Simmental is among the oldest and most widely distributed of all
breeds of cattle in the world.
the first herd book was established in the Swiss Canton of Berne
in 1806, there is evidence of large, productive red and white
cattle found much earlier in ecclesiastical and secular property
records of Western Switzerland.
These red and white animals were highly sought because of their "rapid growth development; outstanding production of milk, butter, and cheese; and for their use as draught animals." they were known for their imposing stature and excellent dairy qualities.
Since its origin in Switzerland, the breed has spread to all six continents. Total numbers are estimated between 40 and 60 million Simmental cattle, world-wide. More than half of these are in Europe. The spread was gradual until the late 1960s.