LAND & WATER

Land Overview

 

Expanding from the original 400 acres, Southern Cattle Company now encompasses approximately 13,924 +/- total acreage (8,991 +/- acres deeded and 4,933 acres leased) in Jackson County, Florida.  The stewards of this land have been dedicated entrepreneurs with sights set on the future success of the Southern Cattle Farmer and have laid the groundwork for continued growth in the years ahead.  The current landowner is moving ahead on the conversion of approximately 2000 acres of timber to irrigated cropland meeting organic certification requirements, making Southern Cattle Company one of the newest and largest of its kind, increasing the marketability and overall property's value. 

 

 

Pastures & 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. (1,107 +/- deeded and 990 + /- leased).  The hay production provides ample feed for the Southern Cattle Company livestock herds.

Cropland & Soils

 

The addition of corn, sorghum and peanuts on both irrigated and non-irrigated plots include over 819+/ - acres of rotating cropland with almost 400 acres sustained under pivot to reduce wind or soil erosion and provide constant irrigation. Plans for additional acreage of center pivots on deeded land are also in the works. Underneath it all is some of the top-rated soil in the area - class II featuring mainly Chipola, Red Bay, Greenville, Troup, Orangeburg and Albany, all part of the careful planning and development of this land.

Boasting less than 18% as wetlands throughout the entire Ranch, Southern Cattle Company's unique water features provide farm irrigation to meet the demands of the agricultural operation.

 

Timber

 

The timberland offers approximately 1,129 +/- acres of planted loblolly pine, estimated to yield from $1500 - $3000 per acre on 15 to 30+ harvest years and maintains above average site indexes which could be converted back to farm acreage. This along with the strong timber markets could easily offset the cost of conversion from timber back to farming fitting current organic certification requirements.
 

 

 

 

Water Overview

 

This property is home to approximately 1,769 +/- acres currently irrigated, (11 pivots / 1,051 +/- acres on deeded land and eight pivots on leased land).  Historic, pristine bodies of water, including rare magnitude 2  springs, and spring-fed lakes and creeks flow throughout the property.  The current owner has a negotiated 20 year water use permit including over 39 associated wells. The property is bordered by  a mile of frontage on the Chipola River along with another 9+ miles of self-sustaining water supplies from Spring Branch and Russ Mill Creeks, and Waddell's Mill Creek Pond. 

 

 

Water Assets - Wells, Springs, Lakes, and River Frontage

 

The diversity of the water assets within Southern Cattle Company's property are some of the most well-planned 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. Those lucky enough to live on and work the land can enjoy the 170 acre Waddell's Mill Pond, Waddell Spring, Baltzell Spring complex or other creeks and tributaries meandering throughout the property. The Baltzell Spring Complex could easily be it's own state recreation park, with crystal clear, bright blue water roiling to the surface as it makes it's way to the Chipola River.

 

 

Wells & Water Use Permitting

 

Southern Cattle Company has a negotiated 20 year water use permit that was recently granted allowing the permittee to pump up to 120,060,000 gallons maximum per month, with consideration that the annual ground water withdrawal does not exceed 436,905,000 total gallons a year with no daily limits.   The current permit includes 39 associated wells, including 17 for irrigation; eleven are currently in existence with the remaining wells as proposed and not yet installed.

SCC Water Management and Permitting

 

Situated over the Floridan Aquifer, Southern Cattle Company has direct contact with one of the world's most productive aquifers and the largest, deepest, and oldest in the Southeast encompassing almost 100,000 square miles. The oversight of this resource in this area of Florida lies with the Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD / "the District"), responsible for issuing and maintaining current water use permits such as the one held by SCC.

The 2001 Chipola River Spring Inventory report stated of the 63 springs located within the Chipola River Basin, only one first magnitude spring existed.  Additionally just a handful of second magnitude springs were reported, two of which are part of Southern Cattle Company property.

