Alex Johns elected new Florida Cattlemen’s Association president

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee born Alex Johns has spent his entire life working in cattle ranching. He is a founding member of the Florida Cattle Ranchers and his family has a ranching heritage of close to 500 years. That history and experience in ranching has helped him to be elected as the new Florida Cattlemen’s Association (FCA) president at the annual Cattlemen’s Convention held in Orlando in June.

He replaces outgoing president Ken Griner, who was elected in 2017.

Alex Johns was elected Florida Cattlemen’s Association (FCA) president at the annual Cattlemen’s Convention held in Orlando in June 2018. Alex Johns and his family have a long history with cattle ranching in south Florida. Mr. Johns believes his ancestors poached their first cow from the Spanish in 1521.

“I am humbled and proud to serve the Florida cattle industry for the next year,” said Mr. Johns after becoming the FCA president. “It just goes to show you with a grass roots organization such as the FCA that anyone can rise to a leadership position if they have the passion and want to.”

At the age of 25 Alex Johns began to oversee every aspect of the commercial beef herd owned by his father. He has worked within the Seminole Tribe’s cattle program for 18 years and has served as the Director of Natural Resources for the Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc. for the past 8 years.

In his first message to FCA members as president, Mr. Johns laid out his vision for the group.

“I would like to see the number of quality cattle on Florida soil sustained, and the growth of urban areas into our healthy, natural land slowed,” said Mr. Johns. “The habitat is needed for wildlife, cattle, and the proper filtration of water back into our aquifers. Our cattle land is extremely important to everyone in Florida, not just ranchers and cow men. Every ounce of clean, fresh water is important, especially since the natural aquifers below our state have decreased in volume over the years.”

The newly elected president is also asking for cattlemen to be more active in telling their stories on social media by posting pictures of themselves and their ranches with the hashtag ‘show your passion.’ He believes these posts will help emphasize the importance of the cattle industry and the farming industry as a whole.

“It is of utmost importance that we promote our industry and heritage as individuals and as a group,” explained Mr. Johns to FCA members. “If we do not promote ourselves no one else will. For too long we have kept our heads down and worked the land, never wanting to brag. I am not asking you to boast but to humbly promote our story, our heritage and our great industry.”

Other measures Mr. Johns would like to pursue during his tenure as president include seeing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) fully funded and the Adjusted Gross Income restrictions lifted completely. LIP provides benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather.

Mr. Johns joins a distinguished list of past FCA presidents who were born in or hailed from Okeechobee such as Woody Larson, Jim Alderman, Wes Williamson, Mike Milicevic, and Joe Pearce.

 

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