"Southern Cattle Company could just as well be named Southern Ag Company... the soil quality here is as strong as farm ground in the south" - Jon Kohler
- 13,924+/- total acre operation (8,991+/- acres deeded and 4,933 acres leased) in Jackson County, Florida in a prosperous farming neighborhood
- PASTURE: 8,246 +/- acres in improved pasture (deeded and leased) and of that, 2,097+/- acres of highly improved pastures, including TifQuik, Perennial Peanut, Tifton 85, and blends (1107 +/- acres deeded/990 +/- acres leased)
- TIMBER: Apx 1,129 +/- acres planted loblolly pine, 15 to 30 + years, timber estimates of $1,500 and $3,000 per acre in some areas per overall timbered acre
- Timberland was former farmland with above-average site indexes (est. 80) and can easily be converted back for farming and should also fit organic certification requirements
- Great timber markets in the area, good number of stands merchantable now to help offset any conversion costs
- SOILS: Very good, Class II soils- Majority is Chipola, Red Bay, Greenville, Troup, Orangeburg, and Albany
- Less than 18% wetlands across the entire operation. Significant water features (described below)
- 65,000 sq. ft. warehouse/future bottling facility at I-10
Pastures and Hayfields
Between leased and deeded land, there are over 8,246+/- acres of improved pastureland at Southern Cattle. About 1/4 of that is highly improved pasture, with desirable grasses such as TifQuik, perennial peanut, Tifton 85, and blends of those.
In addition to SCC's serious hay and forage-growing operation, corn, sorghum, and peanuts are grown on both irrigated and non-irrigated land. There are over 819+/- acres of rotating cropland, of which, approximately 390 acres are under pivot. SCC produces nearly all feed needed for their livestock for the entire year (with the addition of some innovative uses for leftover grocery produce and gin 'trash'), with no additional expenses for feed.
There are approximately 1,127+/- acres of planted loblolly, ranging from 15-30+ years old. Forester-estimated timber values of $1,500 and $3,000 per acre in some areas per overall timbered acre. Very good site indexes (80) and very good timber markets in the area. The land was previously fertile farmland and can easily be converted back.
The landowner is currently moving forward with converting up to 2,000 acres of timber into irrigated cropland that should also fit organic certification requirements. This would likely be one of the largest new organic certified tracts in the southeast and once completed would be a significant increase in value.
"The size and quality of the natural resources, along with the aesthetic beauty of Southern Cattle Company, assembled over nearly a generation of time, is remarkable and would be very difficult to duplicate in today's market. Given these exceptional qualities, this ranch is second to none." - Walter Hatchett
- 19 center pivots totaling 1,769+/- acres currently irrigated (11 pivots/1051+/- acres on Deeded Land, 8 on Leased Land)
- Generous 20-year water-use permitting already negotiated
- Plans/schematics for an additional 2,280+/- acres of center pivots on Deeded Land
- Waddell's Spring - Magnitude 2 and bottled water quality, permits being secured, three observation wells already drilled
- Baltzell Spring Complex - Magnitude 2, very beautiful with run to Chipola River
- LAKE: The historic and spring-fed 170+/- acre lake "Waddell's Mill Pond"
- WELLS: 39 Existing Wells on Deeded Land (15 irrigation wells, 14 livestock wells, 4 monitoring wells, 3 observation wells, 2 domestic and 1 public well). Six additional permitted irrigation wells not yet constructed.
- RIVER: Over a mile of frontage on the Chipola River, 5.7+/- miles on Russ Mill Creek, Apx 1 mile on Spring Branch, and nearly 3 miles on Waddells Mill Creek.
Water Maps- Springs and Existing & Potential Wells and Center Pivots
Southern Cattle Company's Water Assets - Wells, Springs, Lakes, and River Frontage
The water resources on Southern Cattle Company are some of the most wellplanned and diverse of any ranch in the southeast. With a hydrologist on staff, no expense is spared for maximizing the water resources and securing the future water use at SCC.
Wells & Water Use Permitting
The recently-granted Southern Cattle Company water use permit is good for 20 years. In summary, it allows the permittee to pump as much as 120,060,000 gallons per month, maximum, as long as the annual ground water withdrawal doesn't exceed 436,905,000 total gallons per year (note: no daily max). There are 37 associated wells with this current permit, of which there are 17 total irrigation wells. Eleven of them are existing, while the remaining six are proposed and have not yet been installed.
