Florida is home to a substantial amount of cattle and cattle operations throughout the state, and we’re thrilled to be part of those numbers. Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch began here in the Florida sunshine in the late 1800s, and ever since then, we’ve been growing and expanding, giving back to our community and delivering a product we’re proud of. Recent numbers from the USDA indicate Polk County specifically as ranking high in the beef cow numbers. Learn more about the list and the state’s numbers, and what those numbers mean in context, by continuing this blog. For the latest in beef industry news, visit our blog.


Cherry County, Neb., ranks at the top across the nation for the largest number of beef cows there, with 184,688. That’s about twice as many beef cows as the second largest county – Holt, Neb., with 92,518. Polk County comes in at an incredible 17th place across the nation with 58,491 beef cows. Notably, South Dakota has 7 counties in the top 34 highest county numbers list; Texas has 5; and there are 4 states with 3 counties in the top 34 – Oklahoma, Montana, Missouri, and Florida.

State Numbers

Florida as a state ranks ninth overall in the United States for beef cattle production, with 862,000 beef cows. This is a 3 percent decrease from production numbers in 2023; however, all states in the top 10 declined 2-6 percent with the exception of Kentucky. So far, prices for 450-500 pound steers in Florida are 46 percent higher than they were in January 2023 (numbers taken from January 2024). While prices are typically higher in the springtime than the fall, prices are expected to remain favorable for the next few years. 

Polk County

Polk County, with its 58,491 beef cattle in one county, is home to 934 beef cattle operations with an average herd size of 62. Okeechobee and Osceola Counties also make a splash for Florida numbers, ranking 11th and 12th overall in the nation, respectively.

We’re thrilled to see Florida continue to grow in beef cattle production. To support local ranchers in Florida, we invite you to purchase grass-fed beef from Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch by visiting our website