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Booming Beef Industry Has Urban Cowboys Lining Up to Buy Cattle in Uruguay

People who know nothing about ranching can become registered owners for as little as $15,000—and get their own brands.

Cattle grazing at La Pituca ranch in the northern province of Tacuarembó.

Cattle grazing at La Pituca ranch in the northern province of Tacuarembó.

Source: Conexión Ganadera

Over 23 years, Pablo Carrasco’s Uruguayan cattle management company built a $100 million herd. Along the way, he’s turned a generation of city slickers into profitable ranchers.

Carrasco’s company, Conexión Ganadera, manages about 120,000 cows on behalf of some 1,400 individual investors, most of them Uruguayan urbanites. Now he faces an enviable problem: He has a $30 million waiting list to buy cows, but no land for them to graze on. So his company is pitching pastures to prospective investors. “Our problem isn’t investors,” says co-founder Carrasco in an interview at his Montevideo office, adorned with cowhide rugs. “It’s finding places to put the cattle.”