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Lampman farmers cross speckle park with Angus

Lampman area family discusses their love of farming.
Speckle Park Cattle
INC Mountain View is a two-year-old speckle park bull owned by Darrion and Regan Clarke.

LAMPMAN — Regan Clarke loves farming. She loves it so much she moved to the farm of her grandparents, Bernie and Loretta Threinen, when she was 15 years old.

The Beretta Farm is located near Lampman. It has seen dairy cows, beefalo, beef, horses and now the speckle park cattle.

At one time, Threinen bred and raised Arabian horses and also half-bred Arabians. This family is well known in the Arabian show world. Clarke also had her own horses, which she showed in western pleasure and English hunt. She is an avid horsewoman with many ribbons under her belt.

On the farm, Clarke helped with all aspects of farming, including calving, which means midnight checks during calving season, as well as tagging, needling, haying and all other requirements related to the farm. She drives all the equipment and has no issues with hauling any of the animals.

Now a young adult, Clarke would meet her husband Darrion, and he also enjoyed the farm, but also loves Volkswagen vehicles.

At first, they lived in Estevan, but this proved to be a chore driving from the city to the farm each day, so they bought a house and had it moved to the farm.

Although they still have a couple of horses, the focus is on cattle. The main herd is black Angus, but Darrion wanted to start a different breed.

After doing research they came across the speckle park and purchased their first cow in March 2016 and named her Daisy. Daisy was worth her weight in gold, as she has an ease with birthing, produces strong calves and is a great mother, with loads of milk.

Speckle parks were developed in Saskatchewan in 1959. The speckled pattern or colour derive from a single bull with the colour-pointed markings of the British white park. It is one of only a few breeds developed in Canada.

The Clarkes purchased two more cows in 2019 and another in 2020. The results were great. The breed is known for ease of calving, milk production and being great mothers. The calves are quick to nurse, smart and much more playful in the first 24 hours of life.

Due to issues with calving in the commercial black Angus herd, it was decided to try a speckled park bull with the Angus cows. They purchased Graham Creek Hayes in 2021 and crossed him with the Angus cows. He did not disappoint. Calving went smoother.

Graham the bull is considered a leopard bull, his colouring is not quite white with black points, but he is not dappled. All the commercial heifers he bred had speckled calves, although it is a 50/50 chance on solids as well.

In the spring of 2021, Clarkes’ black Angus bull had hurt himself, so another bull was needed. The search was on once again. A speckle bull sale came up and before Clarke knew it, she had purchased INC Mountain View, a two-year-old speckle park. He was bought from INC Cattle Company in Saskatoon. Again, the speckle bull did not let them down. His calves are amazing.

“It is fun in the spring to try and guess colour and gender with these breeds,” Clarke said.

They will continue with the cross as they feel the breeds really complement each other.

With their own young heifers, they will add to their herd and see how the future goes. It is their hope that the breed remains sustainable, and the market becomes stronger.

The Clarkes now have a little girl. Although she is still just a toddler, she is the next-generation farmer.