Annual Jackson County Cattlemen's Tour takes place in Sneads

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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -- For close to 60 years, Jackson County ranchers have taken part in the annual Cattlemen's Association tour.

More than 30 area cattlemen joined the annual Jackson County Cattlemen's Tour Friday.

Jackson County Ag Extension Director Doug Mayo said the purpose of the tour is to share knowledge about the various aspects of agriculture and cattle.

"They sponsor events like this so they can all kinda come together," Mayo said. "They have to work together because, you know, independently it's kinda hard to share your story and keep up with all the issues."

The tour included a three-stop ranch tour in Sneads.

"Each is doing their operation a little different," Mayo said. "Each had some creative ideas to share about things they've learned that made their farm better."

The first stop centered on hay production.

Up the road on the Luke Arnold farm, ranchers learned about ranching on hilly soils, as well different types of grass used for grazing.

At the final stop, ranchers met at Bar 9 Ranch to learn about a large solar well, supplying water to more than 50 trough sites.

Jackson County Cattlemen's Association Board of Directors member Zane Walden said Jackson County cattlemen are at a disadvantage because western cattlemen graze thousands of acres at such a low price.

"That's hard to compete with in a cow/calf operation, so everything that we do here, that we can demonstrate a way to save a dollar or do something with less inputs, helps them," Walden said.

He added that the American rancher is getting older.

"They need to be able to do things with less stress on themselves, less labor intensive, and anytime we can show them a way to do that, they can stay in the business longer," Walden said.

Each year, the tour is held in a different place and season.

If you're interested in joining the Jackson County Cattlemen's Association, call the Jackson County Agriculture Extension Office at 1-850-482-9620.

Dues are $80 and fund the Jackson County Cattlemen's Association, as well as the Florida Cattlemen's Association.