All in the family at Shat Acres - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

All in the family at Shat Acres

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Have you made plans to celebrate Mother's Day this Sunday? Does it involve a bale of hay and a bucket of milk? It does for one Northeast Kingdom woman.

There are 140 head of cattle on Shat Acres in Greensboro Bend. But one little calf will be giving Kelly Foster a new twist on Mother's Day. "I am the only mommy that she knows. She is really friendly," Foster said.

When Caylea the calf was born, her mother rejected her. So she was rescued and bottle fed and has now graduated to a bucket. "I feed her twice a day. She will eat anytime you put a bucket in front of her," Foster said.

Foster also spends time playing with Caylea so she can get the exercise she needs.
Caylea is a Highland with a rich history. She is from a long line of award winning Highlands.

Ray Shatney is Foster's Dad. The herd was started by his father. "This farm has been in existence since 1967 and is one of the oldest Highland herds in the U.S. today, and one of the largest herds," Shatney said.

But like many other farms, to make ends meet, Shat Acres' Ray Shatney and Janet Steward have to do more than just raise prize winners. "We have had to diversify. We used to just sell breeding stock and now we sell beef to high end markets in the Montpelier and Burlington area, so it has worked out real well for us and for the restaurants and gives us a market for our beef animals," Shatney said.

Shatney and his family have names for all the animals -- like Judylyn. And there's more than just one proud mother in the barn.  "She is very special. She is named after our Judy Simpson. She was born a year ago April when Judy was here," said Janet Steward.

Reporter Judy Simpson: The resemblance is uncanny.

Janet Steward: It's the blond bangs -- they are the same.

Eventually Kelly Foster and her husband hope to take over the farm. You could say, Highlands run in the family. And now the fourth generation of the family is getting involved as well. Two of Shatney's grandchildren will be helping out at an upcoming show in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, Kelly Foster will be busy feeding her new baby, who will eventually grow to weigh anywhere from 1 to 13-thousand pounds. 

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