While some people might wonder why a tech magnate wants to be a cattle rancher, Zuckerberg's foray into agriculture may be considered timely given the current state of America's beef industry.
As the U.S. cattle herd has shrunk to its lowest level in decades, the country is importing record amounts of beef while exporting less, according to Reuters.
This significant decline in cattle, driven by years of severe drought damaging grazing lands, has resulted in higher beef prices domestically.
Consumers are feeling the impact. The latest Consumer Price Index report shows that the price of beef and veal in the U.S. was up 8.7% in December 2023 from a year ago.
Reuters reported that the U.S. beef cow herd in January 2023 was the smallest since 1962.
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'The most important agricultural industry'
Raising cattle is a crucial business. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cattle production is “the most important agricultural industry in the United States, consistently accounting for the largest share of total cash receipts for agricultural commodities.”
Zuckerberg is not the only tech billionaire with agricultural pursuits. For instance, Microsoft founder Bill Gates happens to be the largest private owner of farmland in America, having amassed nearly 270,000 acres across the country.
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