What a great industry and association that I have the honor to serve, we really do have the greatest members.
As ranchers we get up each and every morning and take care of the lands that we each are so blessed to manage.There are so many different types of environments from the North to the South End of this Great State, but we all have one goal; that is, at the end of every day to leave this land better than it was when you started that day, all while raising the most delicious, healthy and nutritious protein, BEEF.
As I sit here writing this, thinking how blessed we are to be part of managing a system where so many endangered species live, all of the other wildlife, that clean the air and water that Floridians use each day and that most take for granted.
With that being said, I challenge each of you to share your ranches, get involved at your local County level, bring your elected officials, leadership and even the public out to your ranches and share with them what we do each and every day for OUR GREAT STATE. #Letsridetogether to #Opengatesopenminds that will #Shareyourheritage. Remember, we have over ONE THOUSAND people per day moving into this state without any knowledge of what really goes on here, other than Mickey Mouse and our great beaches.
Moving on, to keep you updated with FCA through July and early August. Over the last few months with help from our Lobbyist, Sam Ard and Southern Group/Clark Smith; we have been building relationships, starting with the Governor and his office with a Ranch Tour. Big Thank You to Wes Williamson for allowing us to use your ranch and show what it is that we as ranchers do each day. We were invited to attend the announcement of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Bill that was signed by Governor DeSantis at The Natures Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve, where a group of FCA leaders were able to attend.
Then a small group of us spent a day driving to Tallahassee to meet with the new Interim Secretary of Department of Environmental Protection, where we spent some time talking about how ranches play a major part in helping the state keep our water clean. We also spent a day meeting with the folks from Florida Climate Smart Agriculture, This group is cut from a different cloth than you or I but they are still all about protecting our ranches and their environments with their ecosystem services that benefit our public.
With the help of one of our committees and our Water Director, Benita Whalen, we have been monitoring how our BMP’s are being rewritten to make sure we can live with everything that is compiled in them. They are being rewritten by the Florida Department of Ag Water Policy. These Best Management Practices are voluntary to sign up for, which perceives compliance but if you choose not to it could be very expensive to pay for some kind of monitoring.
Let’s jump in to talking about our Beef CheckOff and the Florida Beef Council. Did you know that there’s about $750,000.00 that comes in each year from your $1.00 per head CheckOff? $0.50 of that dollar is sent to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board to do National Programs and the remainder stays in Our State for programs to promote and increase beef demand. $375,000.00 is not a lot of monies to do programs like this in the world today, to increase beef consumption to over TWENTY ONE MILLION PEOPLE. The Beef Council reaches out to other large cow number states that don’t have as many people, and they submit grant proposals to do projects here in Florida. This is a great example of #Letsridetogether. Your Beef Council also does a Survey every five to ten years to find out about the protein consumption habits of the more densely populated cities. This helps your council make decisions on where to spend dollars to increase beef demand. This is just a little information to know that your Beef Council is working for you.
I leave you now until next month.
Thanks for allowing me to serve as your President.