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Registered Brown Swiss cattle are worth more money than non-identified animals.

Increase Marketability

Whether you own 10 or 10,000 cows, a registration certificate shows other producers that you are willing to take the extra time to keep records of your herd’s lineage, production, and even breedings. Other producers will know they are receiving high quality cattle when they purchase from you. Due to their complete records, pedigree information, and genetic evaluations, Registered Brown Swiss bring more money at sales and can be exhibited at shows, which increases buyer interest and willingness to pay a higher price.

*All Brown Swiss are eligible for Registration or entry into the Identity Enrollment Program.

Enhance Genetic Value

You can very easily improve the value of your entire herd’s genetics simply by registering your cattle. As a cow produces more registered offspring, her pedigree value increases and she becomes eligible for Association awards and recognitions that are printed directly on her pedigree. Your cows will receive an official genetic evaluation and be assigned a PPR value at sire summary time. Since a cow receives a PPR value, she will be eligible for the Top 300 PPR Cow List, which is distributed to A.I. Companies at each sire run. Many A.I. companies use this report to locate sire mothers.

Receive Brown Swiss Association Program Eligibility

For registered Brown Swiss owners, the Brown Swiss Association offers many programs and services to assist with record keeping, genetic improvement, and marketing. Once you own a registered Brown Swiss, you are eligible to apply for National Brown Swiss Association Membership, which allows you to receive reduced rates on registration and gives you voting privileges. It also makes you eligible for the BSA program, which includes production records processing and classification services. Classification and Production records allow a cow to be included in a sire’s evaluation and to receive an evaluation and index of her own.

Access Brown Swiss Database

The Brown Swiss Database allows registered breeders to look up information on their own herds and even cattle within other producers’ herds to make better mating decisions. Three-generation pedigrees and skeleton pedigrees are available for use by Registered Brown Swiss breeders. By utilizing pedigrees for mating decisions, you can avoid inbreeding and introducing genetic abnormalities into your herd.

Bylaws, Rules and Regulations were created in order to keep honest, hardworking registered Brown Swiss cattle at the forefront of the breed. These rules are set in place to enhance the genetic value of animals for Brown Swiss breeders. Following protocols and procedures set in place by BSCBA allows breeders to get the best value from their registered Brown Swiss animal(s) and the most return on investment. These essential procedures keep the flow of data moving smoothly and ensure accurate pedigrees to be used for promotion of Brown Swiss cattle.


The owner of the dam at the time a natural calf is born shall register the animal. When an animal is registered its information influences the entire breed's genetics and herd book progress. Incorrect birthdates and production records alter the future of the entire breed and that of other breeders. The Application for Registration must be filled out completely or it will be returned and asked that missing information be completed.


Signatures for Registration or Transfer shall be signed in ink or indelible pencil exactly as the ownership is shown on the records of BSCBA. All transfers shall be applied for and paid for by the registered owner (seller) who shall furnish the transferee (purchaser) with the Certificate of Registry on which the transfer has been duly recorded by the Secretary. If the registered owner refuses to transfer the animal, the Secretary, upon approval by the Board of Directors and with proof of the animal's sale and identity may transfer ownership to the name of the transferee.


A Brown Swiss breeder may reserve a prefix name for its exclusive use, when not previously reserved by BSCBA for another breeder. No prefix shall be reserved that is a duplication of the distinctive part of another registered prefix. A prefix is limited to 15 characters. The prefix used in naming an animal at the time of registration shall be the prefix of the person owning the dam at the time of breeding.  The words Dairy, Farm, Ranch and Swiss cannot be part of any prefix. A prefix can be the distinctive part of a farm name, but not a name that pertains to known and established bloodlines of Brown Swiss cattle.

Production records

Production records help determine genetic evaluations. A sire's evaluation is only as accurate as his daughters' information. Keeping breed integrity in mind on test day ensures accurate reporting of production data for all evaluations. If a discrepancy in records is found, please notify the Brown Swiss office and provide a copy of the cow's test page. Many times a simple identification error can keep the records from being processed correctly.

