HOMEABOUT SCOTLAND FARMSLOCATIONGALLERYCONTACTTARTAN FESTIVAL

We welcome you to Scotland Farms of Louisiana. We are
excited about our annual Scottish Tartan Festival. Come
enjoy the Kirking of Tartan each year at the Minden
Presbyterian Church. Everyone is welcome! There will be
plenty to do for the whole family! We'll see you here! (Map)

Dr. Alan and Sharon Cameron

You may be wondering about this Scotland

Farms
of Louisiana, and the raising of long

haired, long
horned Scottish cattle in, of all

places, Louisiana?

At one time this was a question of Dr. Alan Cameron and his wifeSharon. Dr. Cameron purchased his land eleven years ago, when
he found 158 acres of rough cut over land just two miles down the road from Cameron Veterinary Hospital. It was cut over three
years earlier and poorly planted pine three years later, creating a jungle of mixed vegetation. Choking out the pine trees in many
areas. Thus, lowering the price and allowing Dr. Cameron to buy the property just 2 minutes from his hospital.

Can Highland cattle flourish in Louisiana?
After the land was first purchased, raising pine trees and recreation was his principle desire. Improvements andclearing of trash
trees had to be done, which necessitated buying equipment. His accountant said that timber landdid not allow for deductions and
he would have to purchase cattle to get deductions as a farm. In 1997 he traveled to the Loch Norman Scottish Games in North
Carolina and this is where he discovered Highland Cattlein the United States. He had only seen Highland cattle before this on his
trips to Scotland.

If it is Scottish, Dr. Cameron is interested! So he and his wife began to search the internet for Highland Cattlecloser to Louisiana.
To their surprise they discovered Highland Cattle in North Arkansas and Dallas, Texas. While on a bird hunting trip to Texas, Dr.
Cameron decided to check out the cattle. There were many similarities in the Dallas environment as Dr. Cameron possessed in
Louisiana. Mr. David Marshall, the owner, was cooperative and felt his cattle would do equally as well in Louisiana. He assured
Dr. Cameron that the browsing ability of the cattle would help clean brush from the land.

With the Highland cattle coming to the hills of Scotland Farms the next step was clearing a fence line, which in turn meant pur-
chasing a bulldozer. Ninety acres would be fenced in to corral the soon coming herd. The land had to be pioneered just as it had
been done 150 years earlier by settlers.

Louisiana would see the first group of Highland cattle on Christmas of 1997. The Herd consisted of; 1 bull- "Ridge Top Taylor",
1 cow- "Stonecliffe Leitis", and nine registered heifers between the ages of six to fourteen months.

Roaming the Land
The first scare came when Leitis, the cow, took a big bite of green pine needles. This was short-lived however, as they found the
brush on the land more appealing. There was no shelter except the woods for the winter, but as expected, this was fine for the
long-haired cattle. Dr. Cameron told the cattle they were being put back into the woods the same as their Scottish ancestors had
been, along with his, five hundred years earlier. To attempt to re- create that similar time and place on Scotland Farms was the
beginning of Dr. Cameron's dreams.

Only a little feeding, some poor quality hay, mineral blocks, and a few range cubes was given to the cattle to develop their bonding
that winter. The cows did fine and you could see the grass, vines, and small brush disappear each day. On occasion, Dr. Cameron
would push down trash trees and they would immediately get in the way of the bulldozer and start eating the treetops.
Dr. Cameron worried about the oak tops in the spring but that didn't seem to bother them.

In mid-spring something unusual happened. A heat wave hit that lasted all spring and started what would be a six month record
breaking hot and dry summer. Many cowmen were worried about their cattle. And here was Dr. Cameron with ten Highland cattle
and a commitment to purchase seventeen more by August 15th. Would the cows survive the heat and lack of pasture land?

The ninety acres under fence did not include the seventeen acre pond. The cows spent much of their time in the creek and woods
below the pond during the day. The cows discovered spring fed creeks that Dr. Cameron didn't even know existed. He would later
convert one of these into a small pond in mid summer. The cows didn't feed at all in the heat of the day and would become noc-
turnal feeders. They would not budge from the shade even if they were called. This adaptation and intelligence amazed Dr.
Cameron .

Hardly any ticks were seen on the cows that year. Horn flies were the main problem and were easily controlled by a few drops of
Protickall. The flies then disappeared from all the cows.  (Back to Top)

Increasing the Farm
When all of the grass was gone it was time to enlarge the pasture and put an electrical fence around the large pond. There was a lot
of grass and vines growing where the water had stood earlier. Highland cattle love vines! Later a perm anent fence was constructed
to prepare for the seventeen additional cows. When this area was eaten hay supplement was started.

Six new calves, that had been pulled off their mothers in Texas, were placed on the best bottom land pasture and a 14% creep
ration. The youngest was four months old so there were some concerns about weaning that early from the mother.  They did much
better than expected, and looked much better than the smaller heifers that were having to make it on the dry, higher ground.

There were some cow losses in the area due to the drought. Nothing survived that had only open pastures, in the sun, with no
supplementation. Wood browsing actually held up better than open pasture. Shade and water were essential for survival, which
Dr. Cameron had plenty of. He also placed supplements and hay in the shade so the cattle could obtain nourishment during the
day. They would also feed on the woods and brush in the day if it was shady.

Since there was no fall pasture land left they had to start seeding winter wheat, or rye, on all available cleared land earlier in the fall
in hopes of rain to keep it alive. The next year more bottom land was cleared for the summer in case of another drought. Also,
more fences had to be put up and more pasture land had to be cleared.

In 1999 an adjoining 80 acres (west of the 158 acres) was purchased that had 15 acres of fenced wooded pasture on it. After
fencing and repairs this would become the "Bull Pen". Three-fourths of this 80 acres has been kept as a natural forest reserve for
wild life.

In 2001 another adjoining 80 acres was purchased east of the farm on Highway 518. This became the hay pasture and was the
first site of the Tartan Day Celebration on April 6th, 2002. This land had been part of an 1828 homestead  which included an old
hay barn. The original homeplace and log cabins remain across the road from the pasture.

Scotland Farms now totals 320 acres in the Highland Hills of Louisiana. There will eventually be restricted homes built on the land,
but the Highland cattle will roam free and the forest land preserved, along with the 3 lochs (2 ponds and an eighteen acre lake.)
There will always be wildlife and fishing to enjoy.

The Slogan for the Future: "Why live any where else, when you can live in Scotland?" (Scotland Farms of Louisiana)

Dr. Alan and Sharon Cameron invite you to come and see the farm, eat the healthiest meat in the world, and be a part of our
Scottish Tartan Celebration!

You may even decide to stay!! 

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