WEST PALM BEACH — Gene Lollis, newly elected president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, was among those who participated in the July 11 online meeting of the South Florida Water Management District.
“We are going to stay on the same course as we had last year with our past president Matt Pearce,” Lollis said. “We’d like to continue our working relationship.
“As we move into the future, we just hope we continue with a collaborative approach. As we all know, our water system is very complex. If you go all the way up to the north to the northern Everglades to Boggy Creek, all the way down the Kissimmee River all the way to the Everglades, it’s a very complex system.
“I just hope that we continue to work together,” Lollis said.
“We are pretty sustainable in our food production and we’ve got to take that into consideration,” he said.
“Let’s not look five years, 10 years, 20 years down the road and wonder where our food is coming from. We have a very strong, viable agricultural presence here in Florida and we need to make sure we save that for future generations. The only way I know we can achieve that is to come to an understanding that all systems are complex and the only way to solve the issues is to work together.”
Lollis began working at Archbold’s Buck Island Ranch in 1993. On July 10, Archbold Biological Station congratulated him on their Facebook page: “From his first day, he understood the value of science to ensure the future of the cattle industry in Florida,” Over the past 27 years, Lollis worked alongside Archbold scientists to build an understanding of the ecology of a working cattle ranch. His experiential knowledge and detailed tracking of operations is a critical part of our ecological and economic sustainability.
“A genuine Florida cowboy with a gift for reading the land and relating to all people, Lollis was featured in two documentaries last year including ‘Cowboys and Scientists’ and ‘The Science of a Florida Ranch’ (links below). With humility and gratitude, Lollis just accepted his new honor on June 24th during the first-ever online meeting for the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. His vision for the coming year follows in the steps of past presidents with his own guiding words of wisdom for this year’s presidency: ‘Open Gates, Open Minds’. Lollis intends to persevere during these challenging times by forging partnerships, learning from others with differing perspectives and exploring solutions that better not only the industry but also society.
In his first monthly President’s Message in the Florida Cattlemen’s Magazine, Lollis wrote, “In order to ‘Open Minds’ we must open ours, and be willing to show our passion and share our heritage with others who share a love of the land, the waters and the wildlife of ‘OUR’ Florida.”