Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 8th 2018 Contents SUNDAY 8 APRIL, 2018 -- UWI TODAY 13
Bu alo Soldier
many awards for
as a pioneer
as the man who
bu alypso, among
these are the
Gold (1984) from
of the Republic
of Trinidad and
Tobago, and an Honorary Degree from The UWI (2001).
There is also a Steve Bennett building at the School of
He received his diploma in animal husbandry from
Guelph University and returned to Trinidad, where he
soon went to work at what was Tate & Lyle, a British
company primarily involved in the sugar industry. A July
1971 bulletin issued by Caroni Limited and called "Birth
of the Bu alypso," carried a foreword by Gordon Maingot,
the Managing Director, that said:
"Last year, a controlling interest in Caroni Limited
was purchased by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago
from Tate & Lyle with public funds. This in e ect means
that the people of Trinidad & Tobago now control the
means of production in one of the nation's most vital
"The Company has since adopted a new emblem. It
features the head of a 'Bu alypso,' a special type of beef
bu alo that Caroni Limited has been developing over
the past 20 years. This emblem will serve as a reminder
of the new position of Caroni Limited as a full- edged
corporate citizen of Trinidad & Tobago.
"It is appropriate, therefore that this bulletin should
describe the development of the unique Trinidadian
Although he had been primarily a man of the
horses -- and remained one until his death -- he became
a key gure in Caroni's growing cattle interests and was
able to change the way in which herds were housed and
nourished, which was followed by livestock farmers in
the country. His life's work was centered on developing
the strain of bu alypso that emerged from his breeding
experiments with six of the breeds originally imported
from India. Indian water bu alo had rst come to Trinidad
in 1905 and by 1919 they were put to work on the sugar
plantations, a replacement for the Zebu who were dying
in large numbers from tuberculosis. (It was the same
principle on which Indian indentureship was based.)
From the various accounts of the work he did,
and the obstacles he surmounted, it is clear he was an
extraordinary man with an indefatigable spirit and a
strong sense of con dence in his capacity to persuade
even the most cynical.
His personal story and the development of the
bu alypso is a rugged saga, the kind associated with
pioneers, frontiers and immigrants... but it does not
have a happy ending.
ney of the
LYPSO We added molasses to the bagasse and also used chicken
manure because it is very high in nitrogen and a good
source of protein. e animals were fattening very well on
this ration. e bu alypsoes had terri c digestive systems
and over time improved dramatically. We decided to start
The first lot we shipped overseas was in 1956 to
Columbia. We further expanded the exports to 19 di erent
countries, including the USA, Cuba, Venezuela, and
countries of South and Central America. e importing
countries have all been very satis ed with the bu alypsoes.
ey can work, and their milk is also excellent with a high
butterfat content. In the South American countries, for
example, Venezuela, the importers made queso de mano
and queso blanco. ese are white cheeses and very popular
with consumers. It is also well known that all the Mozzarella
cheese made in Italy is from water bu alo milk. ey are well
diversi ed and useful animals in agricultural development.
If water bu aloes were indigenous to developed countries,
I do not think that cattle would be as popular as they are
because they [bu alypso] thrive on rough pastures unlike
For many years water bu aloes were o en referred to
as "bison" or "hog cattle." eir fat is always white and that
is an advantage because in traditional beef cattle breeds,
the only time you get white fat is in cattle that have been
force fed and fed on special rations, otherwise the fat is
usually yellow. When you buy premium cuts of meat, the
fat is usually white, because the animals were fed a better
type of food which results in a higher plane of nutrition.
We have a huge Muslim population in Trinidad. Religious
practices prevent the eating of pigs (hogs) or of touching
hogs. I recommended that we do not associate the name
"hog cattle" with the water bu aloes to avoid confusion.
e next name was the bison, which got confused with the
American bison that runs on the plains of the United States.
I had to get rid of that name also.
I eventually ended up calling our beef-type water
bu aloes -- the bu alypso. e logic in the name was that
Trinidad was the birthplace of the calypso.
ount of the process in his book
e was in his late eighties.
m Chapter 7, which he called,
alo into the Bu alypso."
en imported to replace the Zebu,
mated by tuberculosis.
Dr Steve Bennett was conferred
with an honorary degree
by e UWI in 2001.
and Holsteins with the bu alypso using grazing criteria and
weight gains, the bu alypso performed better. e beef cattle
were gaining 1.4 pounds of weight per day, while the water
bu aloes were gaining 1.6 pounds.
One reason for the di erences is that cattle during
grazing are somewhat selective, whereas the water bu aloes
would eat anything.
In Venezuela, the ranchers used water bu aloes to
follow cattle in pastures. When the cattle were nished
grazing one pasture, they were then transferred to another
pasture and the water bu aloes would be brought in to
consume everything left behind. A point of interest is
that water bu aloes will consume grass that cattle would
not touch, making this behavior a distinct advantage over
cattle, especially in regions of the tropics with limited good
pastures. In addition, I started to feed the water bu aloes
on the residue of sugarcane, called bagasse -- it was when
all the juice was squeezed out of it and the pith was all le .
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