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Poems and Stories of M. W. McDermott

The ancient "Aurochs" was last seen in Poland in the late 1670's. Their form has been held secret in Scottish Highland Cattle.

It has been the Holy Grail of beef breeders ever since to recombine the genetics of Bos Primigenius releasing its secrets held in the blood of more common stock. The Heck Brothers spent their lives combining many cattle until they had selectively bred a new line to the ancient form.

There is a new contender attempting to create an improved beef type. Michael McDermott has worked to create a new breed "Diarmid cattle," combining the traits of Scottish Highland, Angus and Belgian Blue. A student of cattle breeds, McDermott while researching, found an artistic rendering of the "Aurochs" and much to his surprise, looking out the window was indeed the form and function of Bos Primigenius.

Its those Scottish genes at work in both Man and Beast. Fitting a Scot tracing family to Applecross and Lochcarron should rediscover the ancient form of a legendary beast which gave rise to all modern cattle breeds.

McDermott is known in Northern Minnesota  for his unusually tame cattle. His bulls often seen giving rides or supporting local businesses as Babe the Blue Ox. He smiles when  he confirms his skills as a "bull tamer" and says its an ancient Scottish tradition. Calling it simply " Touch".

In the ancient times the Drovers from the islands would tie head to tale and swim the cattle to the Main land. McDermott points out wild cattle so tied would likely arrive with short tails, this was not the case. Proving in his mind the common use of " Touch" as a means to manage cattle in close quarters.

The History of the Drovers was oral and the people who observed these skills never wrote them down. Following the Clearances these traditions were lost, that is until McDermott rediscovered the Ancient Art.

Aurochs in form and function are alive and well on a small family farm in Minnesota. Where a Child of Scotland lives with his beasts. A true Scot with a vision of an ancient form brought to life.

 "With Cows in the field and dogs by my side us two make a wonderful team." From an ancient Celtic song... It is indeed the thing Legends are made of.

We'll be demonstrating three such animals at this years Beltrami county Fair, Bemidji Minnesota July 30 - August 3, 2003. One Dunn, one Black Roan  three years of age and a wee bull calf. A chance for the world to see an ancient form with Scottish influence.

There's time to gather Genetic materials and have a living beastie for the 2007 Scottish events, wouldn't that be something for the Highland Council to consider, the reintroduction of Bos Primigenius to the Highlands!

What's the next project? I have 10 straws of Bazadaise, which I plan to use on Pure Highland cattle. I expect to see a unique grazing animal and one ideal for natural birthing and lean high quality beef.

There's all kinds of ways to express you Scottish Heritage, mine seems to be utilizing cattle. I hope something good comes from all  this. Nearly all my family ancestors attempted Agriculture and fell on hard times. The Buchanan side  attempting farming traveled the United States and ended up in Burnslake B.C. My McDermott side nearly starved to death in North Dakota before moving to Seattle, and the Rushes made their way to Galata Montana. Old Pap kept the local school clean and worked the land.

My wife's family may have briefly met in Montana the Beechers and Corums  were on their way to Seattle too. A rainy night and a chance meeting by a pretty teen, Jeanine Passmore, would combine histories to set us on a path to our present situation.

I feel a strong force at work, be it Nature or God it has a strong message or a calling to the hills of Scotland. Taking the high road or the low road... all roads lead home to Scotland for her Children abroad.  History is a living force we can contribute each in our own way. All worthy of a Tall tale...

Michael McDermott
Blue Ox Farms

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