different breeds, including the Red Poll.
Gardener also explained that there are four local breeds of cattle in Jamaica that are bred for local consumption, including the Jamaica Red Poll, the Jamaica Black, the Jamaica Pure Beef Cattle, and the Jamaica Brahman. He said that each breed has its own characteristics, which are assessed at every appraisal - conducted once a year - in order to determine their eligibility to maintain the breed status.
The group which conducted the appraisal exercise comprised farmers from various parishes who are also members of the Red Poll Cattle Breeders' Society.
The appraisal exercise started with Red Poll and Brahman cattle at the Fred M. Jones Farms in St Thomas, then went on to the Errol Flynn's farm and estate.
Gardener further stated: "This exercise has to be repeated every year and these records are kept at the Ministry of Agriculture. Whenever a farmer wants to buy a registered animal, they would have easier access based on data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, making it easy for the process of transfer, which also allows the breeding status to remain the same."