Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp extended congratulations to participants at the Senepol Cattle Breeders Symposium who are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the development of the St. Croix Senepol cattle breed at events this week that included a reception at the Buccaneer Hotel.
In 1918, Bromley Nelthropp began this new breed of cattle by crossing the N’Dama cattle, originally from Senegal, West Africa, with the Red Poll breed from England, resulting in animals that were heat tolerant, insect resistant, docile, high milk-producing and very good beef.
“It is truly a St. Croix original,” Mapp said.
In 1940, Sen. Fritz E. Lawaetz became the general manager of Estate Annaly, owned by Ward Canady, who, with his eldest son Hans, developed it into the 1,500 head strong Annaly Farms. He soon after founded the Virgin Islands organization that would eventually became the internationally recognized Senepol Cattle Breeders Association.
Since 1949, when Nelthropp’s herd was dispersed to four local breeders, the Senepol breed on St. Croix grew into the official Senepol Breed Registry with meticulously maintained genetic records. Annaly Farms then trademarked the name “Senepol” in 1974.
In 1977, a plane carrying 22 Senepols left for the U.S. mainland, and today, Senepols are found thriving in 21 states. There are also now more than 500 breeders around the world in Australia, Brazil, Paraguay, Columbia, Argentina, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Philippines, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean Region and wherever tropically adapted production is needed.
“It is my distinct pleasure to congratulate the entire U.S. Virgin Islands as the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of Senepol Cattle, a home-grown product of Virgin Islands soil, and specifically recognize Hans Lawaetz for his lifetime of dedication to the development of this breed,” the governor said.