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The Walrond Ranch, a cattle and horse operation in the foothills of southern Alberta, was one of the four giants of the livestock grazing industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. At its height, the Walrond ran over 10,000 cattle along with several hundred wellbred Clydesdale and Shire horses on nearly 300,000 acres of land.
Ultimately, however, the Walrond failed. The driving force behind the ranch. Dr. Duncan McNab McEachran, had high aspirations and communicated his optimism to Sir John Walrond and the rest of the investors funding the venture. But reality quickly set in. Winter storms, drought, disease, and predators constantly depleted the Walrond's herds and the operation slowly slipped toward bankruptcy. Author Warren Elofson shows that McEachran's management practices also played a major role in the ranch's downfall, and in doing so provides valuable insights into both the limitations and the potential inherent in western Canadian agriculture.
This book is the first close environmental and economic study of one of the great ranches on the northern Great Plains of North America. Somebody Else's Money examines the business side of large-scale, open range grazing and describes the myriad of natural and man-made obstacles that barred it from success.