Summer 2019 Newsletter

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Moneyball for Cattle Is Creating an American Steak Renaissance
A strong economy and a genetic focus on marbled meat is paying off for steakhouses and ranchers.
Reliance is a black Angus bull with a long, fluid stride. He has a quiet confidence when he walks. It’s one of the qualities that led cattlemen to bid up the prized animal to $150,000 during a recent bull sale at Woodhill Farms in Viroqua, Wisconsin.

But there’s more to Reliance than his poise. He comes with a printout of genomic assessments and a family tree going back generations. The numbers say he’s a winner, and these days, the numbers are right. He’s rated in the top 3% of all Angus bulls for ribeye quality, and the top 5% for marbling—the white, fatty flecks that make beef more flavorful and tender, according to Brian McCulloh, who bred the “big-money bull.” Reliance’s descendants are almost guaranteed to turn into delectable Porterhouses, which their owners can charge more money for accordingly.
Today, cattlemen can pick out superior calves better than they ever have, as DNA testing gets cheaper and projections get more accurate. That’s transforming the beef industry, with cattle that make high-end beef becoming the vast majority of U.S. herds in recent years. Lower-quality beef is forecast to all but vanish from the U.S. market, while the highest-quality, once a rarity, is common enough that retailers like Costco Wholesale Corp. stock it.
“It’s like Moneyball for cattle,” Mark McCully, vice president of production for Certified Angus Beef, says of the advanced statistics movement. “ Back in the day, the eye of the stockman was all we had, and now we have high-powered analytical tools and can make progress so much faster.” 
One breed is dominant when it comes to the quantitative genetics game: the hornless, black Angus, which has been promoted as having better beef than others. When new calves are born, they’re registered with the American Angus Association, and their pedigrees are confirmed with DNA testing, which costs about $37 a test compared with $139 in 2011. A host of measurements are taken and compared against databases that can include millions of animals. So much data has been collected at this point that the statistical modeling has become startlingly accurate, says Dan Moser, president of the non-profit Angus Genetics Inc. It’s like compound interest.
Last year, 82% of the U.S. herd was comprised of the two highest quality beef categories—USDA prime and choice, McCully says. Just five years ago, only 70% of the herd qualified. Prime, considered the most desirable of meats, was for decades just a percent or two of the herd. Now it’s around 10%. The profusion of marbled meat and a strong economy are helping drive a beef renaissance, says Shane Miller, senior vice president of beef enterprise at Tyson Food Inc. American consumers, now accustomed to ribeyes over lesser cuts, will eat 57.7 pounds of beef per capita this year, the highest in almost a decade, according to government data.
In the past, such luxury beef was a happy accident. More often than not, cattlemen chose a bull because they liked the look of it. They watched the way it walked, preferring animals with long strides since those that took short and choppy steps don’t gain weight as well. They’d release it into the pastures with the females, and only years later, when its offspring were grown, fattened up and sent to market, could a farmer know if he had made the right call.
This started to change in the 1970s and 1980s, when a few revolutionary tools quietly came into being. The American Angus Association had long been registering animals and collecting data on everything from how easily a calf was born to how docile it was. But in the 1970s the industry began using statistical models to predict how good an animal was as a parent and the probability that it would transmit any prized traits to its children. The forecasts helped. By the 1990s, these ratings—called expected progeny differences or EPDs—had become the premier tool for American cattlemen who wanted to make better beef.
By 1990 the industry also started using ultrasounds to see what the meat of a live bull looked like. With that, breeders could immediately know whether a bull had the good-meat genes it was supposed to pass on. “Previously, you had to sacrifice the animal to get that data,” Moser says.
That all led to huge gains in the herd’s quality. By 2010 another leap had come. Early adopters started testing the DNA of bull calves, or genotyping them, which lets breeders quickly identify superior young animals. DNA is extracted from blood, hair or tissue samples, which is put onto a chip and run through a machine that looks at some 55,000 positions in the DNA. (An early developer of such DNA chips, also called microarrays, incidentally, is Pat Brown, CEO of Impossible Foods, who wants his meatless burger to eliminate the need for traditional beef.) That’s translated into information used for calculating breeding values, or the value of the genes that an animal transmits to its children.
Science and math have transformed the steak industry in less than a generation. But successful ranchers also know that a happy animal is equally crucial to creating delicious beef. On his Arkansas acreage, Jim Moore does whatever it takes to give cattle the best shot at making the grade. That includes feeding them well, making sure they go to the vet and always handling them gently. “We keep them as calm as we can possibly can,” he says. 
Looking into the Origin of Oranges
Although many have come to associate the tangy, sweet fruit with Florida, the humble orange actually traces its origins all the way to Southeast Asia, where it was first engineered by farmers thousands of years ago. The oldest known reference to citrus fruits can be found in Chinese documents that were written around 2200 BCE.
The word “citrus” refers to any flowering tree or shrub that belongs to the genus Citrus. The fruits produced by these plants typically all have a tough, waxy rind and are filled with juicy, edible flesh, which can range from tasting sweet to tangy. The sweet varieties of citrus include mandarins, tangerines, sweet oranges, and grapefruit. The tangy varieties include kumquats, lemons, limes, and bitter oranges.
Genome analyses have shown that a single common ancestor of citrus fruits first appeared around 7 million years ago. The same study also found that citrus fruits are highly prone to genetic mutation and that they have a propensity to hybridize. These two traits have allowed for farmers and scientists to create a wide variety of citrus hybrids. In fact, some of the most well-known species are hybrids:
●Grapefruit: cross between sweet orange and pomelo
●Lemon: cross between bitter orange and citron
●Lime: cross between citron, mandarin, and pomelo
●Orange: cross between pomelo and mandarin.
The word “citrus” comes from the Greek kedarmeaning “cedar”. Cedar trees and citrus trees give off a similar smell, and this might explain how the two words came to be related.
The inhabitants of the region where oranges were first bred (most likely the area that forms the present day border between India and China) spoke Sanskrit, and their word for “orange tree” was nāraṅga. Trade brought Middle Eastern peoples into contact with oranges for the first time, the Persians calling the fruit nārang, which later becamenāranj in Arabic.
In the 12th century, Arab traders in North Africa brought oranges across the Mediterranean sea and into Sicily. Locals there called the fruit narancia, which later became arancia. Oranges finally arrived in Britain several decades later, and the english word “orange” comes from the Old French orenge, from the phrase pomme d’orenge.
It wasn’t until the 1500s-several centuries after oranges had been first brought to Europe-that the word “orange” came to be used to describe the color one produces when mixing red and yellow together.
  4-H Camp Cloverleaf Gator Adventures

