As many producers start their calving season this fall I hope everyone had a good pregnancy check and fall processing. We get ready to start a new cycle with the last calves being shipped and new calves being born daily. As ranchers, we get to witness the beauty of the life cycle of the beef cow. We also get to witness the beauty of the wildlife the ranching community nurtures and protects.
I was once told by a wise man that “if it were easy anybody could do it”. That holds true with our ranching industry. It seems that we have to fight harder every day to get to keep providing the world with a safe and nutritious beef supply as well as contributing all the environmental benefits we provide such as water storage, filtration and wildlife habitat. More of our time is being consumed defending all the positive contributions we make as stewards of the land. The one thing that is evident is that the fight won’t get any easier. As an industry we are an easy target. Florida ranchers graze 6 million acres of landscape. The beef industry is a vital part of the economy, ecosystem and heritage of Florida and has been for very nearly 500 years. We must continue to tell our story of how ranchers are conservationists and environmental stewards of the beautiful lands we care for. I encourage all our members to be a positive voice for our industry. One way we can tell our story is through social media. There are some neat stories of heritage that could be shared with the non-ranching community. FCA is working with the University of Florida to assist our association in promoting our ranching heritage through social media. I continue to encourage you to share your stories and use the hashtag #shareyourheritage on social media.
The Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation had another successful State Ranch Rodeo Finals and Heritage Festival. I would like to thank all the volunteers that dedicated their time to promote our industry and share our heritage. Without our great volunteer group this major fundraiser would not be possible. This event would not be possible without our numerous sponsors that have supported our Ranch Rodeo Finals the last several years. There are some outstanding ranches that employ some great cowboys. The Ranch Rodeo Finals gives the FCA a chance to show them off. Thanks to the teams that competed this year and I look forward to attending next year’s qualifying ranch rodeos.
As we approach the Fall there are three seasons that come to mind. We have already talked about calving season but there are also bull sale and hunting season. FCA has an outstanding Political Action Committee (PAC) that is funded by the donation of bulls from generous seedstock breeders and then from the purchases made by progressive Florida Cattlemen. Most of these purchases are for more than the face value of the bull to support our PAC program that helps with our legislative efforts. FCA has a vigorous PAC that is well represented in Tallahassee. I would like to thank Sam Ard for stretching these PAC dollars for our best benefit. These generous bull donors are all having sales and providing quality genetics that Florida Cattlemen should be taking advantage of. I encourage you to trade with these generous donors this fall as you make your next breeding season genetic purchases.
I look forward to attending your county meetings this fall and seeing everyone at bull sales or field days. The FCA is a grassroots organization that represents our members. As I’ve said before I work for everyone. If you have issues that FCA can assist with please reach out to me. If you have ideas I would encourage you to attend our meetings and share them. We must all come together and stand united as we defend our industry.