Vive La Vache

May 14, 2009 at 1:34 am 2 comments

Disappointed with the stock market?  How about investing in a cow? 

The French are doing just that.  Rather than investing in stocks or putting their money into low-yielding savings accounts, the French are buying cows and earning money on their offspring when they’re sold.  According to this interesting article in the New York Times, investing in cows can yield a 4 to 5 percent return a year.  Currently about 37,000 cows are under contract in France at some 880 farms, but the market, according to the article, has the potential to grow to as many as one million cows.

The unusual French investment could be a model for cash-strapped dairy farmers in the United States.  The article explains that selling cows to investors and raising them on investors’ behalf gives French farmers advance capital for improvements to their farms.  One French farmer—owner of the Farm of the Happy Cows—is cited in the article as “renting” 37 of his 100 cows. 

According to the article, the typical French couple will buy 10 to 20 dairy cows for $1,700 each.  When the cows have offspring, investors can decide whether they want to sell the calves or keep them as additional “capital.”

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Entry filed under: Global Issues. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lis Worcester  |  June 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I read this article too and would love to invest some of my dwindling cash in a local dairy that I love. I sent the article to them and am awaiting a response.

    Do you know of a structure in place to do this in the US?

    It was interesting to read within a day about how American dairy farmers are pouring milk down the drain because they aren’t being paid enough to produce.

  • 2. mcorreia  |  June 10, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Hi, Lis. If you do hear back from your local dairy, please let me know. I’m not aware of any structure/model in the U.S. for cow investing – at least not yet. I’ll be sure to post news on this front, if I learn of anything. Thanks for your comment!

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