Experience the pioneer spirit and rich agricultural history of Florida’s heartland with a cattle drive and jamboree on Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 8:00 AM–6:00 PM at the Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch. The event is free with food and drink available for purchase.
The cattle drive starts at 9:30AM along Main Street in Immokalee led by cattle boss Clint Raulerson. The drive is preceded by an honorary procession including descendants of the Roberts family and dignitaries in the cattle industry. The drive leads to Roberts Ranch, a former farmstead listed on the National Register of Historic Places and operated as a Collier County museum. Activities and entertainment kick off when the cows come home and include storytelling, roping and whip cracking demonstrations, alligator wrestling, traditional food demonstrations, music, craft and food vendors, and so much more. Bring the whole family to the kids’ corral with petting zoo, games, and crafts.
Due to temporary road closures for the cattle drive, it is recommended that observers are situated by 9:00 AM. A free shuttle service will be provided to the cattle drive route and back, so bring a lawn chair and enjoy the show!
Come early to support 4-H and the Immokalee Livestock Show with a pancake breakfast beginning at 8:00 AM ($4/person).
The Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch is one of five free Collier County Museums. Originally home to cattleman Robert Roberts and his family, this 13-acre historic site and museum provides visitors with a rare opportunity to experience daily working life on a Southwest Florida pioneer homestead and citrus grove from the early 1900s. Exhibits, programs, and fifteen carefully preserved original buildings and features tell the story of the cow hunters, ranchers and pioneer-spirited families who struggled to tame this vast wilderness prairie on the edge of the Big Cypress Swamp. The Museum offers individual self-guided tours and group educational programs for children and adults.
Florida Cattle Industry Historic Timeline
*1521 Juan Ponce de León abandons Spanish cattle on Florida’s west coast after his settlement attempt fails
*1565 Organized ranching begins in support of St. Augustine and Spanish missions across northern Florida
*1600 20,000 head of wild cattle (descendants of abandoned Spanish cattle) roam Florida
*1700s Seminoles are the major cattle producers in Florida
*1800-1850 American pioneers establish free-range cattle ranches; cow-hunters (known as Florida Crackers) manage cattle
*1860s As the Civil War progresses, beef supplies in most Southern States dry up. Florida becomes the only beef supply available to the Confederates. Union forces on the Florida coast continually battle Confederates for cattle herds.
*1897 Early settlers rename the growing community Immokalee, a Seminole word meaning “my home.”
*1914 Roberts family moves to Immokalee from Ona, Florida in three ox-carts.
*1949 Florida Fence Law signed into law ending free-range ranching and cow-hunting
*1952 Red Cattle Company growth peaks at 107,000 acres
*1980 Red Cattle Company dissolves
*1994 Roberts Family Trust donates the family farmstead to Collier County Museums
Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch
Open Tues. – Sat. 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
1215 Roberts Avenue West, Immokalee, FL 34142
For more information call