Charolais cattle come from France, where they have been domesticated for meat, milk and draft purposes for over a thousand years. A soldier returning from World War One remembered seeing the distinctive white cattle in France and bought some to raise on his ranch in Mexico. A few animals were then sold into the U.S. in following years, but in the 1940s, a disease outbreak required a ban on cattle imports. Those few Charolais which had been bought by ranchers and farmers made up the entire Charolais herd in the United States for about 20 years. When Charolais were again able to be imported, farmers clamored for the cows, having learned that they were adaptable creatures, good foragers, cold-hardy, and large. Many herds now have strains of Charolais in their bloodlines.