The quality of Brown Swiss cattle produced in Wisconsin, as well as the quality of the dairy producers who raise and show them, will be on display for a national audience next week as the state turns into "Swissconsin."
The National Brown Swiss Convention and National Junior Heifer Show come to the state beginning July 3 in the Milwaukee area.
Wisconsin has more Brown Swiss cattle in it than any other state, so it seems appropriate for the Wisconsin Brown Swiss Association to host the national event.
About 250 Brown Swiss aficionados from all parts of the United States are expected for the high-profile event centered around Brown Swiss cattle in Pewaukee and West Allis July 3-6.
The Milwaukee Marriott West will be the headquarters for the National Brown Swiss Convention; the National Junior Heifer Show on July 4 will be at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in West Allis.
Events begin July 3 with all-day open houses at various farms that have agreed to open their doors for tours and registration for the convention opens at 8 a.m. Youth activities begin at 9 a.m. and at 10 a.m. visitors can take part in a golf outing.
In the afternoon attendees can board buses for a visit to Harley-Davidson and at 6 p.m. the home of Harley-Davidson will serve as the opening evening's venue as well, providing breeders a chance to see a unique part of Wisconsin and Milwaukee.
On July 4 the day begins with the National Youth and Adult awards breakfast at 7 a.m. and at 10 a.m. the Brown Swiss Association annual meeting will be held followed by a luncheon.
At 2 p.m. the Nelson McCammon national Junior Heifer Show will begin with showmanship competition. Later in the day organizers have planned a National Youth Fun Auction reception and dinner followed by the Swissconsin youth contest awards and auction as well as fireworks.
The National Brown Swiss Fun Auction is the largest fundraiser for the year for youth activities. Those events will be held at Wisconsin State Fair Park.
On Friday, July 5 visitors can board buses for either farm tours or attractions in the city of Milwaukee.
Farms open for tours will include Cozy Nook Farm, the Oberhaus family, in Waukesha; Horseshoe Hill Farm, the Uglow family in Watertown; Sunshine Genetics, Drs. Dan Hornickel, Chris Keim and Greg Schueller, Whitewater; and Twinkle Hill Farm, the Winkelman family, Watertown.
At 3 p.m. there will be a preview of the National Brown Swiss Sale and at 6 p.m. there will be a reception followed by the Swissconsin Breeders banquet featuring the National Youth Slideshow, Master Breeder Award and Historic Breeder Award.
Breakfast on Saturday will be followed by the National Brown Swiss Sale at 10 a.m.
"We're very excited about hosting the National Brown Swiss Convention and National Junior Heifer Show," says Rick Thompson, president of the Wisconsin Brown Swiss Association. "Our state has a long history of developing some of the best Brown Swiss cows and herds in the breed.
"Wisconsin also has more Brown Swiss in it than any other state, and we're excited to show breeders from across the country the quality of cattle and people we have here."
The "Swissconsin" convention will include the "Nelson E. McCammon National Junior Heifer Show", named in honor of an influential herdsman who managed notable including Curtis Candy Company Dairy, Norvic Farm, Red Brae Brown Swiss, CB Farms and Rolling Acres Guernseys and was the winner of the prestigious Klussendorf Trophy in 1959.
McCammon died a year ago and bequeathed a substantial amount of money to the Wisconsin Brown Swiss Association for youth programs.
"Nelson was such a good supporter of youth activities in our state, and across the country. It really meant a lot to him," Thompson said. "With the show in Wisconsin, it was an easy decision for us to name it in his honor.
Wisconsin hosted the first National Junior Heifer Show in 2005 in Janesville. This year's edition of that event offers youth exhibitors a chance to see how their heifers compare to others from across the country.
The convention concludes with the National Brown Swiss Convention Sale, managed by Brown Swiss Sales Service.