|me approaching a cow on the day that she marched down the alp for autumn|
Silvio Borner, the head of Basel University's department of applied economics, calculated that a Swiss cow costs CHF 4,000 in government subsidies, while the bill for educating a primary school child for one year is CHF 12,000. He then formulated that awkward comparison.
68% of a swiss farmer's income will come in the form of a government subsidy, if they have chosen to feed their cows with hay and grass instead of soy feed and support biodiversity.
Switzerland has one of the highest levels of farming subsidies of all countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) (many countries in western Europe).
The Swiss Farmer's Association says that "in terms of sustainability, it is among the most modern worldwide." The sustainability may be the only modern things, as the rest seems really traditional and beautifully old school to this foreigner.