If you’ve ever visited the Dene Farm at Hildene in Manchester or driven by a small farm in Vermont, perhaps you've come across some unusual black and white cattle that look a bit different from Holsteins or Jerseys.
These beautiful, speckled creatures are Randall Lineback cattle. Randalls originated decades ago on a farm owned by Samuel Randall and his son Everett in Sunderland.
When Everett Randall died in the 1980s, the cattle were sold to other farms, where they lived in less-than-ideal conditions and nearly disappeared. Today, the cattle are considered critically endangered.
But efforts to protect and preserve Randall Linebacks are well underway and making progress. Cynthia Creech rescued the breed in 1987—when only about 15 Randalls were left in existence. Together with farmers Phil and Dianne Lang, Cynthia Creech started the Randall Cattle Registry in 2001.
Kim Pinsonneault, who works at the Dene Farm at Hildene and lives at the original Randall farm in Sunderland, now maintains the Randall Cattle registry.
Host Erica Houskeeper spent some time in southern Vermont meeting with a few Randall Lineback owners, including Kim Pinsonneault and Michelle Porter, to find out what makes these cattle so special.