July 22-26th

Camp Cloverleaf 4-H Lake Placid, FL

More Info:

The First Angus in America
When George Grant transported four Angus bulls from Scotland to the middle of the Kansas Prairie in 1873, they were part of the Scotsman's dream to found a colony of wealthy, stock-raising Britishers. Grant died five years later, and many of the settlers at his Victoria, Kansas, colony later returned to their homeland. However, these four Angus bulls, probably from the herd of George Brown of Westertown, Fochabers, Scotland, made a lasting impression on the U.S. cattle industry.

When two of the George Grant bulls were exhibited in the fall of 1873 at the Kansas City (Missouri) Livestock Exposition, some considered them "freaks" because of their polled (naturally hornless) heads and solid black color (Shorthorns were then the dominant breed.) Grant, a forward thinker, crossed the bulls with native Texas longhorn cows, producing a large number of hornless black calves that survived well on the winter range. The Angus crosses wintered better and weighed more the next spring, the first demonstration of the breed's value in their new homeland.
The first great herds of Angus beef cattle in America were built up by purchasing stock directly from Scotland. Twelve hundred cattle alone were imported, mostly to the Midwest, in a period of explosive growth between 1878 and 1883. Over the next quarter of a century these early owners, in turn, helped start other herds by breeding, showing, and selling their registered stock.


