Farm: Lazy S Cattle Co. Inc.
Location: Highlands and Okeechobee County
Date of Origination: 1980
Eugene Stokes has been raising commercial cattle since he purchased Venus Farm in 1980. Since then, he has expanded the operation to three pieces of property in two counties. Today, with help from his wife Karen, his two daughters, and his two stepsons, Mr. Stokes proudly operates the Lazy S Cattle Company. When Mr. Stokes was asked what he liked most about being on the ranch he said that raising beef cattle was a reward of its own.
As a true steward, Mr. Stokes has always believed that if you take care of the land and water, it will come back to you. He has implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs) on his property for 30 years and is dedicated to ensuring that his land will be productive for future generations. BMPs are based on University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) research and are practical, cost-effective actions that agricultural producers can take to reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, and other pollutants entering our water resources. Mr. Stokes’ management practices include rotational grazing which allows time for re-growth between grazing periods, fencing off wetlands to prevent nutrient and bacteria loading and erosion, and the use of a nutrient management plan that considers the amount, source, form, placement and timing of fertilizer applications.
In the community, Mr. Stokes is actively involved in the Highlands County Cattlemen’s Association. He is also an active member of the National Cattlemen’s Association.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Mr. Stokes responded, “As a rancher you know that if you take care of the land and water, it will come back to you.”