Business: Rent-a-Cow

Hertz for Holsteins

The hardy farmer who forged the American frontier in the 19th century had 40 acres of land, a mule and a couple of good milk cows. But that was in the days before rent-a-cow. Instead of spending up to $2,000 to buy a dairy cow, some 300 U.S. farmers have turned to the Quality Holstein Leasing company of Tennessee Colony, Texas, the Hertz for cattle, where they can rent a cow for as little as $1 a day.

Ten years ago, Clayton McKenzie, 37, began his venture after realizing that the high cost of buying cows was limiting business for...

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