Bill Bonner’s Diary: The End of the Road for the Ranch?


Bill Bonner’s Diary: The End of the Road for the Ranch?
“You want to be able to keep the ranch going? Keep the employees on the job. Let’s start with another edition from the Bill Bonner’s Diary.

“With a place like this, the only way to do it may be tourism. It’s very picturesque. It may the only thing that really works.”

Speaking was a young woman who works in the hospitality industry. Sent by a friend, she wanted to come to the ranch to see if it would interest tourists. A smart woman, she saw the situation clearly:

“You’re too high, too dry, too far from everything… and pardon me for saying so… but this place may only be of interest to tourists. For them, it’s wonderful.

This time, the gauchos swept the campo adentro, the inside field, bringing about 300 more cows, bulls, and calves into the corral.

We worked all afternoon, running them through the manga (the long funnel, built of high stone walls where the cattle are compressed into a single file)… locking them in the chute… vaccinating them… cutting off tails… and other things.

It was hard work. But she was right; it was picturesque.

“Quick, open the gate!” Jorge yelled. “A calf is getting crushed.”

We rushed back to our post. We had been helping to put the yellow plastic in the calves’ noses (to prevent them from sucking at their mothers’ teats). We held onto their ears, trying to hold their heads in place, while Gustavo put in the dreaded plastic.

We opened the gate as fast we could. But the cows had gotten themselves locked in place, crowding against each other so tightly that none could move.

The gauchos knew what to do. Jose jumped into the manga and pulled on one of the cow’s tails. Gustavo pulled at another’s head. Samuel raced over with the electric cattle prod to try to untangle them.

After a few minutes, the animal logjam was broken up… the cows ran off through the chute. And when the dust had cleared, we saw one calf, lying on its back… apparently dead.

Gustavo ran over to it. Within a few seconds, the calf surprised us. It’s limp body suddenly sprang to life. The calf jumped to its feet… and ran to join the rest of the herd.
Charmed Life

The cowboys here are not at all sentimental about cows. But each one will sell for the 29 pesos a pound – about $2. Our average animal gets to about 120 pounds by the time we sell it.

You can see the problem as well as we can. If we sell 300 animals a year (our fertility rate is very low… thanks to drought, cold, condors, and pumas), that gives us total income of only $72,000.

Even down here, that’s not enough to pay the salaries of our five cowboys.

After a charmed life in the financial publishing world, our life here shows us something important: If you want to make money, it helps to be in the right place at the right time.

The financial industry in the U.S. – of which we are a small part – has been good to us.

Ranching is another thing…

“What people want today is experience,” continued our travel expert.

“Authentic experiences. I’m talking about wealthy people. They’ve been to Paris and Rome. They can go wherever they want. They have a lot of money and not much time. You have to give them a real, unique experience. And that is something we can do here.

“And don’t worry, I’m not talking about mass tourism. That ruins a place in my opinion. I’m talking about bringing a very few, select groups here… more like friends of the family than customers… and giving them the experience of an authentic, traditional ranch in Northwest Argentina. It won’t be cheap, but they will love it.”

“You mean we can sell expensive travel packages to hedge fund managers and Washington lobbyists? “Keep talking,” we replied.

Source: Bonner and Partners

Who is Bill Bonner?
Bill Bonner founded Agora Inc. in 1978. Since then, it has grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world.

Bill also co-wrote two New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt, and Bill Bonner’s Diary. In his latest book, Hormegeddon, Bill describes what happens when you get too much of a good thing in the sphere of public policy, economics and business.

This new newsletter (Bill Bonner’s Diary) is unlike anything else published in America today. Now in this industry, Bill Bonner has agreed to share his secrets and insights every month.

It’s like having a super-wealthy uncle share his best ideas, insights and wisdom about business, relationships, investments, trends, developments, ideas and more.

Just like Bill’s new book, Hormegeddon, this new newsletter (Bill Bonner’s Diary), The Bill Bonner Letter, could only be written by a man with his wealth, accomplishments, and experience. Someone who has started businesses all over the world… who has employed thousands of employees… who has made investments on 5 continents… who owns hundreds of thousands of acres of land… who travels well over 100,000 air miles every year… who has acquired more than two dozen businesses… launched over 1,000 products… and sees a dozen different business deals cross his desk every single week.

Bill isn’t a stock-picker. He’s not going to build a portfolio for you to follow. Instead, he shares insights and ideas about how the business and financial worlds REALLY work. He identifies big opportunities. He shows you where average investors are making big mistakes. He details opportunities he’s interested in personally, and what’s going on with his global business. In short, Bill opens a window to the world of the wealthy that you simply won’t find anywhere else.