Florida's taste buds have spoken and they're calling out for beef on the grill. Discover local recipes, flavors and meet members of the beef community.
From the very beginning, Dee River Ranch has kept the environment at the top of mind. While their original ranch was founded in Florida, they sold it to the state as part of the Save the Rivers program. They then moved to their new Alabama home in 1989 and have made sure to keep that environmental stewardship mindset along the way. The ranch's main focus is on soil health, primarily preventing erosion to protect local water sources. To accomplish this, Dee River Ranch has installed GPS for precision agriculture, built ground-safe heavy use areas, and have placed 4,000 acres of their land in the Conservation Reserve Program, 600 acres of which was solely dedicated to planting trees. The ranch also partners with the University of Alabama's Rural Medical Scholar program, which brings doctors-in-training to the ranch to teach them about agriculture. For their work toward sustainability, the Dee River Ranch was awarded the prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP).
"Dee River Ranch is my life. The crops, the cattle--they're not just a job to us, it's our life." - Mike Dee, Manager, Dee River Ranch
Meet Steven "Beaver" Yoder of Altha, Florida. A third generation beef rancher, the Yoder family has tended the same land in Florida since 1952. After many years also growing peanuts and cotton on their land, the Yoder's now focus their efforts on their diverse cattle operation, which includes cow-calf, stocker, and feedlot sectors. Their location in the Florida panhandle, an area with a unique pine plains landscape is much different from the coastal plains and flat woods of peninsular Florida. This provides the Yoder family an opportunity to partner with area crop farmers whose rich forage-growing soils provide an ideal location for grazing cattle. This provides cattle farmers an opportunity to rotate the use of their land in the off-season, and the Yoder's use this as an opportunity to graze and grow their calves under the Florida sunshine for several months longer.
Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way by using the latest technology and resources. Today, there are more than 886,000 cattle and 15,000 beef farmers and ranchers throughout Florida. Learn more about Florida beef farmers and ranchers and how they're raising beef from the pasture to the plate.
Raising cattle in Florida dates back to 1521 when Juan Ponce DeLeon first brought cattle and horses to North America. However, Florida is most well-known for its expansive citrus groves that total 74 million citrus trees.