Dear Parent or Educator,
On January 23, 2016, this organization drove 500 head of cattle through some of the last of our state’s historic cow country. The reason for this effort was to celebrate Florida’s great contribution to the cattle industry and vice versa. The first modern cattle and horses to set foot on this continent did so in the area of Ft. Myers in the year 1521. From that day to this, Florida has been a leader in America’s cattle production.
Floridians can take pride in the fact that cowboy’n began in our state. We are the inheritors of a rich tradition and a “cow culture” which has given much to our state. Floridians are known as Crackers because of the sound of the whips of the cowmen. Florida cattle fed the starving sons of Dixie during the Civil War. Florida cattle traded for Spanish Doubloons allowed our economy to expand faster than most of the southern states during and after the reconstruction period.
Our Drive and the “Trail’s End Celebration” highlighted the history of the Sunshine state from pre-Columbian times to the present. We had historic encampments each night upon the trail, including Spanish Colonial, 1880 cow camp, Civil War and Timucuan. We featured historians and storytellers, artists, authors and interpreters of Florida history. The Seminole Tribe of Florida had a large contingent of their members demonstrating native arts, cooking, dancing, and sharing their history which dovetails very closely with the cattle culture. Camping was primitive; transportation will be horse, wagon or walking. Clothing will be period to the 1880’s. Skills, arts and crafts of the pioneers will be taught and explored.
Our next adventure will take place in December 2021, and I encourage you to allow your child(ren) to participate.
From the Kingdom of the Cracker, I remain Your Obedient Servant,
Doyle Conner, Jr.
Chairman, The Florida Cow Culture Preservation Committee