Let’s Ride Together
Hello, I’m Cliff Coddington, a Sixth-Generation Cowboy from Manatee County. I was raised on a small cow calf, custom hay bailing and tomato/vegetable farming operation, where my dad always told me “Son if someone else can do it, you can too.”
I am currently employed by the Longino Family, managing their Ranch in Eastern Sarasota County.
As I come before you for the first time, I want to thank each and every one of you. For those of you that know me, you know this isn’t the place I would normally be, speaking in front of a large crowd or writing down my feelings isn’t my cup of tea, so please bear with me over the next year, as it seems, that’s exactly where I’ll be.
I am so very humbled, honored, proud but above all I feel it is a great privilege and responsibility to be able to serve you, my fellow cattlemen and cattlewomen and this great industry, as your President over the next year.
I’d like to thank our Past President Gene Lollis for his leadership and always putting God first. Thank you for opening our gates and for opening the minds of the elected officials and community leaders around our great State, showing them the role our Ranches play in protecting Florida’s Environment in a way that nothing or no one else can do.
There are so many other folks that I need to thank.First and foremost I’d like to thank the Good Lord for opening and closing all of the gates that we take for granted each day. My family, my Wife Tara, Daughter Samantha, and Son Dalton, that have spent so much of their lives on the Ranch, at cattle shows, bull sales, short course, convention or even just taking care of things at home while I’m away. My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, whom taught me to love and protect this industry and the environment that raises great quality cattle. I’d also like to thank some of my mentors along the way, my Ag teacher, Mr. Travis Seawright, who taught me to either, Get Involved or Keep My Mouth Shut and not complain. Ronnie Thomas, a cattle buyer, that showed me the importance of sorting and grouping cattle to better market them. Jim Strickland, a great friend that cowboyed with me for many miles, bumping leathers and important things like spending many hours running birddogs out of a Jeep Quail Hunting. Don Quincey, another great friend, taught me about adding value to cattle. My good friend Joe Reznicek, he taught me more about improving genetics by making a breeding plan and sticking with it and continuing your selection process. There are so many others, and I want to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.
Over the next year, I hope to get even just a portion accomplished of what the Past Presidents before me have. Gene Lollis, Matt Pearce, Alex Johns, Ken Griner, Ned Waters, Erik Jacobsen, Henry Kempfer, Wes Williamson and so many more, it has been a pleasure serving with each of you.
Some things will always need to be worked on every year, you look back forty years and further we still have some of the same issues today, like working with legislation that will affect our ranching way of life; water, taxes, regulatory issues, BMP’s, animal health and many other things that can and will affect the way we do business on our ranches. There is one thing I would like every member to know, that is, how much your Checkoff dollars and Beef Council work for you. Getting the biggest bang for each dollar you send in. Over the next 12 months, I will be able to share with you how this is done.
My hashtag this year will be #LetsRideTogether. As a single force I cannot accomplish very much, but as an association with many working together, great things can be accomplished. We are a grassroots association which means that we need all members hands and voices at our meeting tables to accomplish those great things.
So over the next year #LetsRideTogether, to open gates and minds of the folks outside of our industry. Let’s share the stories of our heritage to show our passion and love of this life. A life where generations of families have been raised taking care of herds of cattle that have taken care of the environment and allow abundant wildlife to roam for future generations to do the same.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to be able to serve this industry.