Florida is rich in ranching history. In fact, the story of Florida’s cattle ranches spans 500 years. Ranching’s history and importance to Florida is being shared is through an unlikely source: the award-winning Florida Ranches Calendar, now celebrating its 12-year anniversary.
“The calendar is an effective educational tool that raises awareness about the important role these ranches play in preserving Florida’s environmental, agricultural and cultural heritage,” said Stacy Ranieri, president of the public relations firm The Firefly Group and publisher of the calendar.
The use of visually stunning photographs from photojournalist and eighth-generation Floridian Carlton Ward Jr. tells the story of Florida’s cattle industry, showcases a diversity of ranches, and pays tribute to their outstanding conservation efforts.
To commemorate the “Twelve years of Twelve Months” milestone, the 2017 edition contains a retrospective on Carlton’s photos from past calendars. The pages are filled with sweeping aerial vistas and spirited cattle drives, to foggy sunrises and tranquil sunsets. New photos from Gil Williams, the official photographer of the Great Florida Cattle Drive and cousin of Carlton Ward Jr., as well as the winners of an online photography contest, are also included.
“Florida’s cattle ranches encompass nearly a fifth of our state’s land, protects critical wildlife habitat for dozens of endangered species, sustains the headwaters of most of our rivers and estuaries, yet remains little known to the more than 20 million people who call Florida home,” explained Ward Jr., National Geographic Explorer and chief photographer since the calendar’s inception.
The calendar, however, is much more than a gorgeous display of the beautiful landscapes and way of life on these ranches. It is also an abundance of information and includes narratives from notable Floridians such as Patrick Smith, Adam Putnam, Clay Henderson and Alto “Bud” Adams Jr.
“Throughout Florida’s 500-year history, Florida’s cattle ranchers have built and sustained a reputation as good stewards of the land. Their strong stewardship ethic has preserved thousands of acres of pristine native range and pasture land across the state of Florida,” wrote Adam H. Putnam, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, in a previous ranch calendar. “These lands support incredibly diverse populations of plants and animals - many threatened or endangered. Future generations of Floridians, if they are to enjoy the same quality of life we currently enjoy, will depend on the working ranchlands to remain and thrive.”
The 2017 Florida Ranches “Legacy Edition” Calendar is available for sale online for $15 each at www.floridacattleranches.com. School and non-profit rates and bulk order discounts are also available. They make great holiday gifts for your friends, family, clients and colleagues. For more information, contact The Firefly Group at 772.287.5272 or [email protected]
Calendar Sponsors include: 4G Ranch; Adams Ranch; The Andersons Inc.; Ard, Shirley & Rudolph; Babcock Ranch; The Balmoral Group; Blackbeard's Ranch; Carlton Ward Photography; Clear Springs; Court Street Partners LLC; Dean Mead; Deseret Cattle & Citrus; Family Lands Remembered; Farmton Cattle Company; The Firefly Group; Flatwoods Consulting Groups; Florida Cattleman's Association; Florida Cattleman's Foundation; Florida Crystals; FPL; Frasier Family Farm LLC; Gas Pros, Inc.; Gil Williams Photography; JB Ranch; Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.; The MilCor Group; The National Wild Turkey Federation; S.Y. Hartt & Son, Inc.; Strickland Ranch; Usher Farm