Protection of 1,800-Acre Florida Cattle Ranch Approved

Dan Cattle, Conservation, Environment, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)

South Florida Ranchland in evening
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After approval by the Governor and Cabinet, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) announced the protection of a 1,800-acre cattle ranch and farm in Okeechobee County. Through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, Clemons Oak Creek, a 1,800-acre working cattle ranch and farm, will be preserved through a cost-effective rural land protection easement totaling $6,475,000. Rural land protection easements prevent future development of the land and allow agriculture operations to continue to contribute to Florida’s economy and the production of food, timber, and other resources vital to the prosperity of Florida.

Clemons Oak Creek is a multi-generational cattle ranch and farm. The cow/calf operation, which includes approximately 600 head of cattle, is over most of the property and a small portion is watermelon row crops and marsh habitat. The property contains at least two creeks that drain into the Kissimmee River and much of the property serves as the headwaters for Oak Creek. The project site is enrolled in the FDACS’ Best Management Practices program and is located within the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

“Approval to partner with Clemons Oak Creek and permanently protect approximately 1,800 acres of productive agricultural land is yet another victory for the state of Florida and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson. “By protecting this economically and environmentally critical agricultural land, we safeguard the livelihoods of our farmers and ranchers, we ensure the continued production of essential food and resources for our state, and we help preserve our natural resources and spaces according to state standards. This is a win for agriculture, a win for conservation, and a win for Florida’s taxpayers.”