Posted by: elambend | September 12, 2009

The Time of the Gaucho is Passing

The Washington Post describes how the old way of growing beef in Argentina using large estates and gauchos is passing to the use of large cattle lots as we do here in North America.

A lot of it is just catch-up with the rest of the world:

Indeed, all over the pampa, ranchland that was home to Angus and Hereford cows has in recent years been replaced by fields of soybeans, corn and wheat as commodity prices skyrocketed by more than 300 percent. This year, a third of the 15 million animals expected to go to slaughter will fatten up in the now-ubiquitous feedlots, three times as many as in 2001.

“I’m not a romantic,” he said, referring to those who pine for the old days in cattle country. “Argentina sold this image to the world to position itself — that was the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. But the reality is all the rest of the world went the other way.”

Not mentioned in the story is the fact that at one time a significant number of the Gauchos were Jews, stemming from a large emigration from Russia (after the pogroms) in the 1890s.  At that time, help was needed out on the pampas

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