Thursday, May 10, 2012

Good morning!  We are looking for excited young spokespersons for the Beef Industry in Florida!  Our youth speaking contest will be held July 20, 2012 at the FCW headquarters in Kissimmee.  Deadline to sign up is July 6th.  See our website for the complete rules and information.  You can also email our committee members, Tami ( or Lindsey ( for a copy to be emailed to you.  We look forward to hearing what the youth of the industry have to say at the contest.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FCW December Meeting

Hello Ladies. The meeting times have changed from that information printed in the magazine. Please forward to any interested parties. Info will also be included in mail out to county directors with the September minutes. Thank you.

Executive Committee- 8:30 start
BOD- 11:30 start
Hope Children’s Home Presentation 2:30
Installation of new officers about 4 pm
Steak out 6 pm
Room reservations are still able to be made until Nov 20th, Friday! Quality Inn 8633854500
Please consider attending the FCA BOD on Friday if possible. I will be introducing Jan to them as the new FCW President on Friday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beef Booth a hit at the Southern Women's Show

Tens of thousands of women and their companions were reminded that "there are cows in Florida?" and took home the message of "We Care for our Cattle and the Environment" from the Southern Women's Show in Orlando, Florida October 8-11, 2009. 12,000 beef meatball, cubed steak and short ribs samples were consumed to illustrate our Beef- Made Easy slogan, highlighting how easy it can be to entertain every day with nutritious beef! 8,000 pieces of literature with the Beef- It's What's for Dinner website were taken home. Florida's cattle producers were well represented by the 14 Florida CattleWomen that talked with the public those 4 days. Thank you to the ladies that worked so hard to get this message out to the non-farm public. Thank you to the Florida Beef Council for funding this activity. Below are some photos of Jenny Schuller, Florida Cattlemen's Association Sweetheart, and myself talking with consumers on Friday. Our neighboring booth worker commented that she had never before seen people fighting over cubed steak samples! Job well done ladies!

Cary Lightsey named Southeastern Farmer of the Year at SunBelt Ag Expo

Floridian Southeastern Farmer of Year
Oct 21, 2009 10:11 AM, By Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff
Cary Lightsey, a 56-year-old central Florida cattle rancher who says he’s “living out his dream” of being a cowboy, has been named the 2009 Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Southeastern Farmer of the Year.
Lightsey, who operates more than 36,000 acres of crop and pasture land on Brahma Island, just south of Orlando, is the latest in a long line of highly diversified, technologically advanced, environmentally sensitive farmers to be named Sunbelt Farmer of the Year.
“Wow, I can’t believe this,” said Lightsey. “On the way over, my wife was saying ‘it would be a cold day in Florida when I won the Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award.” (Temperatures dropped into the upper 30s and lower 40s Tuesday morning around Moultrie, Ga., the site of the Sunbelt Expo, just across the state line from Florida.
He was one of 10 state winners who were honored at this year’s Sunbelt Expo. The 10 included a diverse group of farmers, who grow crops ranging from fruits and vegetables to peanuts.
This was the 20th year for the Farmer of the Year Award.
“Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to be a cowboy,” said Lightsey, in accepting the award. “I wanted to ride a horse and I wanted to grow big cattle. Being able to do that and to be able to win this award here in front of my family is a dream come true.”
A sixth-generation rancher, whose family came to central Florida in the 1850s, Lightsey typically pre-conditions 2,250 yearlings each year. He sells 1,080 head through Internet and local livestock auctions and retains 780 heifers for replacements. He also retains ownership on 1,710 head per year fed out in Texas feed lots.
He operates a total of 36,200 acres, including 17,800 rented and 18,400 acres owned.
Besides raising cattle, he grows 420 acres of irrigated citrus, 300 acres of bahiagrass sod, 450 acres of bahia for seed and 2,800 acres of forage.
Lightsey says that, like his forefathers, he’s determined to leave his family’s farming operation better than “when we started it. For that reason, we have decided to place 80 percent of our farming operation in conservation easement programs.
“Until 2009, we in Florida were losing 150,000 acres per year to concrete and asphalt,” said Lightsey. “We have got to do something to address that issue.”

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009- Eat More Beef!

