Our focus is the conservation of Florida’s ranchlands and other working lands. We advocate, educate, and act as a resource on land protection and other conservation programs for protecting our wildlife and water. We are comprised of ranchers, conservation and policy experts, and scientists to ensure science-based land protection. The protection of Florida’s ranchlands and other working lands are vital to Florida achieving its conservation goals.

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Myakka’s Jim Strickland named Sustainable Rancher of the Year by Audubon Florida.


By Pam Eubanks, Senior Editor, YourObserver.com Wearing his cowboy hat, cattle rancher Jim Strickland rolled through pastureland on the 4,500-acre Blackbeard’s Ranch in eastern Manatee County in his pickup truck.He nodded toward the window. About 50 feet away, deer walked along the tree line, barely noticing the truck had stopped. On the other side of a fence, another deer bounded across the open field. “Look at that,” he said, smiling. “A good cattle ranch is conducive to a great wildlife base.” Strickland said the property is also home to panthers, gopher tortoises and up to 170 species of birds. The variety of grasses, plants and wetlands work together to create a diverse, food-rich environment. Strickland, a lifelong Manatee County resident and managing partner of Blackbeard’s Ranch, is working to preserve nature. In 2018, the National Resources Conservation Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, purchased a “wetland reserve easement” on about one-third of the Blackbeard property for $3.9 million. It guarantees the land will be saved from development.
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Legislative Contacts

  Senator Debbie Mayfield, Chair of Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment & Gen Gov't https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S17 Legislative Aide:  Adrienne Cronebaugh(850) 487-5017cronebaugh.adrienne@flsenate.gov   Rep. Holly Raschein,Chair of House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/details.aspx?MemberId=4562 Legislative Aide:  Julio Rodriguez       (850) 717-5120           julio.rodriguez@myfloridahouse.gov     Full Senate Appropriations Committee (focus on RED unless you have a personal relationship with another member on the committee) Senator Rob Bradley, Chair           https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S5 Legislative Aide:  Taylor Ferguson     (850) 487-5005           ferguson.taylor@flsenate.gov                                                                                                                                                 Senator Wilton Simpson, Vice Chair                               https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S10 Legislative Aide:  Patty Harrison         (850) 487-5010           harrison.patty@flsenate.gov   Senator Debbie Mayfield, Chair of Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment &...

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