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From far away, you may confuse this Brown Swiss for a Jersey. But get a little closer and you’ll notice a difference. A big difference. A difference of a couple hundred pounds.

Brown Swiss are a larger cow with a fuller body. They have large, cute and fuzzy ears that are as soft as they look. This breed was developed in the northeastern part of Switzerland, and, according to the Brown Swiss Association, the breed is believed to be the oldest of all dairy breeds. But since none of us are that old, we’ll leave it to the historians to figure out. Many farmers like the Brown Swiss because of their temperament; they have good feet and legs, and are weatherized. That’s just a fancy way of saying that Brown Swiss seem to be able to thrive and survive in hot and humid climates to cold and wet climates.

In Tillamook, Brown Swiss is a breed that was more popular a generation or two ago by farmers who emigrated from Switzerland. Today, there are probably less than 400 in the county.

~ Chandra of the Tillamook Team

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