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Cattle Types

From Angus to Wagyu

Gelbvieh cow with her calf (Photo by Pos 2013)

A Basic Introduction to Cow Breeds

The many varieties of cattle across the world give us different kinds of meat to eat. Here's a guide to the origin and products of specific cow types.

Of Scottish origin, Angus cattle are prized worldwide for their well-marbled, meat-heavy carcasses.

A cross between a buffalo and any breed of cattle.

A native of India, this breed has a distinctive back hump and can handle hot weather.

A Swiss breed—how now, Brown Cow? Braunvieh means "brown cattle."

A French breed from Charolles, grown for meat, not dairy.

A product of central Italy.

Originated in Bavaria, in southern Germany in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

Natives of England, this is a common breed in the U.S., Argentina and Australia for meat production.

A crossbreed from Italy's Piedmont region; their breeders promote their meat as being naturally low in fat but still tender and flavorful. For more information, read our feature on Certified Piedmontese beef or visit

Santa Gertrudis
A cross between a Brahman and a shorthorn, this breed is believed to be the first created in the U.S.

A breed developed in the Caribbean, this one is heat-tolerant and meaty.

Originally from England, shorthorns are a popular American breed because they grow rapidly.

A Swiss breed grown for both dairy and meat production.

The famed cattle that produce Japan's prized Kobe beef, named for the city that launched the breed. For more information, visit the Wagyu official website or the Kobe Beef official website

Full-blood Wagyu bull in Chile (Photo by Fernando Hartwg)

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