Slideshow of Usher Land & Timber in Chiefland, Florida
Hope Surles, a 16-year-old agvocate, has been visiting farms as part of the Florida Farms & Ranches Beef Tour. Here is a slideshow and her description of her visit to Usher Land & Timber in Chiefland, Florida.
“Meet Ken & Lynetta Griner, Owners and operators of Usher Land & Timber in Chiefland, Florida. The Griners operate on 9,800 acres in Levy County. Usher has two specialties: timber and cattle.Let’s start out with their cow/calf operation. Their calves are marketed through Florida Cattle Ranchers, a branded beef partnership organization they belong to, and therefore they are in possession of the calves from conception to consumption. “Our goal is to provide a traceable, humanely grown, ‘Fresh from Florida’, ‘local’ product and hopefully, capture some added value from our efforts”, Mrs. Lynetta Griner states. Recognizing the success of the “Fresh from Florida” marketing concept of the Florida Department of Agriculture, Usher is involved with a branded beef program called Florida Cattle Ranchers(FCR). As a member of FCR, the Griners began a Grow yard operation to help member ranchers “grow” their calves for the branded beef program. They recieve calves weighing from 300 to 400 pounds and feed and care for them until about 800 pounds. From there, the calves are trucked to a more traditional feed yard in North Florida for finishing prior to final harvest. In an effort to build an animal that thrives in our environment and best satisfies consumer demand for quality beef, Usher ultimately arrived at an animal that is half charlois and half F1 Ultra Black(Brangus/Angus crossbreed). This animal has performed so well for the Griners as a commercial animal that it is led them to market their bulls as “seed stock” animals. Usher markets their bulls through their advertised Bull Sale in November of each year and through Private Treaty Sales. The effort to build the perfect cow led the Griners to look at Japanese genetics because of their history of marbling and tenderness. Usher contracted with Imperial Beef of Nebraska to utilize their Wagyu bulls with their existing genetics to produce 200-300 F1 Wagyu calves each year. Usher does not own these bulls, they simply use the bulls during their breeding season and therefore the calves are contracted for a premium price. All of the Wagyu calves are then sold to Imperial Beef under a Private Treaty contract. The workers at Usher are not “clock workers” but work from daylight to late at night when its required. Usher is a family operation and it definitely shows. Usher Land and Timber didn’t get their name from cattle; they adopted their name from their family owned timber harvesting company. Mrs. Lynnetta talked to me about so much more than their cattle operation. She gave me resources to be able to read about their timber harvesting operation as well. There’s so much more to the Griners than cattle. With their full time timber company, its safe to say they are very busy citizens of Levy County. I promised Mrs. Lynetta that I would also spotlight the timber company, so keep an eye out for another article spotlighting this amazing, local family making a positive difference in not only the cattle industry but also the timber industry.”