Press Room

Audubon Florida Presents 2014 “Sustainable Rancher” Award to Adams Ranch

Adams Ranch, one of Florida’s oldest cattle ranches founded in 1937, has received Audubon Florida’s Sustainable Rancher award for 2014.

The award was presented on Wednesday, June 17 by Audubon’s Director of Advocacy Charles Lee to Adam Ranch Family Members at the annual membership meeting of the Florida Cattleman’s Association Convention, held in Marco Island, Florida.

The award features a framed photograph of Alto “Bud” Adams Jr. on his ranch in St. Lucie County, with a flock of white ibis taking flight in the background.

Since its inception, the owners of Adams Ranch have actively worked to maintain high quality wildlife habitats and wetlands on their ranch properties, which now consist of over 50,000 acres in St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Osceola Counties.

According to 2013 rankings of Cow-Calf Operations nationally, Adams Ranch ranks 13th in the nation, with over 8,000 head of cattle. In terms of Florida ranches, Adams Ranch ranks 5th in the state in terms of the size of its herd.  The ranch is known nationally for its development of the Braford cattle breed, and for its annual Bull Auction which attracts buyers from ranches throughout the nation.

“Adams Ranch is a thriving cattle operation,” stated Charles Lee, Audubon’s Director of Advocacy.  “Yet, you cannot find a richer and more diverse area of wildlife habitat anywhere in the State of Florida.” Lee continued.  “Bud Adams and his family were protecting wetlands and wildlife long before any regulations or government programs came about. They have done it because they truly believe in conservation,” he concluded.

Adams Ranch has been a leader in advocating the acquisition of conservation easements to keep ranch properties in Florida intact in the face of mounting pressures for development.

Adams Ranch has joined with conservation organizations to advocate additional funding for easements to protect such areas as the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge, and to allow farm families to secure the future of their properties through the Rural and Family Lands program of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Adams Ranch has created, published an extraordinary book of color photographs and historical information titled “The Old Florida” by Alto “Bud” Adams, Jr. This 90 page “Coffee Table” book tells the story of a ranch and ranch family dedicated over the generations to outstanding wildlife conservation efforts. 

Audubon Florida has been cooperating with cattle ranchers to promote conservation since its initiation of a voluntary sanctuary program to protect the Bald Eagle in 1962. The Sustainable Rancher award is presented each year to an exemplary rancher or ranch that demonstrates multi-faceted efforts to integrate activities and practices that benefit wildlife habitat, water management and water quality into ranch operations. For more information about Adams Ranch go to:

To see a video on ranch conservation, water management, and Audubon’s programs working with ranchers, go to:

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