Your blogger, Zac B. Sarian, tried his hands milking a Jersey cow at the Flying Cow Ranch Leisure Farm in Miaoli, Taiwan on August 26. We are a member of a media group that was invited to visit 11 leisure farms from August 25 to 29, 2014. In 1954, just after high school studies, we used to milk Holstein and Red Sindhi crosses in a cousin’s ranch so we immediately volunteered to do some miking during this trip.
At Flying Cow Ranch, managed by its founder Jason Shih, 67, the cows don’t really fly but the business is really flying high. Consider these: The farm was visited by more than 400,000 visitors in 2013. The entrance fee is NT$220 per adult. But the income does not just come from the entrance fees.
Other sources of income include four restaurants catering to particular groups of customers. One is the Chinese food restaurant. Another is a hotpot resto using milk instead of water to cook the food. A third is a steakhouse for the higher-end customers, and a fourth is some kind of a fastfood restaurant that serves fried chicken, sandwiches and the like for kids mostly.
The ranch has 70 rooms to accommodate overnight visitors, many of them from overseas, particularly, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and others. The rate is NT$3,300 per room for two per night.
DIY or Do-it Yourself activities are another money-maker for the company. DIYs include ice cream making, bread baking, making butter rock ‘n roll, milking a cow, one-day baby sitter for animals, painting a cow, etc.
The company also sells milk products like fresh milk, ice cream yoghurt, and milk-based wellness and beauty products, souvenir items and more.
We will do a more detailed story for the Manila Bulletin publications (daily newspaper and magazines).