Today is Blog Action Day 2009 where thousands of bloggers in countries around the globe write about the same topic on the same day to make a difference in the world. This year’s topic is climate change, and I’m working hard to make sure agriculture has a voice in today’s big event. It’s sad really…of the suggested topics on climate change given to bloggers that registered for this event, the first idea was agriculture and the global impact food production has on the world. While we all know that farmers and ranchers are unfairly taking the blame for the world’s environmental problems, I’m going to work to share with millions of readers on Blog Action Day the real facts and figures about the foods we eat. Let’s get down to business and share the real story about American animal agriculture. Feel free to pass this link on through every outlet available: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, email, etc. We need to spread the positive message about beef, today!
For America’s farmers and ranchers, everyday is Earth day. As part of a family that are fourth-generation ranchers, I practice environmental stewardship and best animal handling practices to care for my land and livestock. As a consumer, I feel confident serving beef to my family because it’s a safe, affordable and nutritious source of protein that simply gets a bad rap in today’s sensationalized media. As a rancher, I’m dedicated to ending world hunger. Did you know one in eight Americans goes to bed hungry at night? Where’s the food, without the farmer? God Bless the American farmer and rancher, feeding the world, caring for animals and protecting the planet, every, single day.
Top 10 BEEF Daily Quick Facts on Cattle and the Planet…
1. American agriculture is sustainable for the future. In the United States, 98 percent of farms are family farms. Today’s American farmer feeds about 144 people worldwide. 2009 versus 1960: 1.8 million less farms are feeding a U.S. population that has increased 61 percent. (Explore Beef)
2. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the entire U.S. agriculture sector accounts for only 6 percent of annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Of this, livestock production is estimated to account for 2.8 percent of total U.S. emissions. (EPA Climate Change Report)
3. If livestock production disappeared tomorrow, wouldn’t we just be transporting more tofu around? And wouldn’t we just be plowing and fertilizing the land to supply PETA’s vegetarian utopia? (Center for Consumer Freedom)
4. Grazing animals on land not suitable for producing crops more than doubles the land area that can be used to produce food. If 1955 technology were used to produce the amount of beef raised today, 165 million more acres of land would be needed – that’s about the size of Texas! (Explore Beef)
5. Each year, outstanding ranching families are recognized through a prestigious award, the Environmental Stewardship Award Program. The award is presented each year by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and The National Cattlemen’s Foundation, and is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service at the annual Cattle Industry Annual Convention. (Read about the regional winners at BEEF)
6. Cattle do more than just provide us with nutritious beef. They also make significant contributions to our lives… and the planet. Cattle convert inedible cellulose (grass) to nutritious beef. When cattle graze, they “aerate” the soil with their hooves, which allows more oxygen and water to enter. They also press grass seed into the soil, so it can start growing. They provide a natural fertilizer in the form of manure. Cattle also reduce the length of grass and brush when they graze, which is helpful in reducing the spread of wildfires since there is less flammable material. In addition, cattle primarily graze on grass, but they also eat waste products from food processing such as potato skins, distillers grains, fruit pits, almond hulls and sugar beet pulp. (Wow That Cow!)
7. Beef by-products enable us to use 99% of every beef animal, and these products are a part of our daily lives. Beef by-products include leather, candles, toothpaste, deodorants, crayons, textiles, cosmetics, rubber tires, insulin, high glass for magazines, asphalt, fertilizers, cement blocks, hydraulic brake fluid, car polishes and waxes, detergents, shaving cream, soaps, shampoo, paint, chewing gum, marshmallows, and the list goes on, and on, and on. Can you go a day without using a cattle by-product? (When is a Cow More Than a Cow?)
8. There are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government labeling guidelines for lean. Each one contains less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving. Calorie-for-calorie, beef is the most nutrient-dense food including nine essential nutrients, including a good source of zinc, iron and protein. And, did you know, beef has the same heart-healthy fats as olive oil? (Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner)
9. According to a 1993 article in the Journal of Animal Science by J. Beckett and J. Oltjen, total livestock production accounts for just over 11 percent of all U.S. water use in the United States. This includes the water to grow crops fed to livestock, which accounts for 9.7 percent of all water use, and livestock consumption, at 1.2 percent of all water use. (Journal of Animal Science)
10. Rangelands and pastures provide forage and habitat for numerous wildlife species, including 20 million deer, 500,000 pronghorn antelope, 400,000 elk and 55,000 feral horses and burros. Last year, more than 2,000 ranchers and farmers entered into landowner agreements with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. About a billion acres, or 55 percent of the total land surface in the United States, is rangeland, pasture and forages. (Beef, From Pasture to Plate)
Calculate your personal greenhouse gas emissions using EPA’s calculator. Pass this blog post on! Twitter, Facebook, email and blog this link to share with your contacts today!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Florida Beef Consumer Representative Chosen at CattleWomen Shortcourse

Samantha Newman, of Hillsborough County, was chosen as the 2010 Florida Beef Consumer Representative. Samantha is a senior at Newsome High School. Congratulations!

Monday, September 14, 2009

September FCW Meetings were Outstanding!

The Florida CattleWomen held their Fall Quarterly meeting in conjunction with the Florida Cattlemen's Association at the Courtyard by Marriott in Bradenton, FL September 9-11, 2009. Below is the Executive Committee- left to right, front row- Karen Andrle, Past President; Sarah Childs, Past President; second row (on steps)- Nacy Phares, Past President; Sarabeth Barthle, Parliamentarian; Sonja Crawford, Chaplain and Beef Consumer Representative Chair; Jan Dillard, President-Elect; Lindsey John, President; Melissa S. Montes De Oca, Treasurer; Alison Mullany, Secretary; far back row- Wendy Petteway, Vice President.

Meetings Thursday were well attended and very productive. The Board of Directors voted to exhibit at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show and sponsor Kids in the Kitchen with the Junior League of Orlando in 2010. We nominated Pat Bass for the Florida Dept. of Agriculture Woman of the Year in Agriculture. We also heard from Marlene Strickland, chair of the Beef for the Holidays committee, and were able to pick names for the Christmas presents. Contact Marlene to get a name and wish list for one of the 70 children at Hope Children's Home.