Rent a cow for a holiday gift - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rent a cow for a holiday gift

MARION (KWWL) -- Out of gift ideas for the holidays? What about renting a cow?

You read it correctly...
"Our Iowa" magazine, based in Ames, is offering you a chance to rent a cow as a gift.

Tom Barnes of Marion subscribes to "Our Iowa" magazine.

"So I'm reading my magazine and it comes out with this rent a cow," said Barnes.

Bonnie the Jersey cow, to be exact.
It's a year-long rental agreement without any work for the lessee. Barnes paid for 11 rentals, for all the girls in his life.

"I have a granddaughter, she gets one. I have a daughter, she gets one. I have a daughter-in-law. My wife gets one," said Barnes.

Barnes said it was just too creative and fun to resist.

"I just had to do it," he said.

"Our Iowa" magazine is in it's fourth year of publication. The publisher and editor started the idea two years ago.

"Thought this might be the right type of crowd that would see the humor and the fun in a gift like this. A rented cow for someone," said Mary Reilly with "Our Iowa" magazine.

The lessee gets a picture of Bonnie, a certificate, a calendar--or "cowlendar", a sample of cheese from Bonnie's milk and even a chance to visit the cow.

"So grandpa's going to go wherever the cow is and hopefully get to pet the cow," said Tom Barnes.

We know Bonnie is in central Iowa, but only lessees get her exact location. Mary Reilly with "Our Iowa" said the appeal reaches far beyond our state.

"Somebody in Hawaii getting one. She can't have pets in her condo, but this is hopefully a pet she can have," said Reilly.

As of December first, more than 140 people are signed up to rent Bonnie.

"The people that are renting the cow or are receiving the cow have a connection to Iowa, so maybe it stirs Iowa pride," said Mary Reilly.

Reilly said it's a great way to say Merry Christmas or Happy "Moo" Year. It costs $75 to rent Bonnie for the year.

The money goes to the farmer and to cover the cost of materials.

For more information, click here.

Online reporter: Danielle Wagner


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