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Published January 21 2011

Breed has roots in North Dakota

BueLingo cattle kind of look like an Oreo cookie. With a white-belted torso capped by black front and rear ends, the breed has an eye-catching look.

The recognizable animal was developed more than three decades ago on a family farm near Sheldon, N.D., about 40 miles southwest of Fargo.

During the 1970s, Russell Bueling partnered with Russ Danielson, now a professor emeritus of animal science at North Dakota State University.

Together, the men created and evolved a unique cattle breed recognized for its docile demeanor, fast growth and quality meat and dairy product.

And, not to forget – an appearance that would turn heads.

“I wanted the cow to have a distinguished look,” Bueling wrote in the BueLingo Beef Cattle Society archives. “Something that you would be attracted to, not only for her beauty but that she would attract attention.”

By the end of the 1980s, the breed became popular enough to spark the formation of the cattle society, which unites BueLingo owners from all over.

BueLingos are distributed in at least 30 states and Canada by more than 280 breeders. There are about 4,000 registered BueLingo cattle worldwide, according to the Ransom County, N.D., website.

Bueling died in 2008 at the age 89, but his legacy lives on through his family farm north of Sheldon, in Ransom County.

The Flying Cross Ranch hosts four generations of Buelings, who continue farm operations there.

Kirk Bueling, Russell Bueling’s grandson, could not be reached for comment.

Half of the 3,000-acre ranch is used to grow crops and half is in pasture land to support 100 registered cows and 200 commercial cows, according to Ransom County.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541