News Cast 12/8

News Cast for December 8th:

Encouraging farm to table 

Several local agriculture groups combined to offer tours to restaurant owners to visit a local dairy and ranch to learn more about local agriculture. 

The group visited Larson Barn 8 and the Flying G Ranch. 

Extension Agent Lauren Butler encouraged the restaurant owners to try some new cuts of beef and perhaps consider adding them to their menus. 

“We had a lunch with several different cuts of steaks and roasts.  They loved it.  We had some cancellations but it was a fantastic day.” 

They also toured both facilities and learned more about the daily operations.  They want to make it an annual event. 

The Cooperative Extension, University of Florida, the Okeechobee Cattlemen and Cattlewomen, the Farm Bureau and the area Ag-Council were all involved. 

Butler said local dairies have been struggling due to the system of payment for milk products at the federal level. 

“We are losing some dairies here and there and that is pretty tragic.  It is because of the market and the way milk is priced.  We still have a lot of beef cows and remain the number one county in the state for beef cattle.” 

The Okeechobee Tourist Development Council agreed to continue its funding of the Pete Clemons Memorial Ranch Rodeo held on Labor Day. 

TDC Executive Director Sherrie Turgeon said she didn’t get enough information from cattlemen about the impacts of the event as far as bringing visitors to town. 

TDC Board member Monica Clark said they should continue supporting the rodeo. 

She said she thinks the rodeo brings people here for the downtown festival. 

The rodeo had 1,250 spectators and 130 participants this year. 

The host fee funded for 2022 is  $4,000. 

Turgeon said the rodeo organizers plan to do more surveys next year on the amount of participation. 

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced $100 million in state funds for cancer research. 

She is fighting breast cancer. 

She didn’t get the news after her first exam but she knew something wasn’t right and wanted another screening. 

She urged Floridians to trust their bodies and get those tests. 

“I didn’t feel anything but internally something was telling me that something wasn’t right.  My OBGYN at the time told me I don’t feel anything and your pretty much good to go. That kept nagging at me.  Something internal said I can’t just accept inaction.  I called back and got back in a month and had the mammogram screening and that is when they found it.” 

The 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor was celebrated around the nation on Tuesday. 

The Highlands County Commission honored two World War 2 vets. 

William England turned 100 years old this year.   He served in the US Army. 

Jack Moore was at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attacks.  He served from 1940-1946 aboard the USS Sacramento. 

Veterans Service Officer Denise Williams said World War 2 vets and all veterans should be saluted. 

“World War 2 is the greatest generation.  If it had not been for you, all and all your sacrifices, you paved the way for the rest of us veterans to serve.  You have so much dignity, integrity, and such pride, that we applaud each and every one of you.  Your sacrifices mean everything to us.  They will never be unrecognized by us.”