Cattle in florida

Barthle Brothers Ranch

Today, there are more than 886 thousand head of cattle and 15,000 beef producers throughout Florida. Currently, Florida ranks 13th in overall cattle numbers nationwide. The three top ranking counties for cattle are Okeechobee, Highlands, and Osceola counties. Cash receipts from cattle and calf sales totaled over $546 Million.

A Rich Heritage

Ranching and Beef production have been central to Florida’s heritage for more than 400 years. The First Documented cattle to the state was in the 1500s, by the 1600s there were 34 ranches in Florida and 20,000 head of cattle.

Florida Cattle Ranching Today

Florida is predominantly a cow-calf state. Weaned calves (usually 6-10 months old weighing 300 to 600 pounds) are shipped to stockers or feedlots. Florida ships approximately 450,000 calves each year.

Florida seedstock producers consistently supply “building blocks” for commercial herds around the world. Florida breeders have made great strides with superior genetic traits which have been selected for adaptation to Florida’s subtropical climate allowing the industry to compete effectively in national and global markets.

Nearly one-half of all Florida Agricultural land is involved in cattle production. Much of “Natural Florida” remains in the working landscape of Florida’s cattle industry. Wildlife and native plant system population thrive on Florida's ranch lands.

Did you know?

  • In the year 1521, Juan Ponce De Leon brought a small herd of Andalusian cattle and horses with him on his second expedition to the New World. These were the first cattle and horses to ever set foot (or hoof) on what is now the continental United States. 
  • The term "cracker" comes from the old cowboys who used whips to make a "cracking" sound to herd their cattle