Montbéliarde Association
Organisme de Sélection de la Race Montbéliarde
Montbéliarde Association
A parliament, a breeders'association, a source of references

A history of pasture and cheese

The history and current characteristics of the Montbeliarde wouldn’t have been the same without the specificities of its territory of origins. Over time, in the Jura Mountains with their continental climate, the farmers kept the most rustic animals, resistant to long and rough winters. Leaving a large space to pasture and lacking available cereals led the farmers to select cows able to take the bigger profit of grass. Easily-led cows also made livestock keeping easier in the big communal pastures.

The Franche-Comté cheese tradition is linked to the Montbeliarde typicality. From the XIIIth century in the high plateaus, collecting and transforming milk was organized according to the cheese « fruitières » (transforming regions). The supply need of those cooperative structures, which were developed after 1900 down to the plain zones, explains the strong orientation towards milk of the breed. Otherwise, the cheesemakers’ ancestral requirement for the noble matter of milk and their proximity with the member producers led a strong pressure for an improvement of the milk quality. Since 1958 and the acknowledgement of the Comté CDO, the Montbeliarde is the only breed (with the Simmental) entitled to produce this great French cheese.

Find out more about the Montbeliarde and cheese