It is hard to believe November is upon us, marking my5th President’s message. I pray daily as your President that we are making a difference and perhaps bringing to you a different perspective and outlook on the subjects we write about #opengatesopenminds .
I am extremely grateful to my Archbold colleagues, Dr. H. Swain, Dr. B. Boughton, and Dr. G. Sonnier, for writing the monthly articles that accompany these messages and thank you to Benita Whalen, FCA’s Environmental and Water Manager, for writing the last article for the October issue. I hope the information and articles have been interesting and enlightening. Hats off and hands together to all our FCA staff for putting together the best state cattlemen’s magazine in our country every month.
In September we were able to hold a ‘face to face’ quarterly meeting in Dade City, Pasco County, home of current FCW President Mrs. Casie Holloway. We had good attendance and a great evening at the Waller Ranch for our steak out. If you were not able to come to this quarterly, you missed out on some great food and fellowship. We were also able to take time to finally recognize our FCLA Class VI graduates. I am extremely proud of each of these young leaders: I had the honor to travel with them over the last year and, despite numerous interrupting circumstances, they persevered, adapted and overcame to get through the year. They took my message of getting up, showing up, participating, and never-giving-up to heart. Thank you, Class VI, for your commitment. We look forward to what you will do for our industry now and in the years to come. County affiliates if you have young people please do not forget to nominate them: Class VII for 2020-2021 is full but 2021-2022 is right around the corner. The FCA Leadership Class doesn’t just teach the skills needed to lead, it builds relationships, one of the most important factors in life. Just ask any of the participants in the last six classes.
Thank you again and great job FCW President Casie Holloway and Pasco County Cattlemen’s, for a successful quarterly meeting, we greatly appreciate your hospitality. Please make plans to come to our next Florida Cattleman’s and Cattle Women’s year-end quarterly (December 3-4) in Lake Placid, Florida. We are working on the exact locations for our meetings continue to look for further information in your e news, e mails and other announcements in this magazine.In my closing comments at the quarterly, I reiterated one of my main points, “We want to hear from you, we want to know your concerns”. There are many ways to communicate these days, all one has to do is speak up or reach out. As I have said in every monthly message, and I will repeat it again through the next 7 messages, “If you have an issue please do not hesitate to speak up.”
After our last quarterly meeting, my travels lead me to a stakeholder meeting at the Range Cattle Research and Education Center at Ona, with our new University of Florida IFAS VP Dr. Angle, Associate VP Dr. Jeanna Mastrodicasa, and accompanying staff. Folks there is no doubt in my mind Dr. Angle has our Florida agriculture and our cattle industry at heart. I am convinced he and his team will lead IFAS research into a new era of technological advances that will help us in our fight to keep ranching sustainable, both economically and environmentally, in this new age. Then on to sharing ranching and discussing our way of life on three separate days with three South Florida Water Management board members Mr. Ron Bergeron, Ms. Meads, and Mr. Scott Wagner. We thank them for their time to come out, put their boots on the ground, and learn firsthand what Florida cattle ranching is all about.
Thank you to Past President Matt Pearce for taking time to stay engaged in these events, and Past President Wes Williamson and the Williamson family for hosting one of the events. Shout out to Dr. Betsey Boughton and Dr. Hilary Swain and the Buck Island Ranch staff for always sharing the science behind Florida ranching. And last, but not least, thank you to FCA Water and Environmental Manager Benita Whalen for organizing and arranging these meeting. Members, it takes days such as these to tell our story. We no longer can sit aside and think people will know and understand what we do on ranchlands.
For our future, it is a essential to #opengatesopenminds. This leads me to our special article this month on Wetlands (Found on page 82)– a driving force of nature and production on ranches. Articles and images like these will open people’s eyes and minds and make them think differently about our ranching lifestyle.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Please take a moment to just stop, look around, and remember we have a lot to be thankful for. In closing, as I always say, we want to hear from you, our communication lines are always open. County organizations as you begin to think about your county annual meetings, please let us know in advance as I would like to join you. October was a very busy month with dates traveled so far were Oct. 9, 15, 17, 22, 24, 27, 28 and 29th. I missed one zoom call and annual dinner due to conflicting meetings that were already scheduled but had it covered with President elect Coddington and 1st Vice President Wes Carlton. The sooner we know your date, the quicker we can place on our calendars. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to serve you. I know we are in odd time’s folks and I cannot stress enough to focus on what is ahead and not dwell on the negatives. I am grateful for all the support and, as it says in Hebrews 12:1, therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
“IN GOD We Trust”