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 Farming method

 A traditional farming method, modern efficient systems

The Tarentaise breed has always been used in mountain farms with alpine traditions. Its qualities, which have been developed to suit these farming methods, mean that it is in great demand for new systems adapted to difficult conditions.

The Tarentaise is to be found all over the Northern Alps, particularly in its birthplace, Savoy, and also in the Southern Alps and the Massif Central. There are also localised herds in the Pyrenees and the Mountains of the Vosges.

Most Tarentaise farms are situated in the high valleys where the milk is turned into cheese. Herd management is closely linked to the rhythm of the seasons:

   

In winter, the animals are kept in fettered housing. They go indoors as soon as the weather turns cold, or with the first fall of snow, and they remain in their winter quarters until the spring. They are fed essentially on hay during this time

   

In summer, they return to the high mountain pastures (at altitudes of between 1,500 and 2,500 m). In some cases, the herds are brought together before being put out to summer pasture. These groupings also belong to the traditional use of the mountains developed by farmers over the years.
These pastoral groupings enable the farmers to get on with hay-making while the cows are kept at high altitude. In spring and autumn, the animals are on the upland meadows. In this way, the cows are milked indoors for part of the year and the rest of the time outside, using mobile milking parlours

 Pastureland at the service of winter sports.

The Tarentaise breed is a basic component of the quality of the Savoy landscape. All summer, the Tarentaise cows play an important part in maintaining the ski slopes: grass which is cropped retains the mantle of snow and limits the risk of avalanches