Strickland Ranch, Big Red Cattle Company, Manager of Blackbeard’s Ranch
Myakka City, Florida
Founding Member, Jim Strickland, Strickland Ranch
Jim Strickland has six decades of ranching experience and comes from a family that has been ranching in Florida since the Civil War. Jim grew up ranching with his father along the west coast of Florida. When his father died in the 1960s Jim took over the family cattle operations at the age of 17, primarily leasing land for cattle.
Jim is the owner of Strickland Ranch and managing partner of Blackbeard’s Ranch, Ranch, a 4,530 acre cow/calf operation that borders Myakka State Park and contains slough systems that feed the Myakka River and drinking water downstream. He is pursuing state and federal conservation easements on Blackbeard’s Ranch and is involved in local food initiatives. The ranch works closely 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’s goal is to develop Blackbeard’s as a model for sustainable agriculture and conservation.
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 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. Jim is Past-Chairman of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Political Action Committee where he worked on important issues affecting ranchers and the land we depend on. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Florida Conservation Group, a non-profit that advocates for land conservation funding and protecting natural and agricultural lands. 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 resides in Washington D.C with his wife Sara. 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.”
“I’ve never forgotten that I’m so blessed to be able to do what I truly love.”
– Jim Strickland