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. 

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Breeder Profile

Stray voltage solved, Wessels' herds thrive

Mineral Point family manages Holsteins, Brown Swiss

by Ron Johnson, DairyStar,com

 Wessel Farms records a 32 percent pregnancy rate
Joyce, Dave (center) and Rod Wessel of Wessel Farms had a herd pregnancy rate of 32 percent on a 70-day voluntary waiting period last year. The Wessels milk 346 Holstein and Brown Swiss on their farm near Mineral Point, Wis.  It's since climbed to 34 percent, according to David.      PHOTO BY RON JOHNSON

MINERAL POINT, Wis. - Ask David Wessel about his cows' herd average and he might reply, "Which one?

A recent test on the 212 registered Brown Swiss had them at 24,144 pounds of milk, 1,047 pounds of fat, and 793 pounds of protein. Meanwhile, the 141 Holsteins were at 29,636 pounds of milk, 1,177 pounds of fat and 883 pounds of protein.  Average those numbers and Wessel Farms LLC has a combined herd average of 26,285 pounds of milk, 1,097 of fat, and 828 pounds of protein, on three-time-a-day milking.

Another important number is the herd's pregnancy rate. A couple of months ago it stood at 32 percent. It's since climbed to 34 percent, according to David.

With more than 350 cows and 318 acres owned, David and his wife, Joyce, have come a long way since moving to southwest Wisconsin from northeast Iowa 47 years ago.

"We were dead broke when we came here," David said. "When we were in college, if we had $5 in our checking account, we thought we were in pretty good shape."

They came to the Badger State right after David graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in dairy science. He took a job as a loan officer with the Production Credit Association (PCA).

Bringing with him the itch to farm, David and Joyce rented a place and got going with the help of an established dairyman. David brought his affection for Brown Swiss with him and continued to milk the big, brown cows, to help pay for college.

By the time 11 years rolled past, David had quit his PCA job and Joyce and he were able to buy the foundation of their present farm. On their owned land, plus 300 acres rented, they grow 350 acres of corn, along with alfalfa.

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