For this edition of Central Florida Ag News, I had the pleasure of visiting Lightsey Cattle Company and meeting some of the Lightsey family. Cary and Lane Lightsey (brothers and co-owners of the family-operated ranch) gave me the tour and made introductions.
I instantly felt right at home, but not because I have experience on the ranch! I’ve never tended cattle and — to be honest — I’ve only ridden a horse twice in my whole life. (That’s something I plan on changing, by the way.) But conversation between us felt natural, like two friends talking over a cup of iced tea (except in this case, no tea). We talked about everything and nothing all at the same time: work, family life, God and country (not in that order, but you get the idea). We exchanged stories, and when the talking was through, they got to work while Rick Pezzimenti and I watched and learned.
At one point, the men mounted their horses and went into the corral to round up some bulls for a paying customer. I stood on the metal beams of the tall fence and watched as the ranchers would pick them out one by one. While observing, Cary asked me to help them out. “Celeste, if you see number 134, point him out,” he said. I was only too glad to oblige! After all, it’s not every day that an editor gets to help a cattleman.
It was an enlightening and amazing experience. As a native Floridian with a deep love for this great state, I was honored to be a part of one of Florida’s oldest living professions (even if it was a very small part, and only for the afternoon). My gratitude extends to the Lightsey family for their hospitality.
I hope you enjoy this edition of Central Florida Ag News. May you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
column by CELESTE JO WALLS
Celeste Jo Walls is managing editor of Central Florida Ag News. She may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.