EASTPORT – Cattle drives involved the movement of cattle from one place to another, traditionally by cowboys on horseback. Cattle drives were a major economic activity in the American west, particularly between the years 1866-1886, when 20 million cattle were herded from Texas to railheads in Kansas for shipments to stockyards in Chicago and points east. The long distances covered, the need for periodic rests by riders and animals, and the establishment of railheads led to the development of “cow towns” across the American West. Because of extensive treatment of cattle drives in fiction and film, the cowboy became the worldwide iconic image of the American. Now you can add the City of Eastport, Maine as one of America’s great cow towns. With a modern day cattle drive of as many as 8000 pregnant cows to Eastport’s Port for shipment overseas, Eastport can stand shoulder to shoulder with Dodge City, Wichita, Abilene, Cheyenne and Amarillo as a great American Cow Town.
Eastport is looking at the potential of shipping 8000 + cows as America’s Newsest Cow Town.
“We have been permitted for the cows,” announced Eastport Port Director Chris Gardner on Thursday. . “After much consternation, we were able to work with Senator Kevin Raye here in Maine, Seantors Snowe and Collins in Washington along with their key staff members Carol Woodcock and Gail Kelly to get the USDA to permit our operation. This announcement reflects a tremendous amount of hard work by Senator Raye and our Federal Delegation. This is no small news, there are only a handful of seaports on the east coast permitted to do this and our addition could mean big things for the port. 500 cows will be exported this weekend on the Spliethoff vessel via deck loaded containers. We believe that there are at least another 800 going out in the coming month(s). Overall there is the potential for over 8000 cows to be sent and so long as we are successful on this voyage we have no reason to believe that they will be anywhere but here. I will continue to work with the Senators and Congressman Michaud to see that our permit becomes permanent. They have taken a personal interest in seeing this done, Congressman Michaud called me on my cell this morning himself to assure me that they all were working on it. And as of roughly noon today we had confirmation.”
So Eastport is celebrating their new cargo and will be working to make this a new staple in Eastport.
Good chance you may even see a small cattle drive and a few cowboys in September’s Eastport Pirate Festival Parade in honor of being America’s newest “Cow Town.”
For More Information you can contact Port Director Chris Gardner at 207-598-8704
John Miller, Member
Eastport City Council
Eastport, Maine 04631
Contact Name: Chris Gardner
Telephone Number: (207)598-8704