April 20, 2014

Economic yearbook 2011

Florida's Biggest Private Landowners

The 10 — which own about a tenth of the state — will play a key role in Florida's future.

Cynthia Barnett | 4/1/2011

6 Deseret Ranches of Florida

Deseret Ranches of Florida
[Photo: Carlton Ward Jr.]

Privately owned by the Mormon Church
Florida acres: 290,000
Headquarters: Salt Lake City

Prodded by a church leader and cattleman named Henry D. Moyle, the Mormon Church bought the original 54,000 acres of Deseret Ranch in 1950. Today, the ranch is the largest cow-calf operation in the United States, with 44,000 head of cattle on 290,000 acres. Ranch manager Erik Jacobsen, a cowboy with an MBA from Brigham Young, says the church's long-term goal for the property is to maintain cattle, citrus and other agricultural operations, while "being a voice for responsible growth" in the region. The ranch's sister company, Suburban Land Reserve, is working on long-term development plans for Orange County's Innovation Way area that will include homes and commercial space as well as a research park.

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