Farm City awards: Cattleman

Jeff Snell is the 2019 Cattleman of the Year

Jeff Snell is a second generation cattle rancher. Back in the early 1970s, Danny Snell, Jeff’s father, operated Phillips & Snell Automotive, a service station and auto parts store on Highway 77 in Graceville. In 1985, Danny purchased a farm on the outskirts of Graceville, just across the creek in the edge of Holmes County. In the beginning they raised 25 head of Angus cross cattle bred to Brahman bulls to develop F1 heifers. Jeff took over the operation of the farm in 2009, and immediately began working on expanding and upgrading the quality of the herd.

Today the Snell Cattle Company has 80 of registered purebred SimAngus and Angus cattle. Jeff utilizes artificial insemination (AI) to breed his best cows to elite purebred bulls to develop high quality replacement heifers and breeding bulls. He has also utilized high quality SimAngus bulls purchased through the Florida Bull Test Sale, and from Boyd Farms in Alabama. The majority of the herd, however, is bred naturally to Charolais bulls to produce commercial crossbred calves to sell at weaning.

In addition to his part-time cattle operation, Jeff is an investigator for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. His primary duty is investigating major crimes, homicides, and many of the ag crimes that are reported.

The primary reason for Jeff’s selection as Cattleman of the Year is his willingness to serve the community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Jackson County Cattlemen’s Association for the past five years. In 2018, and again in 2019, Jeff served as the County Cattlemen’s Association President. When asked why he was willing to serve a second term he said, “Most of our local producers have small herds. We need an active organization that maintains strong relationships with state and local officials to preserve the heritage and sustainability of ranching in this area.” Jeff has also worked to provide recognition for local veterans. Through his leadership the Cattlemen’s Association has purchased signs for designated parking areas at key public venues to ensure these heroes know they are still held in high esteem.

In addition to the Cattlemen’s Association, Jeff is also an active member of the Marianna Optimist Club, and is President Elect of the Chipola Civic Club. Despite a professional career in law enforcement, a part-time farming operation, and family obligations as a husband and father, Jeff carves out the time to serve to help make our community a better place to live and farm.

The Cattlemen of the Year is selected each year by the Jackson County Cattlemen’s Association.

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