Did You Know . . .
A Few Pieces of Trivia about the Brown Swiss Association in the U.S.A.
The Building at 800 Pleasant Street, Beloit, Wisconsin
- Built in 1856. Originally the Beloit Paper Mill, the first paper mill in the Rock River Valley and the second in the Wisconsin Territory. In 1858, it was organized as the Rock River Paper company and produced 32,000 pounds of building paper per day.
- 1887 to 1930 - It was occupied by manufacturers of overalls, bicycles, and automobile parts (the first automobile turn signal was invented here), refrigerator cars, air appliances, a contractor specialties manufacturer called Schwebke Machine Company, and an upholsterer.
- December 1936 - Building purchased by Brown Swiss Association for $3,500 plus $28.56 for taxes and $2 for air and water right-of-ways.
- May 1937 - The Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders’ Association moved into the building.
U.S. Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders’ Association
- Formed September 8, 1880, by a small group of Brown Swiss breeders in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- First recorded Swiss imported from Switzerland in 1869-1870 by Henry M. Clark of Belmont, Massachusetts: 1 bull and 7 females.
- First bull in the Brown Swiss Herdbook: William Tell. First cow in the Brown Swiss Herdbook: Zurich.
- Next importation by George W. Harris, grandfather to retired Secretary-Treasurer George G. Harris. Mr. Harris, Wethersfield, CT, and Mr. Nelson Scott, Worcester, MA, imported 1 bull and 9 females in 1882.
- The animals registered in the Official Herdbook today are descendants of approximately 150 importations.
The National Office Staff
- Departments of the Association include Administrative, Accounting, Performance, Registrations, Pedigrees and Catalogs, Bulletin and Promotion, and the Association’s subsidiary, Brown Swiss Enterprises.
- 7 office personnel and 2 classifiers.
Some Association Programs and Activities
- Approximately 55,000 Brown Swiss in the U.S. are registered.
- Approximately 30,000 Brown Swiss are grade animals, not purebreds.
- In 1969, the Identity Enrollment Program was initiated as a way of upgrading animals which were not purebred so that offspring could eventually be registered in the Official Herdbook in a 3-generation process. In 1993, the program was expanded to include first-cross Brown Swiss with another dairy breed in a 4-generation process.
- In 2010, 10,658 Brown Swiss were registered and 3,292 were transferred.
- Approximately 3000 individuals register their Brown Swiss. Of those, many have become national members of the Association. In 2010, the Association had 875 active members (those members who registered a Brown Swiss animal during the year). A breeder does not have to be an official member of the Association in order to register his animals; however, one of the benefits of membership is reduced rates on registration fees.
- In 1971, the PTPR (Production and Type Performance Registry) Program was established which includes DHIR testing and classification. In 1998, the BSA (Brown Swiss Advantage) Program was initiated which is a total service program, including DHIR testing, classification, registrations, membership, and Bulletin subscriptions.
- Each year, the top herd in each of four herd-size divisions is honored. Recognition is also given to the three cows who finish with the highest 305-day ME record in milk, protein, and fat.
- One of the breed’s most prestigious awards is the Total Performance Award. This honor goes to the cow with the highest point total based on her placing at a national show, highest ECM lactation, and lifetime production. It is awarded annually at the national annual meeting.
- The monthly publication of the Brown Swiss Association is the Brown Swiss Bulletin. It was first published in July 1922. Approximately 1300 individuals receive the Bulletin.
- In 1969, a marketing division was formed and titled Brown Swiss Enterprises, Inc. Brown Swiss Enterprises has served Brown Swiss breeders throughout the country and world by bringing together buyer and seller. Semen, embryos, and animals have been marketed in the U.S. and around the world. For over 25 years, Brown Swiss Enterprises conducted the Premier Showcase Sale at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Youth Programs and Awards - All juniors from 9 through 21 who own a Brown Swiss are eligible for free junior membership in the Association. More than 5,000 juniors have been issued such membership throughout the years. Around 950 youth are currently junior members. Many programs and contests offered to the juniors include the Youth Achievement Contest, Cheese Yield Contest, Youth Production Contest, Junior Bell Ringer Contest, Ambassador Program, special recognition at national shows, and a Scholarship/Grant program.
- National Annual Meeting - Each July, the Association holds its national annual meeting. This convention, which is hosted by a different state each year, is open to all breeders and friends. Activities and programs include tours, award presentations, Fun Auction (event to raise money to finance the junior activities), annual meeting and election of officers, national sale, and seminars.
- National Shows - The Association sponsors six national shows located throughout the country.
Western National, Sacramento, California
Northwestern National, Puyallup, Washington
Eastern National, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
International, Madison, Wisconsin
Southwestern National, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Southeastern National, Louisville, Kentucky
One of the highlights of each Brown Swiss national show is the Parade of Champions, which was first begun at the National Dairy Show in the fall of 1938. The first and second place animal in each of the cow classes and the Junior and Reserve Junior Champion female don a Swiss bell and the leadsmen wear colorful Swiss milking shirts as they parade around the ring for the enjoyment of the audience.
- The 2010 ME breed average was 22,252 pounds milk, 3.98% fat, 886 pounds butterfat, 3.29% protein, and 731 pounds protein.
- In 1988, Lyndale Convincer Elaine became the first Brown Swiss cow to be named Supreme Champion over all breeds at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1989, she came back to repeat the honor.
- In 1994, Hoosier Knoll Jade Monay became the second Brown Swiss WDE Supreme Champion.
- In 2003, Old Mill E Snickerdoodle OCS became the third Brown Swiss to be named Supreme Champion at WDE. She also won Reserve Supreme Champion in 2008 and 2009.
- In 2013, the registered Brown Swiss reported sold at public auction averaged $2,749.
- The current Breed Champion for Milk, Fat, & Protein (1/11) is Lost Elm Prelude Pixy ET 911151 ‘2E93’. In 365 days at the calving age of 7 years and 6 months, she produced 65,430 pounds milk, with 5.4% fat, 3,557 pounds fat, 3.1% protein, 2,031 pounds protein.
“Profitable breeders own productive Brown Swiss cows”
Visitors to the national office are always welcome, so stop by and see us if you are in the area!