Swiss born and bred

Cows not only dominate the Swiss landscape and Swiss agriculture, they have also come to symbolize our country. That applies in particular to the Simmental breed of cows that features on countless souvenirs – and now also on one of Swiss Post's special stamps.

Simmentals are a genetically pure breed of cattle that could be seen as quintessentially Swiss. Unlike many of their peers, they have never been crossed with other breeds. As their name suggests, they originate from the valley of the Simme River in the Bernese Oberland. Today they can be found throughout Switzerland, notably in mountainous regions. Moreover, they have proven to be an export hit: today, there are some 50 million cows around the world can claim Simmental ancestry!

The stamp was designed by graphic artist Lisa Behmel in the style of old-fashioned Swiss tourist posters: "The style is timelessly modern and eye-catching, and it works in postage stamp format too." The design is intended to highlight the unique qualities of the breed and symbolize the beauty of the surrounding nature, reduced in size and shown in contrast-rich, colourful tones." To ensure the cow was accurately represented, the designer gained valuable tips from breeder Ueli Bach, in particular as regards the exact shape of their typical horns.

Jürg Freudiger