320+/- Acres with income producing Orange Grove
SW Hay Ave. Arcadia, FL 34266
This property features 70 Acres of Hamlins, 65 Acres of Valencias, BEAUTIFUL oak hammocks, a fishing pond and improved pastures planted for hay production. This secluded location is abundant with wild game including hogs, deer and turkeys. There are also enough Saw Palmettos for Quail hunting and Palmetto Berry harvesting. A perfect place for a secluded getaway cabin or your next home. This property is fenced, gated and located only 20 minutes to I-75 in Punta Gorda.
MLS: C7411054
Total Acres: 320.36
Listing price: $1,750,000
Little Gasparilla Island Bayfront Home
8538 Little Gasparilla Island Placida, FL 33946
BAYSIDE LITTLE GASPARILLA ISLAND 3/2 Stilt Home. By boat or water taxi, arrive at the 100'+ private, newly refinished dock that leads you straight to the front of the house on the oversized lot. The split stairwell welcomes you taking you to the second floor patio that is a perfect place to drink your morning coffee and watch the sunrise. As you enter the home, the spacious living area with a wood-beamed ceiling opens to the kitchen. The large kitchen with walk-in pantry and island are ideal for entertaining. The bedroom windows are adorned with plantation shutters. At the end of the hallway, the master bedroom is complete with its own bathroom. Below the home, features a large lower deck with an enclosed storage area. From there, it's just a short walk down the path to enjoy the amazing sunsets on the beach! There is plenty of the best Florida fishing right from your dock into Placida Harbor and onto the Gulf waters. Just minutes from the back waters of Bull Bay, Whidden creek, Turtle Bay and the world’s greatest Tarpon fishing in Boca Grande Pass.

MLS: C7408868
Total Sq Ft: 1,360
Listing price: $795,000
Multiple Kings Hwy Tracts
SW Co Rd Rd 769 and Co Rd 760 Arcadia, FL 34266
Beautiful wooded properties on corner of Kings Hwy and CR 760. This is an ideal area to build your dream home with plenty of space for a barn, pond, and animals. Located on highly desired Kings Highway (State Road 769) corridor with quick access to Port Charlotte, Interstate 75, or to the downtown Arcadia area. Sarasota and Gulf Beaches are just an hour away. CALL TODAY!

Click Parcel below for more info:
Parcel F: 10 Acres-SOLD            
 Less than 20 Days to Contract!
4 Buildings Off Hwy 17 Punta Gorda on 2+ Acres 
4080 Duncan Rd. Punta Gorda, FL 33982
Four metal buildings totaling 18,000+ sq. FT. on 2.72 acres. Excellent location off Hwy 17 just 4.5 miles from I-75 in Punta Gorda. This property features 4 separate buildings with ample warehouse and office space, a large paved parking lot, and 3 phase power. The Industrial General Zoning allows for a multitude of options. This property is fully leased, including the sellers business (SELLER MAY BE WILLING TO VACATE FOR AN END USER,THEY CURRENTLY OCCUPY 5,000 SQUARE FEET)
MLS: C7410799
Total Acres: 2.72
Sold price: $960,000
Industrial Warehouse on 8+ Acres
2692 Nat Ave. Arcadia, FL 34266
Large Warehouse with 8.5 Acres Zoned Industrial Light located off of prime Hwy 17 in Arcadia, Florida. This Gated property offers two buildings, offices, ample parking and outside storage. The Manufacturing building encompasses over 38,000 total square feet with up to 26' high ceilings. Ideal for manufacturing and assembly line operations or distribution. Call today for an appointment.
MLS: C249502
Total Acres: 8.51
Listing price: $970,000
12+ Acre Joshua Creek Estate
3410 County Rd 760 Arcadia,FL 34266
Beauty and privacy abound in this 12.64 acre estate set among oak hammocks, a gently flowing creek and manicured pastures. As you enter through the private gate down the paved drive you are welcomed to this custom built 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath brick home. With over 2,700 heated sq. ft., this meticulously maintained home features soaring ceilings, an open floor plan, lots of natural light, and a spacious screened back patio perfect for relaxing & enjoying the natural Florida habitat. The kitchen is complete with breakfast bar, dining area, dual dishwashers, updated appliances & opens to the formal dining room & family room ideal for entertaining. Downstairs is complete with a Guest Room/Office lined with windows and a large master bedroom featuring fireplace and an en-suite bathroom with soaking tub & separate tiled shower. Upstairs a catwalk, overlooking the family room, leads you to two additional guest bedrooms & a guest bathroom. Additionally, there is an attached 2 car garage, screened gazebo, a detached 30X52 garage-for your RV/boat, multiple RV hookups, as well as a huge workshop. Workshop is outfitted with kitchen & office area, ideal for home business. Much of the acreage is cleared pasture land with a pond & lends itself to cattle and horses. Property is within 5 miles from Publix, shopping, and downtown Arcadia. Come home to privacy and peacefulness on this beautiful, natural property nestled along Joshua Creek! Sellers willing to consider exchange/trade of commercial, vacant, or residential on water.

