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Farm Animal: Montbéliarde Cow

illustration of a red and white montbéliarde cow

Breed: Montbéliarde

Species: Bos taurus

Color/Pattern: red pied

Height: 4 feet 10 inches*

Weight: 1,400 pounds*

Region of Origin: Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

This Frenchie is the second-most-common dairy cow in its native land, and its fat- and protein-rich milk is used in more French PDO cheeses than any other breed—it’s one of the few types permitted when making Alpine staples such as Comté, Reblochon, Morbier, and Mont d’Or, and it’s also commonly used to craft Époisses and Langres. They’re popular abroad, too, especially in Ireland and here in the United States.Perhaps that’s due to the breed’s adaptability; a sturdy physique makes the cows resilient in a range of climes, from sunny French Alps to humid Mexican highlands to brisk British meadows.

* Height and weight are averages

Illustration by Rose Bisanz

Sam Jones

Sam Jones is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Agriculture, Food, and Environment at Tufts University. She has worked on organic vegetable farms in France, Scotland, and Washington as well as on a chicken and pig farm in Colorado. She is passionate about telling farmers' stories and exploring the varied agricultural methods that go into making delicious cheese around the world.

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