LIVE VIDEO: Live Newscast RIGHT NOW    Watch
 

Cattle Industry expands in East Manatee County

7:42 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
Isabel Mascarenas Video Stories
More Isabel Mascareñas Stories

East Manatee, Florida -- It may seem as if the housing industry is bulldozing agricultural land in East Manatee County, the truth is, as developments continue to grow so is the cattle industry.

The Florida Cattleman Association says drought out west and a higher demand for beef means the cattle business is moving on up in Florida and in Manatee County making it one of the top beef producing counties in Florida.

Seventy-two-year-old Cully Rowell has been a cattle rancher all his life.

"You've got a reason to get up, come out, and look at newborn calves," say Rowell as he drives out onto his farmland looking for his cattle.

And these days Rowell has another reason to get up in the morning.

"We're looking at 2014 to be a good year. Right now the prices are still holding pretty good," he says.

According to Manatee County's University of Florida Extension Services, ranchers are getting more per pound at auction on average $1.60 per pound in 2012, compared to $1.12 per pound in 2009. Florida is a cow/calf breeding state.

Still, Rowell says the return on his money sometimes depends on the weather. Monday night's low temperatures can kill profits.

"Tonight or tomorrow night we might come out the door and see the grass dead. Then we will have to start feeding hay and molasses to keep cows in good shape," he says.

Rowell says 8 of the nation's top 20 beef producers are in Florida. UF Extension Officials say Manatee ranks 13th in the state and while the number of cattle has dropped by about 15,000 heads between 2009 and 2012 cattle land has expanded by 5,000 acres a sign of a growing industry and stronger economy.

"The economy is getting better and we're hoping that they can afford a beef steak or a burger once in a while," says Rowell.

As for the cattle industry's future in Manatee, Rowell feels pretty good about it.

"I think we're going to survive."

Check out some of our most read stories from 2013:

#shortyellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Terrorism Warning: Memo says terrorists practicing dry-runs on Florida flights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Courtroom apology: Woman apologizes for flipping off judge

Weird ice: Strange, giant circles appear on frozen pond

Controversial Club: College student organizes "White Student Union"

CFO Trouble: School administrative chief in trouble over her porn sex blog

Warning Shot Wife: Mother gets 20 years for firing warning shots at abusive husband

Science Arrest: Teen girl arrested over science project explosion

Wait, WHAT?? Dog shoots man in the leg with a handgun

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Isabel Mascarenas

Most Watched Videos