The Midwest Highland Cattle Association serves Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio as a regional affiliate of the American Highland Cattle Association.
The goals of the Midwest Highland Cattle Association are to:
Highland Cattle draw a crowd wherever they are found. Highlands are an old breed whose time has come. With the ability to thrive in less than ideal circumstances, outstanding mothering instincts, longevity, and very low calf mortality, they are the type of beef animal that is in demand for today’s market.
The Highland breed has lived for centuries in the rugged remote Scottish Highlands. The extremely harsh conditions created a process of natural selection, where only the fittest and most adaptable animals survived to carry on the breed. Originally there were two distinct classes: the slightly smaller and usually black Kyloe, whose primary domain was the islands off the west coast of northern Scotland; the other, a larger animal generally reddish in color, whose territory was the remote Highlands of Scotland. Today both of these strains are regarded as one breed - the Highland. In addition to the original strains, yellow, dun, white, brindle and silver are also considered traditional colors.
The first Highland herd book was published in Scotland in 1884. Although the Shorthorn, Hereford and Angus herd books were all published many years prior to that of the Highland breed, there is little doubt that Highlands are probably the oldest recognizable breed of cattle in the world. Importations to the USA and Canada began in the late 1800's. Today Highlands are found throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Australia and South America.
Highlands require little in the way of shelter, feed supplements, or expensive grain to achieve and maintain good condition. Cold weather and snow have little effect on them. They are raised as far north as Alaska and the Scandinavian countries. They also adapt fairly well to more southerly climates with successful herds as far south as Texas and Georgia. Less than ideal pasture or range land is another reason to consider the Highland breed. These cattle are excellent browsers, able to clear a brush lot with speed and efficiency. Despite long horns and an unusual appearance, Highlands are even-tempered, bulls as well as cows. They can be halter trained easily.
The business end of any beef animal is the amount and quality of the beef it produces. Today’s market demands lean, premium meat. The Highland carcass is ideally suited to meet this challenge. Highland beef is meat that is lean, well marbled and flavorful with little outside waste fat (they are insulated by long hair rather than a thick layer of fat). Highland and Highland crosses have graded in the top of their respective classes at the prestigious National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. In the British Isles, Highland beef is recognized as the finest available and fetches premium prices. The British Royal family keeps a large herd of Highlands at Balmoral Castle, near Braemar, Scotland, and considers them their beef animal of choice.
Today’s cattle market is demanding. Regardless of whether you are a small farm with only a few head or a large ranch with hundreds, your objective should be the same … to produce a fine cut of beef with as little effort and expense as possible. Highlands are the breed to help you do this. Whether your interest is in purebreds or cross breeding, we are confident that the Highland will improve your bottom line.
The Highland is a unique and beautiful animal … truly "the breed apart."