The Range Cattle Research and Education Center (RCREC) is a multi-discipline research and Extension center, located in Hardee County. RCREC is a unit of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
Founded in 1941 through the efforts of legislators, cattlemen, and citizens, the research center has 2,840 acres of native and developed pastures, and approximately 1,200 head of cattle. RCREC has seven research and Extension faculty, and 22 support staff.
Two thirds of Florida's cattle are located in the southern half of the state. The research program at the Range Cattle REC is designed to serve the cattle industry in this portion of the state, although it involves a cooperative effort on important statewide problems.
Cattlemen in south Florida are facing constantly changing economic and production challenges. This unique subtropical environment provides direct and indirect impacts on the beef and dairy industry. Direct impacts include climatic, water table, and soil influences on forage and animal production; and associated disease and insect problems. Indirect impacts include potential use of by-products from other agricultural industries as animal feeds and environmental quality.