National Brown Swiss Convention Returns To Wisconsin

For the first time in over a decade, an international crowd gathers in Wisconsin to celebrate the Brown Swiss cattle breed. Josh Hushon is the assistant chair of the National Brown Swiss Convention. He says Wisconsin is the Brown Swiss Capital of the U.S.

“Wisconsin has more Brown Swiss than any other state,” he says. “So the way that we’ll celebrate that is a couple of things. The first is that we’re going to give our youth a chance to show their animals to really a global audience because we have attendees coming from Switzerland, Italy, and South America. The second thing that we’ll do then is to visit some local farms. So, we’ve got three farms that we’ll take tours to.”

The Convention this week includes a consignment sale on Saturday. He says Brown Swiss cattle are popular for a couple of outstanding characteristics.

“The first thing that they’re known for is milk that converts very easily into cheese, so that’s high protein milk, that’s high-fat milk, and that’s honestly why it got started as a breed in Wisconsin, because of the Swiss cheese makers that came over,” Hushon explains. “They settled in Green County and then spread from there throughout Wisconsin. So, the breed itself has increased in production of pounds of milk while maintaining very high component levels of protein and cheese.”

People may be surprised at how popular the Brown Swiss breed is around the world.

“As a breed, it’s not the largest breed in the U.S. by any means,” Hushon says. “The black and white Holsteins, as all of your listeners know, are way more popular. But globally, there are about 8 million Brown Swiss, and they’re more popular than any other breed around the world.”

The Convention is July 3-6 in Green Bay.