We talk a lot about the history of Florida ranches and about important conservation work happening in the state. How do these topics fit together? Florida ranches have been protecting valuable land resources since cattle ranching started in the state, and they’re more important than ever with the continuous development expanding from cities. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the history and the benefits behind ranching that all can be thankful for as we work to preserve species diversity. Visit our Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch blog page for more.

History of Cattle in Florida
Florida was the first cattle state. These animals were brought over by Spaniards in the early sixteenth century. Since then, cattle ranching has expanded to most parts of the United States, looking a little different everywhere depending on climate and land. However, Florida remains as one of the top cattle producing states, and nearly half of all the agricultural land in Florida is used for cattle production. We also hold the 12th spot for the total number of cattle in the state, according to 2022 USDA numbers. 

Biodiversity Benefits
Well-managed cattle ranches, like Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, can help promote biodiversity and protect endangered species. They provide protected land, pastures, trees, and water sources that native animals can use for shelter and nourishment. On ranches, hunted or endangered animals can seek protection amidst the safety of the cattle. The land also provides a great space for a variety of plant species to flourish.

Open-Space Preservation
Ranches, often protected through conservation easements, provide open spaces and land in our state that will not be developed. The grass and trees there help contribute to cleaning our air through photosynthesis. Additionally, these open spaces provide gorgeous views that can be visited and enjoyed through events and outings, like agritours or weddings

Ranches help protect Florida land through a variety of ways. They have a long history of doing so, and they’ll continue to be a refuge for plants and animals for many years to come. Do your part in taking care of our beautiful state by supporting local ranches by shopping for your beef from places like Dark Hammock. Visit our website to support us