Where’s the beef? Brazil

BRAZIL - James King Carr De Muzio started cattle ranching later in life. But the easy-mannered 53-year-old Brazilian doctor and rancher feels as comfortable in the saddle as he does wearing surgical scrubs.
calendar icon 22 December 2006
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De Muzio - who says his mixed ancestry, unusual even in Brazil, includes Alabamans who joined a colony of Confederates after the Civil War on one side and a "tossed salad" Spanish-Italian-African heritage on the other - counts himself among producers enlarging their cattle holdings as the country’s beef industry continues a seemingly insatiable growth.

Starting with two cows he received for delivering a baby during Brazil’s 1994 currency crisis, De Muzio built his herd to more than 1,000, then scaled back to 500 after a dry summer. He says he’s reshaping his operation, gearing it toward yearling stocker steers. He remains bullish on his country’s cattle industry, which has been hobbled by a lack of paved roads, by quality issues and by periodic outbreaks of disease that keep all but cooked beef out of the United States.

Brazil’s herd, conservatively estimated at 170 million head - the nation’s beef export association figures 204 million - is the world’s largest - there are about 97 million U.S. beef cattle - and there is every indication that Brazilians such as De Muzio will make it an even bigger ranching country.

Source: Columbia Daily Tribune
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