Parentage Verification

Genomics provide an additional tool for improving identification and recognizing correct parentage. By verifying parentage on donor dams and young bulls (at time of registration), the United States Brown Swiss herd book will improve in accuracy and lineage. Early Genomic testing prevents future identification problems and the need for board appeals decreasing cost to the breeder and increasing value of registered Brown Swiss cattle!

In as much as all records are dependent largely upon honor and care, every person proven to have made misstatements either in regard to the birth, pedigree or qualities of an animal forfeits all consideration from the Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders' Association of the U.S.A. 

One of the simplest ways to enhance the value of your herd is to keep accurate identification, health, reproduction and production records.

Tattoo Your Animals

Tattoos are easy to read in the ears of Brown Swiss cattle and do not get lost like traditional dangle or button tags. The Application for Registry requires breeders to provide the animal's tattoo or eartag number and which ear it is in. If an animal loses her eartag, the tattoo number can easily be matched with the one on her registration paper and there won't be a need for a DNA test. However, if she has no tattoo, the seller of the calf pays for the parentage verification. 

How to Tattoo Pamphlet


The Brown Swiss Association prefers to register animals using its own series of registration numbers. However, breeders may choose to register their animals using RFID USA (840) series tags. If these tags are used, the animal must be double tagged, with both a button tag and a dangle tag displaying the number. These are either Radio Frequency ID tags or official Animal Identification Number (AIN) tags. When registering an animal identified with RFID tags be sure to use the entire 840 number.

Commonly Asked Questions on Eartags/Tattoos

The Brown Swiss Association strongly recommends a tattoo be the permanent I.D. of the animal; however, it is not required with the use of double official AIN eartags. However, if all forms of Permanent ID have been lost, parentage needs to be proven through parentage testing at the expense of the owner. If this cannot be validated, the animal will revert to an ID (identified, but not registered).

No, the Brown Swiss Association does not give out parameters for tattoos, it is up to the breeder to decide and to provide at time of registration.

Yes, but this must be indicated on the application for registration or entered in the registration number space at the bottom of the on-line database registration page. The entire number needs to be entered and in the country code drop-down box, when either submitting a registration or ordering a pedigree, United States 840 needs to be selected. If the tags are lost and a new number is issued, the registration number will not change to the new number. You should notify us of the new RFID tag number if replaced. The Association recommends using the regular registration number sequencing.

Yes, double official AIN eartags can count as ID; however, the Brown Swiss Association still recommends animals also be tattooed.

No, it is BSCBA policy not to change registration numbers once they are provided. The 840 tags must be linked to the vet information for show purposes, it will not affect the registration number already given. Also, since the registration number needs to correspond to ID number on cow’s test sheets, if an RFID tag is given to the animal after she already has a registration number, DO NOT change your animal’s ID on the test sheet to the RFID number. It needs to be the REGISTRATION number for her records to be received and reported in the Bulletin and for awards. The animal's tag number can be added to her registration record. Please add it to the correct field when registering online or note it on the registration application.

No, 840 tags must never be cut out of the ears. It is a USDA requirement that the animals have them for health tracking purposes.

Premise ID's are obtained from your State Department of Agriculture. Before RFID tags may be ordered, a Herd Premise ID is required.

If your animal has lost one of its tags, but still has either the button or dangle tag remaining, no you do not need to request a new eartag or number for the animal. If both tags are lost, new tags for that animal will need to be ordered and a new RFID number will be issued, duplicate tags are not issued as this is a unique ID system. In the event an animal loses its ear tag and receives a new RFID number, the Registration number will remain the old RFID number and the animal will be identified with its TATTOO number.

You can find a link for ordering eartags on our website The link looks like an ear tag; click on it to go to the website to order the tags or you can go directly to The options that work for Expo are option 4 and option 5. For questions regarding ordering of lost tags, please contact the tag distributor: 608-848-6455 (Ask for Leslie).