Ecotourism’s next evolution: Rent a cow in Switzerland

Need to get away from it all? How about a month or season on a picturesque Swiss farm? Thanks to to enterprising Swiss farmers, professionals can now contribute to the local economy and “participate physically in the life of a medium-size mountain farm and to acquire at a preferential price genuine goods produced on the estate.

Sure… but what does that mean? According to bmi Voyager, the concept was launched by herder and farm owner Michael Izor, who allows people to rent his cows in western Switzerland, just outzide of Zurich. “The animals are very calming and we hope it gives people a little perspective,” said Izor.

For £180 (one month) to £380 (a four-month season), one gets their choice of a specific cow, a preferential rate on local cheese, and access to the farm itself. The landowner then agrees to offer a tour of the estate and a meet and greet with the staff and your cow.

You’re also promised a light welcome meat – we’re hoping one that isn’t beef based! You’ll also receive a certificate of sponsorship and a picture of your cow, as well as a preferential rate on mountain pasture cheese at the price of CHF 16 per kilo.

Seasonal sponsorships include the above, but also require a commitment of four hours of mountain work, According to the website, “this work will consist of looking after the pastures and enclosures, preparing the fire wood, participating actively in the raking of the hay, etc. There’s nothing like work to fit in and get a better understanding [of the land].” A season-long contract also requires a minimum purchase of at least 10 kilos of cheese.

This surely brings new meaning to the term working vacation!

Image via Flickr user Artnow314.