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Learn History of Cattle Ranching after Open Range

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on September 12, 2020

The public is invited to the Pasco County Historical Society September 18, 2020 meeting at 6:00 P.M. in the Mabel Jordan Barn, located on the property of the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village – 15602 Pioneer Museum Road – Dade City, FL 33523. The program topic will be the History of Ranching after Open Range, presented by Steve Melton.

History of Ranching After Open Range

Open range cattle ranching in Florida ended. 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 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?

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 Pasco Historical Society Meetings

Guests are welcome. Sharing of food items – snacks or finger foods precedes the program.  Bring your favorite goodies to share as well as cutlery for your personal use, plate(s), (disposable is fine) and beverage of choice. 

COVID-19 precautions should be observed – bring your face mask, practice social distancing (6 feet apart), wash hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

The museum is located 1.3 miles north of downtown Dade City, at the corner of US 301 and Museum Road, turn east onto Museum Road and cross the railroad tracks, turn north (left) follow the signs to the Mabel Jordan Barn at the north end of the grounds.

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 at [email protected] or telephone (352) 567-7449.

Historical society meetings are free and open to the public.


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