Waddell Spring

 

As a major tributary of the Chipola River, Waddell Spring flows less than a mile east of Highway 231 and Southern Cattle Company headquarters. Ground water specialists from the Northwest Florida Management District have analyzed the quality of this spring and determined it to be equal to or better than those of Nestle Waters NA from Madison County/Blue Springs. Additionally, current property associated with this spring has been set aside from the cattle company's other lands for the sole purpose of bottling. 

Waddell's Mill Pond & History

 

The 170 acre Waddell's Mill Pond is edged with cypress and shares a rare limestone overlook and cave along it's perimeter. The Pond was originally dammed prior to the Civil War by plantation owner John R. Waddell to provide power for a water mill.  Although the mill is long gone a more modern dam still maintains the water flow from Waddell Spring to the Chipola River.

The history of the spring and pond are a draw to historians and visitors of the area.  According to the Jackson County website, archaeological research here has revealed the presence of two mounds, a Palisades Village site, and a cave inhabited during the last century or two before the arrival of the Spanish in Florida (1300-1400's AD).  Believed to be ancestors of the Chacatos or Chatot (not to be confused with the Choctaw), they were original settlers of the 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 indication 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 a church in 1674 at a Chacato Village somewhere west of the Chipola River. However, research has yet to reveal any true evidence of an early Spanish presence in the area, leaving some of this as speculation.

 

According to early records, the Bellamy Bridge area which now encompasses a walking trail winding through the floodplain forests of the Chipola River, was used as a crossing by Marcos Delgado in 1686.  As a Spanish explorer, he was appointed by the governor of Florida to look into reports of a French settlement along the Mississippi River.  Delgado led his small force of Apalachee Indians and Spanish troops on a western route from Mission San Luis around the area which is now the capitol city of Tallahassee.

 
Delgado reported seeing herds of buffalo (American Bison) in the area. After crossing the Chipola, the explorers moved on to the vicinity of Waddell's Mill Pond in western Jackson County where they eventually reached the towns of the Upper Creek Indians around today's city of Montgomery, Alabama, never having made it to the banks of the Mississippi River.  The Battle of the Upper Chipola took place around 1818 during the first Seminole War resulting in some 230 women, children and Red Stick warriors captured in the vicinity of today's Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail. 

 

Bellamy Bridge is Florida's "most haunted" thanks in part to folklore of ghost stories surrounding the death of a young bride, Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, whose wedding dress caught fire shortly after the ceremony leaving her in agony until she succumbed to death a few days later.  She is said to haunt the former site of the old bridge as a testament to her unrequited love of her new husband  due to her early demise.


In 1821 Florida was transferred to the United States from Spain. The Waddell's Mill Pond area led early settlers down the "Spring Creek Trail," across the line from Alabama into this part of Jackson County even before the official transfer. The abundance of free-flowing water fed by the spring led to farming developments along the banks and outflows of its course. One of the farms, owned by the "widow Russ," became the first meeting site for the court of Jackson County, shortly after it's establishment in 1923.

 
In the decades prior to 1850,  large plantations were established in the mill pond area. As the Civil War broke out, John R. Waddell was the established owner of the spring and surrounding property.  As a successful businessman and planter, he utilized the flow and dammed the stream across his land to create the mill pond as we know it. Increased in size throughout the last century, Waddell's Mill pond is an established Jackson County historical landmark situated just off the old road that linked Marianna and Campbellton, Florida.   The area teems with abundant wildlife surrounded by beautiful farmlands.

 

 

© 2017 Southern Cattle Company. Photography by Mark Melton/Aaron Rich Marketing.

 

Wetland acreage and creek calculations were determined by ADGEO and Cardno. Prices, Plans, Uses, Dimensions, Boundaries, Locations, Specifications, Material, and Availability are Subject to Changes, errors, and omissions without notice. Illustrations are artist's depictions only and may differ from completed improvements. The listing information is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. All dimensions are approximate and have not been verified by the selling party and cannot be verified by Southern Cattle Company.