Participants registered for the 2013 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen's Beef Association Trade Show may now learn about Florida's rich culture and history during a pre-convention agricultural tour on Feb. 4-5, 2013.
"This year's pre-convention tour will give cattlemen and women the opportunity to see Florida's vibrant agricultural economy and explore the state's unique history," said NCBA President J.D. Alexander. "From a visit to a central Florida cattle operation to a stop at a vineyard, tour participants are going to have a fun and educational experience during this tour."
The tour kicks off with a Monday night dinner at the Florida Cattlemen's museum exhibit and Cracker Country, a rural Florida living history museum recreating rural pioneer Florida history and folk life during 1870-1912. The Florida Cattlemen's museum exhibit traces cattle ranching from its early beginnings in colonial Florida through present-day cattle ranching. Some of the topics included in the exhibit are colonial Florida, Seminole cattle ranching, cracker cowboys, cow dogs, auctions, oral traditions and rodeo.
On Tuesday, the first stop on the tour will be Barthle Brothers Ranch, a diversified agricultural operation in central Florida. The Barthle family breeds purebred American Brahman cattle, raises American quarter horses, produces crossbred calves and offers guided quail and turkey hunts at the ranch.
The Crystal Springs Preserve at Two Rivers Ranch is the next stop. Known as "Florida's Premier Living Laboratory," Crystal Springs Preserve is a 525-acre sanctuary devoted to environmental education and dedicated to the preservation of Florida's natural environment. Don't forget to wear closed-toe shoes that can get muddy or wet!
Tour attendees can bring back some fresh picked strawberries from Wishnatski Farms Strawberry Farms in Plant City. The tour concludes with a visit to Keel and Curley Winery. Keel and Curley Winery was started in spring of 2003 in the kitchen of founder and owner, Joe Keel, a central Florida blueberry farmer who wanted to find something to do with his end of crop blueberries.
Participants must pre-register to take part in this tour. Spots will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. For more information, visit www.beefusa.org.