In order for cattlemen to be successful, each of their cows need to raise one calf per year. Some ranchers use natural breeding for their herd (selecting bulls with the right genetics for their goals, and keeping their bulls with the cows during the breeding season each year). Others opt for using artificial insemination (A.I.). This method is more of the standard for dairy cattle, but when it comes to beef cattle, it just depends on whether or not it's practical for that operation.
Being stewards means paying attention to one critical element: the grass! One of the first things I learned from other cattleman when I began as a cattlewoman is that if I wanted to be a good rancher, I’d have to be a good grass farmer. And how right they were. Grass is the lifeblood of maintaining a healthy brood cow. The diet of the typical brood cow is all forage, plus some minerals supplemented if necessary. In less desirable circumstances, the cow will eat the forage in the Florida scrub or swamps.
Florida is known for agriculture like strawberries and tomatoes, but not many people think of cattle as a hallmark of our farming industry. In fact, cattle have been a part of Florida’s economy for 500 years and nearly one-half of Florida’s agricultural land is dedicated to cattle production. At Riverbend Ranch we are proud to be part of this legacy. Our cattle are a species called Brangus, a hybrid of Angus and Brahman breeds. The Brangus are just the perfect species to handle Florida’s weather and to provide a great quality cut of beef.
Bees are a crucial part of our ecosystem. These vital contributors can pollinate about 80% of flowering crops including alfalfa, which the beef and dairy industries use for feed. And if we didn’t have bees, one-third of the food we eat would not be available. Unfortunately, the wild bee populations are in jeopardy, decreasing their beneficial impact and opening the door for more aggressive Africanized colonies to spread.