Oregon is home to a variety of milk makers.
Holsteins are black and white, although there are also some “Red Holsteins”. They are the most popular dairy breed in Oregon and the Northwest. These large dairy cows weigh about 1,500 pounds and produce the most milk on average. They originated in the province of Friesland, The Netherlands.
Jerseys are honey-brown or fawn in color with a black nose and feet. They are the smallest of the dairy breeds weighing in at 900 pounds. Jerseys are the second most popular breed in Oregon and the Northwest. Their milk is the highest in protein and butterfat, making it ideal for cheesemaking. Jerseys hail from the Isle of jersey in the English Channel.
Guernseys are cream and brown with white markings. Their milk is also high in butterfat and has a distinctive golden color. They weigh about 1,150 pound and originated in the British Channel Island of Guernsey.
Brown Swiss come in shades of grey-brown varying from light to dark. They are the second highest milk producer and come from the Swiss Alps. These large cows weigh about 1,500 pounds.
Ayrshires vary in color from light to deep cherry red, mahogany, brown or a combination with white. They weigh about 1,200 pounds and come from the county of Ayr in Scotland.
Milking shorthorns are reddish-brown and white in color. They come from northeastern England and weigh about 1,400 pounds. They are a dual purpose breed used for both milk and meat.