Florida Ranch Receives Regional Environmental Stewardship Award
ORLANDO, FL. (Feb. 2, 2024) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced today that JB Ranch, in Immokalee, Florida, was selected as a regional winner of the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The ranch was recognized during CattleCon24 in Orlando.
“Cattle producers from coast to coast are committed to preserving natural resources for future generations,” said NCBA President Todd Wilkinson. “It is an honor to recognize these regional winners who utilize innovative practices and epitomize environmental stewardship.”
Established in 1991, ESAP celebrates outstanding land stewards in the cattle industry. Regional ESAP winners come from every corner of the country and undertake stewardship efforts unique to their environment, landscape and resources. The selection committee determined winners based on eligible applications received from six of the seven regions. The 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award Program Regional Winners are:
- Region I: Tuck Farms, Moneta, Virginia
- Region II: JB Ranch, Immokalee, Florida
- Region IV: G Bar C Ranch, Rosston, Texas
- Region V: Tower Rock Ranch, LLC, Mansfield, Washington
- Region VI: Hart Ranch, Montague, California
- Region VII: Bartholomay Kattle Kompany, Sheldon, North Dakota
“Southwest Florida has unique challenges that make environmental stewardship difficult, however, despite those challenges, JB Ranch has maintained its natural habitats while creating a profitable cattle business,” said Larry Williams, state supervisor of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Florida Ecological Services Field Office. “JB Ranch is unequivocally dedicated to preserving and enhancing natural resources.”
JB Ranch is a third-generation cow-calf operation, owned and operated by Liesa and Russell Priddy. The ranch provides important habitat for more than 20 protected animal species including panthers, the Florida state animal. Resource management goals are intertwined and inseparable, and the removal of invasive species as well as ensuring water integrity are priorities. The Priddy’s have reduced invasive plant species by 90% utilizing various methods, including mechanical removal, prescribed burning and rotational grazing. Water quality has improved with the use of control structures and solar wells. As development encroaches, JB Ranch remains an oasis, and the Priddy’s have diversified their operation by harvesting cabbage palms and sod for landscaping as well as offering guided hunts.
“Our goal is quite simple: to ensure that the natural resources under our care are improved and maintained for the benefit of all living things that depend on the land for survival in an economically viable way,” said Liesa Priddy with JB Ranch. “We utilize a variety of practices to make that happen.”
ESAP is generously sponsored by companies and federal agencies who share the cattle industry’s commitment to caring for the environment and protecting natural resources. Sponsors including U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corteva Agriscience, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partner with NCBA to promote environmental stewardship throughout the beef supply chain.
Posted: February 6, 2024