SCC Springs, Lakes, and River Frontage
Southern Cattle Company sits over the Floridan Aquifer, one of the world's most productive aquifers and the largest, deepest, and oldest in the southeast. It covers almost 100,000 square miles. In this part of Florida, the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD / "the District") is responsible for permitting and maintaining current water use permit such as the one for SCC.
According to the Chipola River Spring Inventory report (2001), of the 63 springs in the Chipola River Basin, there is only one first magnitude spring, and just a handful of second magnitude springs, of which two are on the Southern Cattle Company lands.
The Baltzell Spring Complex consists of three identified springs on an area north of the Florida Caverns State Park and could easily be a state park, itself. The head of the spring appears bright blue as the crystal clear water boils up and makes its run to the Chipola River. The Chipola is a spring fed river that starts just a few miles north of Southern Cattle Company and makes its 92.5 mile journey in Florida to the Apalachicola River.
The Waddell Spring is located less than a mile east of 231 and the Southern Cattle Company headquarters. According to the ground water specialist, water analyses collected in 2010 show that the water quality is that equal to or better than those like Nestle Waters NA from Madison County/Blue Springs. All parameters are well within acceptable ranges for bottled drinking water standards. Currently, the property associated with this spring has been subdivided from the other cattle company's property and is currently under development for a 100,000 gallons per day bottle water (average) and 1,000,000 gallons per day (maximum) supply source.
Waddell's Mill Pond & History
Waddell's Mill Pond is approximately 170 acres, mostly open water, with beautiful cypress edges, and a rare limestone overlook and cave. The pond was dammed by plantation owner, John R. Waddell, prior to the Civil War to provide power for a water mill. The mill no longer stands, but the much refurbished dam still holds back the water pouring from Waddell Spring, one of the major tributaries of the Chipola River.
The spring and pond area have a longstanding history of drawing people to this area. Referencing the Jackson County website, archaeological research here has revealed the presence of two mounds, a palisaded village site, and cave habitations dating from the last century or two before the arrival of the Spanish in Florida (1300-1400's AD). The people who occupied these sites undoubtedly were the ancestors of the Chacatos or Chatot (not to be confused with the Choctaw), who lived along the upper Chipola River during the 16th and 17th century. The Waddell's Mill Pond Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There has been some speculation that the 17th century Spanish mission of San Carlos de Chacatos might have been located adjacent to the large cave at Waddell's Mill Pond. Franciscan missionaries established this church in 1674 at a Chacato village somewhere west of the Chipola River. Research at the site, however, has thus far failed to reveal any evidence of a historic Spanish presence.
The earliest recorded use of the Bellamy Bridge vicinity as a place for crossing the Chipola River dates from the 1686 expedition of Marcos Delgado. Appointed by the governor of Florida to investigate reports of French intrusion on the Mississippi River, Delgado led a small force of Spanish soldiers and Apalachee Indians west from Mission San Luis at present-day Tallahassee.
After crossing the Chipola, the explorers moved on to the vicinity of Waddell's Mill Pond in western Jackson County where they first saw buffalo (American bison). Delgado eventually reached the towns of the Upper Creek Indians around today's city of Montgomery, Alabama, but never made it to the Mississippi.
The Waddell's Mill Pond area began its second important historical phase in 1821 when Florida was transferred to the United States from Spain. Coming down the "Spring Creek Trail," early settlers drifted across the line from Alabama into this part of Jackson County even before the official transfer. Since the spring that now feeds the pond created a free-flowing stream with plenty of water, a string of farms quickly developed along its course. At one of these, owned by the "widow Russ," the first court of Jackson County met shortly after the county was established in 1823.
Throughout the territorial era (1821-1845), large plantations were established in the mill pond area. By the time of the Civil War, the spring and surrounding property were owned by John R. Waddell. A successful businessman and planter, Waddell dammed the stream flowing across his land to create the mill pond as we know it. Later enlarged, the mill pond remains as a particularly beautiful Jackson County landmark. Surrounded by rich farmland, the pond area abounds in wildlife.
Waddell Mill Pond is located just off the old road that once linked Marianna and Campbellton.