MLS: C7238071
Total Sq Ft: 2,779
Listing price: $725,000

348+/- Acres with 22 Mixed Use Buildings
5871 SE Hwy 31 Arcadia, FL 34266
348+ Acres with over 22 Mixed-Use Buildings 239,907 total sq. ft., located in South DeSoto County directly on Hwy 31. Permitted uses included, but not limited to: medical offices, a housing facility, service clubs or hotel/motel. This property was formerly a state owned juvenile justice center. The property may qualify for H2A workforce housing. A large tract of agricultural land is also included within the total acreage.

MLS: C7413967
Total Acres: 348.79
Listing price: $6,500,000
Prime Hwy 17 North and South Frontage
903 N Brevard Arcadia, FL 34266
Prime location ready for development!!! Over 1.5 acres of B-3 zoned property is situated between North and South Bound Highway 17. This property is Located across the street from DeSoto Memorial Hospital, medical offices, and professional buildings with over of 205 +/- ft. of Highway frontage on both sides of US 17. Close to Downtown Arcadia with traffic traveling through to Charlotte and Hardee Counties. City water/sewer and electric are already in place. Potential Uses Include: Restaurant, Service Station, Business Office, Financial Institutions and many more options!!.

Total Acres: 1.52
Listing price: $650,000
24 Residential Units-Mixed Single-Multi Family Homes
5673 SE Hwy 31 Arcadia, FL 34266
24 Residential Units that feature a blend of single family and multi-family units located directly on Hwy 31 in DeSoto County. All units are situated on one 24.87 Acre parcel. All units are hooked up to public water and sewer. Paved roadways are already in place throughout the property. Great potential for rental development. Annual net income posted is an estimated potential. More density may be available pending county approval.

Total Acres: 24.87
Listing price: $1,500,000
About Walt Bethel
Walt Bethel is a fifth generation Floridian, born and raised in Arcadia, with a vast knowledge of all areas of Florida Real Estate and an ardent appreciation for Florida history.  
The purchase and development of his first orange grove when he was just sixteen years old fueled Walt's passion for real estate.  
Since then, he has bought, owned, and sold a wide variety of properties throughout a successful business career. His investments have included acreage, agricultural properties, residential homes, condos, and commercial properties. 
Walt's marketing and sales experience was cultivated over time at his family's business, Bethel Farms, where he marketed, managed, and sold products to "Big Box" retailers across the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.
From an early age, Walt's dad instilled in him the values to work hard and always have a goal, to look for a better way of doing things, and to constantly improve on them.  
The daily implementation of these principles, coupled with his enjoyment of networking with new people and his experience in business, sales, and marketing, have contributed to Walt's success as a Realtor.
 Walt has served on various boards and committees throughout the years. He has coached and actively supports local youth athletic programs and leagues. 
He and his wife Jill, also a fourth generation Floridian, reside in Punta Gorda. They have two children, a daughter Peyton and a son Truman.
Walt Bethel | RE/MAX Harbor Realty| 863.990.1748 | |