family has been in the cattle business for generations.
involved with every facet of the operation.
Most days you'll find Matt Pearce
on the road, headed to a client in Wauchula or Okeechobee or another area of the Heartland.
As the cattle specialist for Purina, he works in a consultative sales role, helping large ranches and family operations put together nutritional programs for their cow herd, developing heifers and bulls.
does body condition scoring on the animals, looks for mineral deficiencies and offers forage samples.
That's how he
clients during his
also works behind the scenes to help them, whether they know it or not.
As a member of the Pearce Cattle Co.
that owns 1,100 acres in Glades County and leases 6,000, Pearce
has been a cattleman all his
doesn't run the ranch himself - his
dad, Roy, and brother Mark do that - Pearce
has taken on the role of representing the ranch at association meetings and other political functions, all the way up to the state level.
He serves on the executive board for the Florida Cattlemen's Association in District 4.
He's also been past membership chairman and youth chairman for the state.
This year he'll serve as vice chairman of the marketing committee.
As far as local associations, he's been past president of the Okeechobee Cattlemen's Association and is now the state director for Region 4 and serves on the board.
He's also been on the Okeechobee youth livestock committee for the past 15 years and serves as Farm Service Agency County Committee chairman for Okeechobee.
That's a lot of meetings to attend, but as Pearce
said: "I like interacting with people.
Everybody's role is fit for their experience."
Running a ranch isn't like it used to be eight generations ago when his
family began raising cattle.
Now someone has to be the political/legislative liaison.
The nice thing is, he
doesn't just represent himself - he
Just last week he
met with U.S. Sen.
That's part of my role," Pearce
enjoys representing the agriculture community's interests, and his
role also helps him network with movers and shakers in the industry.
It's a kind of symbiotic relationship.
But don't think that Pearce isn't a rancher through and through.
own cows, has three kids who ride horses, and along with wife Alisha raises them with the iron work ethic you get growing up on a ranch.
"The memories I have most when I was a kid was getting up the day after Christmas.
Most kids would be playing with their toys, but that's when we worked the calves that were born," Pearce
"When I take vacation with Purina
, we work cows," Pearce
The crew often consists of Pearce
kids, Mark and his
three children, and Roy.
"It's a learning tool for the next generation," said Pearce
, who is also proud his
family's way of life provides food, green space and wildlife conservation for the public.