Commissioner Adam H. Putnam


Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Commissioner's Agricultural Environmental Leadership Award

1994 Winner

Rafter T Cattle Company
Avon Park, Florida

In more than 20 years of managing the Rafter T Cattle Company. James Wohl has developed an improved pasture and native range cattle operation that exists in harmony with the environment. The family ranching operation was begun by Wohl’s father in Broward County 44 years ago. Through several acquisitions, the ranch operation has evolved to its present location in Highlands County.

Wohl has carefully integrated natural communities -- including wetlands, oak and cabbage palm hammocks and scrub -- with a successful cattle operation consisting of native and improved pastures.  His ecosystem management approach has provided diversified habitats for wildlife, including some endangered species; improved the quality of surface water discharged from the property; reduced pesticide use; and reduced the consumptive uses of surface water and ground water.

Wohl, who holds a degree in agriculture business management from the University of Florida, promotes agriculture educational programs, including tours of his property. He has made his ranch available for the Farm-City Week Tour, the Agriculture in the Classroom program, and Cooperative Extension programs dealing with environmental and land stewardship education. Wohl has served in leadership roles with the Highlands County Cattlemen’s Association, Highlands County Farm Bureau, Highlands County Hospital District, Home Savings Bank, Highlands County Board of Commissioner’s Natural Resource Advisory Committee, and is an alternate on the Land Development Regulation Task Force. He also is active on the South Florida Water Management District’s Agriculture Committee, which provides critical input to the district on agriculture water issues. -- 1994

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