Brown Swiss cattle, one of the oldest breeds of cattle, originating in Switzerland where the cows were used as triple-purpose animals (dairy, beef, and draft). They are large, fleshy, and slow-maturing, with body color ranging from gray or light brown to dark brown. Introduced in the United States in 1869, they were once important as a dairy breed.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.