A Bay of Plenty dairy cow has followed in her grandmother's footsteps and claimed a coveted milk production title.

Thurvalley BK Bree VG86 produced 678 kilograms of milksolids (kgMS) in the 2018-19 season. She is owned by Rotorua contract milkers Tony Buehler, Lisa Culligan and their sons Conor and Logan.

The figure makes her the top producing registered Brown Swiss cow in New Zealand.

"Bree's granddam Pilatus Comet ET Briarrose, who was born in 2001, took out the same title twice," said Buehler.


She was one of the original cows Buehler bought when he moved to New Zealand from Switzerland permanently in 2005.

Bree won the Supreme Champion Brown Swiss title as a three-year-old at the Rotorua A&P Show in 2016.

The R N R Payoff Brookings-ET-sired cow is part of a 550-cow herd, which switches to once-a-day milking each January.

"We don't have in-shed feeding. We rely on grass, grass silage, 120 tonnes of palm kernel during the spring, and summer crops to keep the cows milking," Buehler said.

"We go once-a-day because the farm is exposed to the southerly winds and the pumice soils dry out quickly in summer."

Buehler's been contract milking on the 200-hectare property for three seasons.

He grew up in the small village of Ganterschwil in Switzerland, where his family milked a herd of 16 Brown Swiss cows.

Tony Buehler with his trophy haul. Photo / Supplied
Tony Buehler with his trophy haul. Photo / Supplied

"It was the old way of farming. We could only feed our cows grass or hay because their milk was used to make cheese and silage would taint the milk," he said.


Buehler, who is the president of Brown Swiss NZ, owns about 20 Brown Swiss and Holstein Friesian cows.

"Brown Swiss cows have excellent udders and feet and suit high-input farms where cows are fully-feed all season," he said.

Thurvalley BK Bree VG86 won a total of five awards for her production as a five-year-old in the 2018-19 season.

They were presented to Buehler at Brown Swiss NZ's annual general meeting (AGM) in late June.

They included accolades for producing the highest total milksolids, milkfat, litres of milk and for having the best lactation worth (LW).