Brown Swiss are known for
dairy strength

Originating in the Swiss Alps, Brown Swiss adapt well to high altitudes and hot or cold climates, while producing large volumes of milk, ideal for cheese-making. Their unique ability to yield high components with an ideal fat-to-protein ratio sets them apart from other dairy breeds. 

Correct feet and legs, well-attached udders and dairy strength contribute to their exceptional productive life, allowing them to thrive in any modern dairy set-up. Style, balance and fancy frames also make Brown Swiss easy winners at county, state, national and international shows.


800 Pleasant Street, Beloit, Wisconsin 53511-5456
Ph: 608-365-4474    •    Fax: 608-365-5577    •    E-mail:

The Brown Swiss Association was established in 1880, registers about 10,000 animals per year and serves about 1800 combined adult and junior members. It is governed by a 10-person board of directors elected by and from the membership.

BSCBA Mission Statement... To promote and expand the Brown Swiss breed with programs that assist the membership and industry to compete favorably in the market place now and in the future.

Today’s U.S. breeders have built upon the breed’s rich heritage to develop a worldwide demand for their cattle in both the show ring and commercial dairy herd. 

   Upcoming Events   


Heart of America Sale
Stillwater, OK
Friday, October 21, 2016

Southwest National Show
Stillwater, OK
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Eastern Breeders Sale
Cobleskill, NY,
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fall for Colors Sale, 4pm
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Allen Guse Auction
Marion, WI
Friday, October 28, 2016

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Genetics is the drive

Ihrkes enjoy rebuilding herd during second go at dairying

Brown Swiss cows make up the majority of the Ihrkes’ herd. When mating cows, Ryan Ihrke likes to focus on production, net merit, productive life and Progressive Performance Ranking (PPR).

by Krista Kuzma,

DOVER, Minn. - Despite the milk price, the Ihrkes are enjoying dairy farming - even the second time around.
Ryan Ihrke along with his parents, Brian and Julie, jumped back into dairying two years ago after having to sell out in 2010. The Ihrkes milk 28 cows on their dairy near Dover, Minn.
"It's a family effort," said Ryan, who works full-time off the farm along with his dad, Brian.
June marks two years the Ihrkes have been back in the dairy industry, milking their own cows.

Their first time around started in December of 2003, Ryan's senior year in high school.
"We got into it because I wanted to do it," said the 30-year-old.
Both Brian and Julie grew up on dairy farms, and Ryan and his brother, Brandon, grew up showing cows in 4-H after their parents sparked their interest.
"I worked for a dairy in high school and bought my first Brown Swiss animal with money I saved up," he said. "I just started buying Swiss because it was a breed I wanted to know more about."

But, soon the Ihrkes had too many animals housed at other farms. They didn't want to sell the animals they worked so hard to raise.
"We had more heifers coming in and we wanted to keep them so we would have our own cattle instead of buying show cattle," Ryan said. "We decided to start milking them ourselves."
They fixed up the barn on their farmstead and eventually built a freestall addition. Things were going well until the milk price slump of 2009 into 2010.
"Things just weren't working out," Ryan said. "Times were a little rough and we made the decision to get out for a little bit. We kept some [youngstock] back ..."

Again, their herd continued to grow too large to house at someone else's farm. They felt they could dairy farm again. The time was right for their family.
"I had just been let go from IBM," Julie said about why she was on board to start dairy farming again. "I'm able to be at home and watch the grandkids. And all of us just like country living and farming."

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