Holstein cattle (also known as Holstein-Friesian cattle or Friesian cattle) is a breed of cattle known today as the world's highest production dairy animal. Originating in Europe, Holsteins were bred in what is now the Netherlands. The animals were the regional cattle of the Batavians and Frisians, two tribes who settled in the coastal Rhine region around 2,000 years ago.
The Dutch breeders bred and oversaw the development of the breed with the aim of obtaining animals which would make best use of grass, the area's most abundant resource. The result, over the centuries, was an efficient, high-producing black-and-white dairy cow. It is black and white due to artificial selection by the breeders.