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Learn about the History of Florida Ranching after Open Range

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on March 11, 2020

The Pasco County Historical Society announces the March 20, 2020 meeting is to be held at 6:00 P.M. at the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, located at 15602 Pioneer Museum Road in Dade City, Florida. The meeting will be held in the Mabel Jordan Barn. Guests are welcome.

A carry-in dinner precedes the program, so bring a dish to share as well as cutlery for your personal use, plate(s), (disposable is fine) and your beverage of choice. 

The History of Florida Ranching After Open Range

Open range cattle ranching was prominent in Florida throughout the mid-1900s. Complaints about traffic accidents and stray cattle prompted the Florida legislature to pass a law in 1949, requiring all stock owners to fence in their cattle.  

Florida was the last state to pass such legislation. Cattle-ranching, which had once been a family enterprise utilizing the open-range, became a capital-intensive agribusiness by the 1980s. Adding complementary farming, such as watermelons, was a part of the changes.

Steve Melton will trace the effects of these changes through the era after the open range was closed.

Along the way, a bonus will be some of his reflective poetry. Upon completion of this presentation, participants may be able to answer the question, “What is a Cattle Gap?”

About Steve Melton

Steve Melton is an agricultural businessman, rancher, farmer, poet and museum operator. His works have been featured on YouTube for many years. The Machinery Museum is full of agricultural items from the past.

About the Florida Pioneer Museum & Village

Special thanks to the Florida Pioneer Museum & Village that allows the Pasco County Historical Society to hold meetings at their facilities. Stephanie Black, Executive Director, and the Board have been gracious in allowing the historical society to meet at their wonderful facility which honors the history of Pasco County.

For additional information, contact Glen M. Thompson, Secretary by email or telephone (352) 567-7449.

Pasco County Historical Society meetings are free and open to the public.

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