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Dutch Belted Cattle
HiHolm Farms
Fort Plain, New York
Owner:  Donald W. Klemme II
(518) 568-2728

A Mini-history of Dutch Belted cattle:
The breed originated in Switzerland and Austria with canvassed cattle known as Lakenvelder.     (Canvassed / belted)

Around 1750 the breed was recognized in Holland.

Dutch farmers were reluctant to part with them mainly because of their milking ability and ability to gain and maintain weight.

First major importation of Dutch Belted cattle was around 1840 when P.T. Barnum imported these animals for exhibition in his well-known circus.  Later, the cattle were placed on a farm where roots were set for the Dutch Belted breed in the United States.  He obtained these animals after he promised to use them only for exhibitiion.

Dutch Belted were recognized as a breed in the United States shortly after Barnum retired his cattle to a farm years after he first procured them.

" ' In America the Dutch Belted Cattle are recognized as a dairy breed, and we find them in 1908 at the California State Fair, where the cow, Julia Marlow No. 1187, made the most butterfat at each milking for five consecutive days over all breeds. Again in 1909, Lady Fresno No. 1183 won the first prize and Julia Marlow the second prize over all breeds on a five day butterfat test. These performances were the more remarkable because in 1909 there were only 18 Dutch Belted females of milking age in the state of California. Passing on to the year 1914, we find we have the best four cows in milk over all breeds at the Arizona State Fair. In 1920, the champion diary cow of the state of Florida was Ferndell No. 1961. ' "         

Early in the 20th Century, a number of Dutch Belted cattled were imported into the United States until 1906 when our government banned importations because of the occurence of hoof and mouth disease on the European continent.

Dutch Belted characteristics:  small bones that allow easy birthing, unusual longevity and high fertility, high meat yield, friendly and gentle dispositions, and excellent grazing ability.  Rotational grazing dairy farmers find this breed perfect for their style of farming.

American Livestock Breeds Conservacy list the Dutch Belted as a critically rare breed of livestock in North America.

Dutch Belted cattle in the United States are the only source of pure Dutch Belted genetics in the world.   The Lakenvelders in Holland experienced a great deal of crossbreeding from 1950 to 1976.  European breeders have often contacted American Dutch Belted breeders for semen from 100% Dutch Belted bulls. 

The Dutch Belted herdbook was established in the United States in 1886.  It is the oldest, continuously registering herdbook in the United States.            

Belted Galloway - a beef breed of cattle often seen in the United States.  It is thought that this beef breed was once crossbred with Dutch Belted dairy cattle.



Other links to information about Dutch Belted cattle





The following photographs were taken at HiHolm Farms, which is nestled in the heart of the historic Mohawk Valley overlooking the calming waters of the magnificent Mohawk River, the remnants of the Erie Canal, and the welcoming village of St. Johnsville.  A beautiful region to call home!
     Welcome to Hi Holm Farms, one of the largest herds of Dutch Belted cattle in the northeast.  Hi Holm Farms was established in 1928 by Mr. and Mrs. John Hajczewski Sr.  In 1972, the farm was passed down to their grandson, Donald W. Klemme II.  The farm is located in Fort Plain, New York.  Mr. Klemme originally started with registered Holsteins.  In the 1990's he began establishing his Dutch Belted herd.  In 1997, Hi Holm farms became a certified organic farm and dairy (Certified by FVO - Farm Verified Organic).  Milk is currently shipped through Progressive Milk Coop, Seneca Falls, New York. 

   Mr. Klemme starting milking his
Dutch Belted herd in 1994 with two registered Dutch Belted bulls - "Chip" and "Skip."  These bulls were purchased in Illinois from a breeder of registered Dutch Belted cattle.  "Chip" is the son of "Zinger" and "Skip" is the son of "Apple Cider."
    The organic Holstein herd was bred to the
Dutch Belted bull named "Chip" for two consecutive years.  The first generation offspring were bred to "Skip."  The Holstein herd was dispersed six months before the first generation was due to calve with offspring from "Skip."  The second generation is freshening with offspring from a son of "Gold Dust."
    Registered females have been purchased and their offspring are being bred to "Pride of Tillamook."  Currently, the herd consists of three registered males, three registered cows, three registered heifers, three animals that are seven-eighths
Dutch Belted, forty-five animals that are three-fourths, and sixty that are half Dutch Belted.  The goal of Hi Holm farm's owner, Donald Klemme II, is to breed up to a fully registered herd of this unique breed of cattle.

April 2004 - Mr. Klemme's
Dutch Belted herd continues to grow with a substantial number of two year olds giving birth along with mature cows as this update is being typed.  Spring is here!

October 2005 - The herd continues to grow as we strive to develop the breed.
Created and maintained
by Susan Klemme Biltucci
Updated March 2007
HiHolm Farms
Fort Plain, New York