American Milking Devon Status: Critical


American Milking Devons are a tri-purpose breed with a ruby red coat with black-tipped white horns. Devons come from the southwestern peninsula of England, where the breed was developed over several centuries. Devons are valued for the production of high quality beef and rich milk. The American Milking Devon breed is now distinct from other Devon populations in the world and closest to the breed's original type, and is unique to the United States.

Devon cattle were brought to New England from Southwest England in the 1600s. From there they spread south to Florida and west on the Oregon Trail. The Accokeek Foundation's Devons originate from herds in New England, and farmers from all over the country purchase our breeding cows.
Extinction Risk: Critical
Population: 500
Use: Dairy, Meat, Draft

Why we need them

With a growing world population and a greater strain on the planet's natural resources than ever before, sustainable systems of farming and food production are imperative.

Heritage breeds help to ensure the security of the world's food systems by preserving these genetic traits, and others: disease resistance, survival, fertility, longevity, and maternal instincts.

American Milking Devons, unlike many of their industrial counterparts, are ideally suited to sustainable, grass-based systems. They are a hardy breed adapted to the conditions of our local environment and are valuable for their self-sufficiency and practicality.

These cattle play a vital role in land conservation efforts in Piscataway Park. Their hardiness makes them excellent for draft, and their use in agricultural work on the farm sites helps to reduce the Foundation's dependence on fossil fuels. Their grazing schedule also contributes to healthy land as they help maintain and fertilize the natural meadow and savannah pastures.

What the Accokeek Foundation is doing to help

The Foundation's Heritage Breed Conservation Program has two main goals: increase the population of critical and threatened breeds, and educate students and visitors about the importance of biodiversity in agricultural systems.

The Heritage Breed Conservation Program has produced between 5-10 new Devons each year. We hope to double that number over the next few breeding seasons, as we reach out to new farmers and members of the community.

We also work with small, family-owned farms to encourage the adoption of Heritage Breeds like the Milking Devon into their own herds. It is only with the help of farmers and consumers all over the world that we can bring these breeds back.

How you can help



Join the Farmhands volunteer crew to assist in the care of the Foundation's American Milking Devons (and other critters too!). Visit the website to learn more.

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