Deseret is a Florida operation through and through. Although some of the original families who came to work the Ranch in 1952 came from the West, they stayed, put down roots and became proud Floridians whose third generation descendants still work at Deseret today. Early Deseret managers noted in 1954 that the Florida ranch could “not be operated in the same manner as a Western cattle ranch” and set about to establish ties with local experts to develop an operation suited to Central Florida.
- Deseret carefully manages a productive landscape of pastures, citrus groves, wetlands and woodlands
- A thoroughly Florida operation, with some of the original families still on the Ranch
- Hardworking line of ranch managers brought diverse skill sets and innovation
- Employs around 90 full-time workers today
There has been a series of outstanding managers who at different times brought different skill sets and contributed greatly to Deseret’s success over the years. Leo Ellsworth, one of the early Deseret managers, was a visionary manager who originally built production capacity. Later, Harvey Dahl focused on turning that capacity into production. Paul Genho, a Jacksonville, Florida native who holds a PhD degree in animal science from the University of Florida, managed Deseret for over a decade and further increased capacity and production. He is presently the head of the world-wide commercial agricultural operations of the Ranch’s ultimate owner, Farmland Reserve, Inc. The current Deseret general manager, Erik Jacobsen, is a graduate of the University of Florida holding a BS degree in Animal Science and an MBA. He is originally from Lakeland, Florida and has been associated with Deseret since 1986.
Today, Deseret employs about 90 full-time highly skilled employees without regard to race or religion, including many Florida natives. Personal values of integrity, education, hard work and community service, coupled with good production skills, are paramount.