TAMPA — Lykes Bros. Inc. CEO Johnnie James Jr. has announced the promotions of Flint Johns as vice president of Ranch and Agriculture Operations and Noah Handley, P.E., as vice president of Engineering and Land Management.
Johns and Handley have stepped into new roles after the passing of Joe Collins, P.E., long-time senior vice president of Lykes Ranch.
“Lykes Ranch has a strong tradition of commitment to the land and our community, and Joe Collins was a great leader at the company and exemplified that by building a strong and capable team around him. Both Flint and Noah have a proven track record of finding solutions to unexpected challenges while adhering to Lykes’ credo of integrity and stewardship,” said James. “I’m confident they will be great in these expanded roles for the company and will build on its successes!”
Johns joined the company in May 2007, serving as ranch manager since 2011. In his new role, he will continue overseeing Lykes’ extensive cattle, farming, and equipment operations and now oversee the forestry division. Johns brings a strong economics background to the job, having received a Bachelor of Science in Food and Resource Economics in 2004 and a Master of Agribusiness in 2006, both from the University of Florida. Under Flint’s leadership, Lykes’ cattle operation remains the fourth largest U.S. cow-calf operation.
He has been a leader in the Florida cattle industry. Currently, he serves on the Florida Cattlemen’s Executive Committee and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Florida Heritage Beef, LLC. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Florida Beef Council and numerous cattle industry committees within Florida and nationally. His expertise and experience have been recognized by his peers. He received the UF/IFAS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Horizon Award in 2014, the UF Alumni Association’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 2015, and the Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents “Outstanding Agriculturalist” in 2019.
“I am thankful to Lykes Bros. for giving me the opportunity to start and advance my career in agriculture,” said Johns. “Over the last sixteen years, I have learned much and had the pleasure of working with some of the most dedicated and hardworking people I know. I look forward to leading Lykes Bros. and its team to continued success and excellence.”
“Flint is very well-respected throughout the cattle industry and across Florida agriculture. His broad knowledge and great character have made him an industry leader, and Lykes couldn’t have found a better pick anywhere to fill this role,” said Don Quincey, Quincey Cattle Company.
“Flint Johns is a very intelligent and committed individual who will excel in his expanded role as vice president of ranch and agriculture operations. He has an outstanding record of service and a combination of talent and determination, which will serve Lykes Bros. well into the future,” added Jim Handley, Executive Vice President of Florida Cattlemen’s Association.
Noah Handley joined Lykes in 2011 after a seven-year career as an engineer in the private sector. He started as director of engineering, focusing on the company’s permitting, construction management, and environmental compliance needs. In 2017, his responsibilities expanded to include land management, including the real estate aspects of managing the company’s land assets. In his new role, he will continue focusing on engineering and regulatory matters for Lykes’ Florida agriculture and natural resource projects, and he will also manage Lykes’ hunting and agricultural leasing, species conservation, and operations at Lykes’ Texas Ranch.
Handley is a 2003 graduate of the University of Florida with a dual degree in Agriculture and Biological Engineering and Agricultural Operations Management. He is also a member of Class IX of the UF/IFAS Wedgeworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, completing that program in 2015 and has served on the Advisory Council for the Wedgworth Leadership Institute. His professional life has led him to leadership roles in the Florida Section of the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers and the Treasure Coast Chapter of the Florida Engineering Society. Noah Handley was recognized by his peers with the Outstanding Professional Engineer Award from the Florida Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in 2019.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to take on expanded leadership at Lykes Bros. The experience of the last twelve years here under the mentorship of fellow engineer and Gator Joe Collins has given me a great grounding for this new role,” said Handley. “I look forward to continuing the proud tradition of excellence, community involvement, and land stewardship.”
Professional colleagues applauded Handley’s promotion:
“It has been a privilege to witness Noah’s growth into an outstanding individual with an impeccable professional career,” added Lennart Lindahl, P.E. of MacVicar Consulting. “His knowledge, dedication, and leadership will continue to be a great asset to Lykes Bros. Inc.”
“I can’t think of anyone with a better combination of work ethic and ability to grasp big picture issues than Noah,” added Jeffrey M. Sumner, P.E., President, Sumner Engineering & Consulting, Inc.
About Flint Johns:
Originally from Ocala, Flint now lives in Okeechobee with his wife and two children, where he serves on the Board of Directors for the Okeechobee Youth Livestock Show, Inc. and Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Association. Additionally, he serves on advisory boards for UF/IFAS Extension Okeechobee County, Okeechobee High School Career & Technical Education, USDA’s Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Network, Okeechobee County Junior Cattlemen’s Association, and Florida Junior Cattlemen’s Association.
About Noah Handley:
Noah grew up in Highlands County working cattle on his family’s cow-calf operation, and he and his wife and two girls live in Lake Placid. Noah is an active volunteer in the Highlands County Junior Livestock Committee, a significant fundraiser in support of youth in Highlands County, which promotes learning of animal husbandry and business skills through raising and selling farm animals.