ON APRIL 21, I was able to attend a media event to learn more about Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC. The keynote speaker, Mike Joyner, assistant commissioner and chief of staff at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, called this new venture a “game-changer” for the Florida beef industry. In short, the 13 founding members have banded together to provide Fresh From Florida beef.
As a consumer, one might wonder why this is so significant. First off, it’s important to understand just how large the Florida cattle industry is. Here in the Sunshine State, nine of America’s 25 largest ranches call Florida home. In its more than 500-year history, Florida was the first state in the union with cattle.
Second, it’s important to point out that most of the modern-day Florida cattle industry ships its cattle up west after weaning, where the animals are later harvested and marketed. Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC, seeks to change all of that and harken back to its early roots, with beef that’s born and raised right here. The founding members believe that producing Florida-born and raised beef will result in a high-quality product, one that also supports a more sustainable Florida.
During the media event at the Lightsey Cattle Ranch, we were served Florida steak for lunch, and I must admit, my expectations were already high, and I was surprised to find that they were far exceeded. My steak was tender, juicy, full of flavor, and just plain delicious. I’m already a Fresh From Florida loyal consumer, but this sample has made me all the more so, and I’m looking forward to seeing it hit grocery stores in the near future.
column by CELESTE JO WALLS
Celeste Jo Walls is managing editor of Central Florida Ag News. She may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted May 27, 2016