Farm: Osowaw Ranch
Location: Okeechobee & Indian River Counties
Date of Origination: 1980
Commodities: Beef cattle
Keith Wedgworth, and the Wedgworth family, own and operate Osowaw Ranch in Okeechobee, Florida. The Ranch was started by Keith’s great grandfather, Herman Wedgworth, in 1932 when he moved down from Mississippi. The farm was then purchased by the Wedgworth family in 1980, creating Osowaw Ranch. They proudly produce beef cattle.
Osowaw Ranch has been implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the ranch since 1980. BMPs are a set of guidelines that advise producers on how to manage the water, nutrient and pesticides they are using to reduce agriculture’s impact on the state’s natural resources. Mr. Wedgworth uses a rotational grazing system for the cattle to improve pasture longevity, allow for more timely utilization of forage and to increase the stocking rates. Soil samples are taken to ensure the proper amount of fertilizer and lime is applied to each pasture. Wells have been installed throughout the pastures to ensure the cattle receive a reliable source of drinking water and to keep them from disturbing the natural wetlands.
Mr. Wedgworth is actively involved in his local community. He is a Florida Farm Bureau member, part of Belle Glade Rotary and on the Advisory Board for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Mr. Wedgworth is also Vice President of the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau and mentors students through the “Take Stock in Children” program.
When asked why he is a farmer who CARES, Mr. Wedgworth responded, “it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the land that was given to us for future generations use.”