Animal Science Preconference Tour

AnSci Tour MapThe 2022 NACAA Animal Science Preconference Tour will be held on Thursday, July 14 through Saturday, July 16.  This year’s Animal Science Pre-tour will take a look at animal agriculture in South Florida, and will start and end in West Palm Beach, Florida.  For more information or to register for a pre-tour, please see the County Agent magazine or visit  A registration link will be on the home page under the Florida AMPIC logo starting April 1.

We hope you will take the time to join us on the Animal Science Pre-Conference Tour and experience livestock production and industry in Florida! Registration for the tour will be $60 per person. The registration includes lunch and dinner on Friday, July 15th. It also covers snacks and the airboat ride on Saturday while we are in the Everglades.  With respect to other meals, breakfast on Friday morning is provided by the hotel. Breakfast and lunch on Saturday will be Dutch treat.

Thursday July 14th

Thursday is a travel day for participants in the tour.  Tour participants should make arrangements to be in West Palm Beach on Thursday July 14th in time to gather for dinner. We will walk from the hotel over to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse which is .3 of a mile from the hotel.

Friday July 15th

Friday morning we will board our bus in West Palm Beach to begin the tour.

Tour Stop #1  Kempfer Beef Cattle Ranch

Kempfer Cattle Company is a 25,000 acre family owned and operated ranch located in Deer Park, Florida. In the ranching business since 1898, the 6th generation is now growing up and helping to work the ranch. While purebred Brahmans and commercial cattle are the primary focus, the family has diversified into several different ventures including a sod company specializing in Bahia and Floratam, a sawmill with Cypress & Pine timber operations, and a ranch located in Macon, MS for our replacement heifer development program.

Tour Stop #2  Larson Dairy Farm

Larson Diary Farm

Larson Diary Farm

Considered by many as the dean of dairymen in South Florida, Louis “Red” Larson started in the business as a teenager in 1942 looking for a summer job. He made $2 a day milking cows by hand. After military service in World War II and college, Larson and wife Reda started their first dairy in 1947 west of Fort Lauderdale. A few years later they moved the farm to Palm Beach County and then to Okeechobee County in the 1960s. More than four decades later, the Larson name means dairy throughout the state. Red, his two sons and two grandsons own and operate several dairies, milking a total of more than 10,000 cows. They are Florida’s largest dairy family.

Tour Stop #3  Okeechobee Livestock Market

The Okeechobee Livestock Market was built in the 1930s by The Dixie Cattlemen, conveniently located next to railroad tracks so various freight and livestock could be transported to their respective destinations.  In August of 1948, the building was sold, repaired, and modernized; opening exclusively for business on September 17, 1948, as a cattle market. ​In 1961, Otis “Pete” Clemons became operating manager of the livestock market. He initiated the purchase after years of national and international competitions on the rodeo circuit, where he showcased extraordinary athleticism, including an “All Around Cowboy” title, financial winnings, and beloved notoriety (eventually landing him a spot in the Florida Sports Hall of Fame & Agriculture Hall of Fame). From 1989 to the present day, there have been many technological advances at the Okeechobee Livestock Market, from website development, where live auctions can be viewed online, to e-mail marketing and herd health programs​Currently, Todd and Jeff Clemons run the Okeechobee Livestock Market, and a few of their children work there as well – there are over four generations of cattlemen and women representing the business today.

Tour Stop #4  Diamond C Ranch

The Croncich family: Wil, Shandi, Creek, and Ridge, grew up in this area living the ranch lifestyle, and it is something very natural to us. Coming from this type of background, they are now raising children in the same tradition. Diamond C Ranch was established in 2012 and is primarily small commercial cattle operation. Due to the volatility of the cattle business they decided that diversifying would help preserve their ideal lifestyle. In considering this, agri-tourism seemed to be the best way to connect with our values.  The vision for Diamond C Events is to share our lifestyle with our Community and surrounding areas so they may enjoy what they are so blessed to be a part of. The significance of this venture goes well beyond attending their events, or hosting your own. Children and adults are able to have an up-close hands-on experience with agriculture in a way they may have never been able to before. They look forward to growing and improving what we have cultivated here at Diamond C so that families are able to develop a tradition along with them.

The day will end at the famous Roland Martin Marina where we will spend the night. Roland & Mary Ann Martin Marina and Resort is located on the shores of Lake Okeechobee and offers many amenities and a nice selection of accommodations for you to choose from. The hotel rooms on Lake Okeechobee have been recently remodeled. Each room is appointed with Goose down comforters & Goose Down Pillows, as well as 100% Cotton Linens. Each spacious standard motel room has a single king sized or two double queen-sized beds, a color TV with Cable. Our Larger standard Efficiencies come equipped with a small full kitchen with a stove, refrigerator, coffee pot and microwave.

Saturday, July 16th

Tour Stop # 5 United State Sugar Company/Westway Molasses

Westway Feeds

Westway Feeds

U.S. Sugar is a farming company that grows sugarcane, citrus, and fresh vegetables. The company was founded in 1931 by a visionary leader named Charles Stewart Mott.  Mott is  responsible for establishing what stands today as U.S. Sugar, one of the country’s most successful agribusiness operations. Since the beginning, the company’s success has been rooted in traditional farming values and respect for the land. For more than 90 years, U.S. Sugar has been planting, growing and harvesting nature’s sweetest gifts for families across America. Today, U.S. Sugar combines traditional farming values with modern technology to farm 215,000 acres of the nation’s most productive farmland in harmony with nature.

Tour Stop # 6  JB Ranch

JB Ranch, a commercial cow-calf operation in Immokalee, received the 2021 Environmental Stewardship Award from the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. The statewide award signifies the commitment of owners Liesa and Russell Priddy in following agricultural, conservation and environmental best management practices. . “We plan for sustainability in all of our actions at JB Ranch,” said Liesa Priddy, third-generation owner and operator of the 9,500-acre ranch. A recognized rural lands policy advocate in Southwest Florida, Liesa Priddy served as a Florida Fish and Wildlife commissioner. Sustainability initiatives put in place by the Priddys include the installation of seven solar-powered wells to provide water for cattle troughs; creation of 650 acres of water reservoirs for water retention and conservation; natural habitat restoration; and utilization of prescribed burning to support soil rejuvenation. The operation’s cattle grazing supports weed and brush management, especially for non-native vegetation, in turn providing natural habitat improvement.

JB Ranch

JB Ranch

Tour Stop #7  Gator Park (Air Boat Ride)

Airboat Tour

Gator Park Airboat Tour

Looking for some serious gator action?  Welcome to GATOR PARK. An Alligator Adventure in the Heart of the Everglades National Park. Gator Park is the premier airboat tour in the Florida Everglades to spy these fierce reptiles. Airboat rides depart every few minutes, so your Everglades experience begins the moment you arrive. The Everglades’ marine life includes more than 200,000 alligators, so you’re guaranteed to spy quite a few on your Everglades tour! American crocodiles and fish, including largemouth bass, blue gil and catfish, are also frequent guest stars on the tour.

We will end the tour back in West Palm Beach and deliver you to your conference hotel in time to prepare for supper.