The first Holstein-Friesians were adapted to life in the Netherlands, where they were needed to produce milk efficiently from grass. They became so efficient that they would eventually become the world’s top milk producers and most popular dairy cows. The first Holstein to arrive in the U.S. came across the ocean on a Dutch ship, being purchased in Massachusetts after it provided milk for the entire crew on the trans-Atlantic crossing. Over 8,000 Holsteins would be imported from Europe before disease broke out in the Old World and ended cattle importation. However, the numbers were already growing in the U.S., and in 1885, the Holstein Association of breeders was formed. Today, 90% of dairy herds are Holsteins. All because one cow crossed over on a ship.