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A Brief History

In 2004, La Table agrotouristique de Charlevoix organized a symposium on the future of agriculture in Charlevoix, in collaboration with several regional participants. A conference was held on the topic of globalization and the development of niche markets in agriculture. Subsequent to this, meetings were scheduled pertaining to the five main production types, including one on dairy production. These get-togethers assembled local growers, producers and small food processing establishments, but most in attendance were Charlevoix dairy producers. Also, a master cheesemaker hosted a conference followed by a brainstorming session, which led to the creation of a project proposal focused on promoting the Canadienne cow. However, the proposal received no immediate follow-up.

Nevertheless, in an effort to position itself alongside various products that are typical to the region, Laiterie Charlevoix embarked on an introspective after the disappearance of several dairy farms in the Vallée-du-Gouffre area. In 2005, Lyne Breton, a producer and breeder of Canadienne cattle wishing to establish herself in Charlevoix, began talks with Laiterie-Charlevoix on the creation of a network to develop the potential of milk collected from Canadienne cows. At long last, she arrived in the region with her herd in 2007. At this time, in St-Hilarion Steve and Melissa Tremblay from Ferme Hengil s.e.n.c. became interested in producing Canadienne milk for Laiterie Charlevoix. However, to do so they needed to find Canadienne cows - which was no small feat. Nevertheless, luck was on their side. An important number of cows from Ferme Ste-Croix were put up for sale. Steve and Mélissa Tremblay acquired the cattle, to which they added a dozen or so cows from Ferme JP Côté et Fils. And so it was that by June 2007 and after decades of absence, the Canadienne cow was once again producing milk in Charlevoix.

In the aim of providing coordination for the development and implementation of this specific network, Laiterie Charlevoix, Steve and Mélissa Tremblay, Lyne Breton and Mario Duchesne (a conservation biologist and once a Table agrotouristique de Charlevoix coordinator who also played a role in the Charlevoix Lamb pilot designation project) all joined forces to create the Association for the Development of the Canadienne Cattle Breed in Charlevoix (ADCC*) – in fact, the organization at the very heart of this unique project.

* ADCC: or Association de mise en valeur des bovins de race Canadienne dans Charlevoix (AVCC)