Farm: Double M Ranch
Location: Hardee County
Date of Origination: 1974
Commodities: Cattle, Citrus, Timber
Charles and Mary Jane Matheny own and operate Double M Ranch in an area known as Sweetwater in Hardee County. The property has family history that dates back to the 1800’s when Mary Jane’s grandparents settled on the property that, at one time, covered an area that stretched from Lake Placid to Sweetwater. After receiving her share, and marrying in 1974, the Matheny’s started Double M Ranch. Today, they proudly produce cattle, citrus, and timber on the property.
Mr. and Mrs. Matheny have always believed in the importance of environmental stewardship on the property, and they have implemented BMPs to ensure that they have a sustainable working ranch today and for future generations. To achieve their goals, they use very little fertilizer on the property and drag the pastures to organically fertilize, they use moisture sensors in their groves, fenced off wetlands, and have left 40 percent of the property in a self-maintaining natural state. They also use buffer strips throughout the ranch to maintain wildlife and provide shade.
The Matheny’s are actively involved in the community with Charles serving in the past as the Hardee County Cattlemen’s Association President. He has been a Kiwanis member for 35 years, and still serves as Chairman of the Hardee County Soil and Water Office.
When asked why environmental stewardship is important, the Matheny’s responded, “Because all life – humans, wildlife, and plants – need a good environment to survive.”