The history of Limousin cattle may very will be as old as the European continent itself.
Cattle found in cave drawings estimated to be 20,000 years old in the Lascaux Cave near Montignac, France, have a striking resemblance to today's Limousin.
During the early times of animal power, Limousin gained well-earned reputation as work animals in addition to their beef qualities.
Through the late 1800's and early 1900's, Limousin breeders paid close attention to morphological characteristics as the breed developed. The medium size of these cattle as compared to other European breeds was, and is still, an outstanding breed trait.
They also selected for the dark golden-red hide with wheat colored underpinnings. French records also show a great deal of emphasis was stressed upon deep chest, a strong top-line, well-placed tailhead and strongly-muscled hindquarter.
The end result was an efficient, hardy, adaptable animal which was extremely well-suited for its only intended purpose ... to produce meat.
The first Limousin bulls imported permanently into the United States did not arrive until the fall of 1971.
The first U.S. import, Kansas Colonel, was born and raised in Canada and was imported by Bob Haag of Topeka, Kansas, for a group of Kansas Limousin breeders.
As the first Limousin cattle arrived in North America, cattlemen interested in the breed realized the need for an organization to promote and develop the breed in the United States and Canada.
At one of these meetings in the spring of 1968 at the Albany Hotel in Denver, fifteen cattlemen formed the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF).
The Limousin breed has expanded across North America. The tremendous carcass traits of the breed have attracted the full attention of the entire beef industry. In addition to solid prices for breeding stock, feeders are paying a premium for percentage Limousin because of their excellent feed efficiency and packers are asking for Limousin by name.
From humble beginnings in France many centuries ago, these golden-red beef cattle have now achieved acceptance here in the United States as a major contributor to a more efficient beef industry.