Special Guests historian Doyle Conner Jr. and Cowboy Poet Stephen Monroe join guest host Martha Hoffman Kerestes and Brittany Sweeney to chat about Florida Cracker cattle, listed as threatened on the Conservation Priority List.
Doyle Conner Jr., a sixth-generation Cracker and cowman, has studied, researched and shared Florida's cow history for more than 20 years. During his service as a curator of the Florida Agriculture Museum he conserved the material of the state's heritage and developed a healthy respect for the tough minded individuals who made "la Florida" what it is today. Doyle is also the Florida Cracker Cattle Association’s Historian.
Stephen Monroe has owned and managed cattle since he was 11 years old. Along the way, he competed in rodeos, became a rodeo clown and bullfighter, and learned cowboy poetry to entertain himself during long days in the saddle. In 1985, Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture recruited him to help with reservation efforts of cattle descended from the first cattle to set hoof in the US. The Florida Cracker Cattle Association was formed in 1988 and the registry formed the next year. Stephen has served as the association's volunteer Executive Director and Manager of the Annual Sale since their inception and has been blessed to help guide the efforts of so many great families who are the strength of the association.
Martha Hoffman Kerestes grew up helping her parents raise Dutch Belted and Milking Shorthorn cattle, and today she works alongside her mother with the dual-purpose dairy herd and family genetics business, Best yet A.I. Sires. She hopes to honor her late father's legacy by continuing where he left off in conservation work. She is Vice President of the Dutch Belted Cattle Association of America. In addition to her work with heritage cattle, Martha does freelance ag writing for publications like Graze magazine and farms with her husband, Brian, in northern Illinois.