I’m biased. I love the Big Brown Cow, Brown Swiss.
I love the gentle temperament and the fact they allow us to lead them. We’ve never felt scared working with our animals, yet, if they don’t want to go, they don’t go.
I love their size. They are tall and powerful, bred for this in Switzerland many, many years ago.
I love the attitude of those who raise them. Very much salt of the earth people with great senses of humor.
Two weeks ago, the first leg of our tour across Iowa and Wisconsin, was traveling from our home in Northeast Iowa to Madison, WI for the World Dairy Expo. This is the main event in the dairy industry with dozens of vendors around along with each of the dairy breed’s international show! For the Brown Swiss, why have a show without the Iowa Brown Swiss princess?? 🙂
So, that’s where we spent one of our precious personal days, in an arena with Brown Swiss cows being paraded before us. I say this mockingly, but we did have a great time. We (my wife and I) talked a lot, we saw way too many people we knew, and sat in awe of how perfect these cows looked. We aren’t breeders and we don’t milk, so we were a little out of place there, but to see these gorgeous animals shown was an experience.
Then, the pageantry: as they brought out the class champions, they were led by a yodeling group from New Glarus, Wisconsin, home of Spotted Cow beer, a speciality of New Glarus Brewery, but that’s a whole different blog (#edcampNewGlarus anyone??). These men and women wowed the crowd with their abilities along with the Alpine Horns that were played. As the champion was selected and we gathered our things to visit the barn, one thing was for certain, this was not a wasted trip.
We wandered the barns and saw beautiful, amazing animals of all breeds, met of with a couple of friend, took a quick look at the venders, and we were on the road, out of Madison back towards Iowa City. If this was to be the last event we participate in, it was pretty cool. My daughter got to have her picture taken with the Grand Champion Cow, Cutting Edge T Delilah, who eventually was “crowned” Supreme Grand Champion of the breeds, quite an honor!
And one of the coolest things for my wife and I, the school kids coming through! We sat in a area where kids were coming through and there were retired farmers/teachers who were talking to the students about the show, the animals, their treatment, the whole bit. The kids asked some great questions and it was just fun to see field trip money being used to come visit an ag show! Cudos to you Madison area teachers! 🙂
Hopefully, I won’t blog as much about Brown Swiss as they become another memory of a little different life. I love the animals, and if I win the Mega-Millions or the Powerball lottery, I’m starting my own dairy, with a herd of Brown Swiss!
Anyone care to run it for me?? 😉