Jim Strickland Myakka City, Florida – Strickland Ranch, Strickland Ranch and Exports, Inc., Big Red Cattle Company, Manager of Blackbeard’s Ranch
Founding Member, Jim Strickland, and his wife Renee are both 4th generation cattle ranchers in Florida. Together they own Strickland Ranch where they raise Brangus cows and a small herd of “cracker cattle,” Renee’s hobby.
In addition to raising cattle on Strickland Ranch, Jim and Renee own Strickland Ranch and Exports, Inc., an export business that is rooted in their love of travel and visiting ranches in other places. They export cattle around the world. “It’s a real pleasure to get to meet people in agriculture in other countries and to share different ideas, cultures and learn about different breeds of animals. We can all learn from each other!” says Renee.
Jim is also a partner in Big Red Cattle Company, a purebred Braford cattle and hay operation. Braford cattle are a cross between a Hereford and a Brahman. “They do well in Florida’s climate because of their heat and insect resistance due to an increased number of sweat glands and oily skin inherited from their Brahman heritage,” Jim says. He adds that one of the things he is proudest of is the ranch’s water conservation program, ”We save hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a year using best management practices to reuse water from the farm to seep irrigate hay fields.”
Jim also manages Blackbeard’s Ranch, 5900 acres bordering the Myakka State Park. “It is one of the last pristine cattle ranches east of Sarasota,” says Jim. In addition to raising cattle, the goal of Blackbeard’s Ranch is to preserve and protect wildlife, and to conduct research studies on coyotes, water and many species of birds. The ranch works closing with the Florida Wildlife Commission, the University of Florida, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the USDA to help study and promote natural Florida ecosystems.
Jim is currently Chairman of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Political Action Committee where he works on important issues affecting ranchers and the land we depend on. Jim was recently elected to the Board of Trustees of Archbold Expeditions which oversees the MacArthur Buck Island Ranch activities and research. “This organization does great research on working ranches and the flora and fauna in Florida to help make our state and ranches sustainable,” says Jim.
Jim is a past President of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, and past Chairman of the Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation. He also sits on numerous advisory boards related to cattle, agriculture, international trade, and the environment.
Jim’s son James Strickland is a Major in the United States Army Reserves, and is currently serving as an American diplomat in Africa. James’ involvement in the military, gave Jim a passion for the many veterans who return home after honorable service to our country. He loves working with the Wounded Warrior Project, and hosts many wounded warriors and their families at Blackbeard’s Ranch. “Spending time on the ranch with these families or kids who lost a parent serving in the military is one of the most rewarding things I do,” says Jim. “Their mothers and fathers made the ultimate sacrifice, but these kids sacrificed a tremendous amount as well.”
“When I was growing up my father kept telling me that you do what you love because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and then he died when I was 17,” says Jim. ”I’ve never forgotten that I’m so blessed to be able to do what I truly love.”