Jim has six decades of ranching experience and comes from a family that has been ranching in Florida since the Civil War. Jim grew up ranching with his father along the west coast of Florida. When his father died in the 1960’s Jim took over the family cattle operations at the age of 17, primarily leasing land for cattle. His passion for conservation began at a young age, as increasing development pushed him farther and farther inland.
Jim is the owner of Strickland Ranch and managing partner of Big Red Cattle Company and Blackbeard’s Ranch, a 4,530 acre cow/calf operation that borders Myakka State Park and contains slough systems that feed the Myakka River and drinking water downstream. He is pursuing state and federal conservation easements on Blackbeard’s Ranch and is involved in local food initiatives. Blackbeard’s Ranch was awarded the 2018 Florida Cattleman’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award, Florida Agricultural Commissioner’s 2018 Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award and The National Cattleman’s Beef Association’s 2019 Environmental Stewardship Award for the Southeast Region. Jim was named the 2019 Audubon Florida’s Sustainable Rancher of the year and was also recognized as one of Florida Trends 500 Most Influential Business Leaders for 2018 and 2019.
Jim is a passionate advocate for Florida agriculture and conservation. He is Vice-Chairman of the Florida Conservation Group (FCG); FCG advocates is science-based organization that advocates for the protection of Florida’s ranchlands. He has served as president of the Florida Cattleman’s Association, Past Chairman of the Florida Cattleman’s Foundation, Chairman of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association PAC and he currently sits on the board of the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park and numerous other agricultural committees. Jim’s son, J.J. Strickland, daughter in law Sara and granddaughter Quinn reside in Paris, France.