Vermont State Heritage Breed of Livestock

Randall Lineback Breed of Cattle

Vermont Randall Lineback Breed of Cattle

(Bos primigenius)

Adopted on March 9, 2006.

The Randall Linback Breed of Cattle was named the "official state heritage breed of livestock" when Governor Jim Douglas signed House Bill No. 468 on March 9, 2006.

Randall cattle are a rare breed of purebred cattle developed in Sunderland, Vermont, USA, on the farm of Samuel Randall, and later his son, Everett Randall. The Randall family kept a closed herd for over 80 years. Randalls are considered to be a landrace breed, descended from the local cattle common in New England in the nineteenth Century.

In 1985 the Randall cattle were rescued from the Randall farm after Everett Randall had died. The animals were widely dispersed but soon began to disappear. Cynthia Creech, then living in Tennessee, stepped in to purchase most of the remaining animals to preserve the genetics from extinction. During the following years the breed was called various names but in the 1990s it was decided that they would be called Randall cattle and the Registry was set up with that name in 2001.

Randalls have historically been used as a dairy breed, although they also possess meat and draft qualities. From fewer than 20 animals the breed population has increased to over 250 breeding females.

Vermont State Heritage Breed of Livestock:
Randall Lineback Breed of Cattle

Vermont Randall Lineback Breed of Cattle

Randall cattle are quite variable in size and conformation and have a constitution that is suited to the New England climate. Randalls on average are medium in size with the cows weighing about 600-1100 lbs. and bulls weighing from 1000 to 1800 lbs. or more. Randall cattle have a "Colour-sided" lineback pattern, black markings on a white base, varying from almost white to very dark. Other subtle shades such as blue, mahogany, and gray have been observed, and there are now a number of recessive reds.

Randall meat characteristics can vary between different family lines, for example some produce a lean carcase with yellow fat and others produce a beefier well marbled carcass.

Calving difficulties are rare, and metabolic disorders have not been seen. They have strong maternal and survival instincts, high intelligence, and are very docile when handled regularly.

This breed is uniquely adapted to extensive or low input farming systems. Historically, the most suitable and natural environment for these cattle has been on small scale forage-based farms, subsistence farms, and homesteads. It is on such farms and homesteads that the unique genetic attributes of the Randalls can be fully expressed.

Adoption of the Randall Lineback Breed of Cattle

The Randall lineback is one of the most endangered bovine breeds in the United States.



It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:


The only traditional breed of cattle to have originated in Vermont is the Randall Lineback. The Randall Lineback breed is named for the Samuel Randall family of Sunderland who developed the breed approximately 100 years ago by carefully preserving a closed herd. The breed's appearance and striking color pattern set it apart from the standardized breed and distinguish it as unique. As recently as 1985, the Randall Lineback breed faced extinction when the remaining herd reached a low of between 15 and 20 head. Today, the Randall Lineback breed is growing, but still remains critically rare with fewer than 200 head registered nationally. In consideration of the contributions of the Randall Lineback breed to the agricultural history of Vermont, the state recognizes that preservation of this critically rare breed is integral to the heritage of Vermont.

Sec. 2. 1 V.S.A. § 515 is added to read:


The Randall Lineback breed of cattle shall be an official state heritage breed of livestock.

Vermont Law

The law designating the Randall Lineback breed of cattle as the official Vermont state heritage livestock breed is found in the Vermont Statutes Annotated, Title 1, Chapter 11, Section 515.


1 V.S.A. § 515 (2012)

§ 515. State heritage livestock breed

The Randall Lineback breed of cattle shall be an official state heritage breed of livestock.

HISTORY: Added 2005, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Randall Lineback Breed of Cattle

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Bos
Species: Bovidae Bos taurus - dairy Randall Lineback

State Mammals
State Mammals & Animals
Mammals are vertebrates (backboned animals) that feed their young on mother's milk.