Florida Ranches Calendar, Celebrating Twenty Years in Production, Invites Amateur Photographers to Contribute to 2025 Calendar

Posted on July 1, 2024

Palm City, Fla. – In today’s digital world why would anyone care about a classic wall calendar? For the Florida Ranches Calendar, the answer is easy. For twenty years, the award-winning calendar has been showcasing stunning photography alongside compelling information about the environmental stewardship of Florida’s working cattle ranches. Now amateur photographers can be part of this remarkable and important calendar by participating in a Call for Photos. Point of pride for ranchers and a tool to communicate to other Floridians and decision makers about the importance of Floridians

The Backstory. The genesis of the first Florida Ranches Calendar was conceived in 2005 as part of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association’s goal of creating a tool that could be used to educate the public about the importance of Florida’s ranches to the state’s economy, heritage and environment. At the time, the Adams Ranch in St. Lucie County was part of pioneering a new program where development would help pay for conservation, creating value and incentives for ranchers to remain in agriculture. The idea behind the program was to balance the need for Florida’s future growth with the need to protect Florida’s natural and rural landscapes and help sustain agriculture.

There were four key supporters of the calendar from its earliest days: the Florida Cattlemen’s Association; Family Lands Remembered; The Firefly Group; and Carlton Ward, Jr., eighth generation Floridian and renowned photojournalist who has since gained international recognition for his nature photography and videos and his efforts to save Florida wildlife and wildlife habitats. Since the calendar’s inception, nearly 150 different sponsors have supported its production including ranches, cattlemen, environmental organizations, engineering and planning firms.  

The first Ranch Calendar featured photographs of the Adams Ranch – half taken by Carlton Ward, Jr., and the other half photographed by Alto "Bud" Adams, Jr. The iconic patriarch of the Adams Ranch, Bud Adams was a distinguished Florida rancher renowned for his environmental stewardship and significant contributions to the cattle industry. As a leader in land conservation, he worked tirelessly to preserve Florida's natural habitats and promote sustainable ranching practices. Bud Adams was also a skilled amateur photographer known for capturing stunning images of Florida's landscapes and wildlife, which helped raise public awareness about the importance of preserving the environment.

“The first calendar was a tribute to Bud Adams and the Adams Ranch and his legacy in both the agricultural and environmental communities,” explained Stacy Weller Ranieri, President of the Firefly Group, the public relations and marketing firm that publishes the calendar.

“After that first calendar made such a positive impact in increasing awareness about the importance of Florida’s working cattle ranches, the concept was expanded to include working ranches throughout Florida. Firefly has been producing the calendar ever since with continued support from the Cattleman’s Association, Family Lands Remembered, Carlton Ward, Jr., the folks at wildpath and many others,” added Ranieri.

“As the calendar was produced each year,” Cox recalls, “we focused on using it as a teaching tool to educate the public as well as Florida state legislators, specifically, on the critical role working ranches can play in protecting our state’s natural environment. With so many people moving to Florida from out of state, and so many urban residents already in state, it wasn’t surprising how little residents knew about the state’s rich legacy of America’s first cowboys and cattle ranchers and their contributions towards environmental preservation,” Cox added.  

“We realized people wouldn’t be interested in supporting something they knew nothing about – and had never experienced. The beautiful and extraordinary photography, coupled with informative descriptions about each image, showcased ranches around the state and opened people’s eyes, minds and hearts to what we’ve got and what we need to do to preserve it,” added Ranieri.

Twenty years later, the calendar has grown to become a source of pride for the Florida Cattlemen’s Association as it recognizes the state’s oldest environmental stewards. The calendar itself also helped to launch what is now the Florida Wildlife Corridor initiative and wildpath.

Call for Photos.  The Florida Ranches Calendar has launched a call for photos to invite the public to submit their best images of working cattle ranches for consideration in the 2025 calendar.  The statewide photo contest gives amateur photographers across Florida an opportunity to be showcased alongside photographs from Carlton Ward Jr. and his talented team at the nonprofit wildpath. Wildpath uses visual storytelling, photography, and public outreach efforts to raise awareness about the importance of preserving Florida’s natural habitats and wildlife – specifically the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

The photo contest closes on July 7. For details go to floridaranchescalendar.com/contest.

Sponsorships to support the underwriting of the calendar design and print production are also being accepted at this time.  For more information on sponsorship, visit floridaranchescalendar.com/sponsor.

The calendar has become a favorite holiday gift for businesses and individuals throughout Florida and frequently sells out.

For more information, visit floridaranchescalendar.com, follow the calendar on Facebook and Instagram at facebook.com/FloridaRanchesCalendar and instagram.com/floridaranchescalendar.

Photo : Adams Ranch, 2005 - Captured by Carlton Ward, Jr.