Bud Adams 1926 – 2017: A pragmatic visionary

“The future of all of us lives in the conservation of our lands, water, and air.”

When it came to conservation, Bud Adams thought not in terms of years but in terms of generations.


Most of us can only imagine “Old Florida” but Bud Adams wrote the book on it. In his book “The Old Florida,” he recounts the details of his life and shares his wisdom. He was a Florida Cattleman through and through.

He was also a conservationist. He saw it as his duty to care for his land along with the plants, animals, and people that depended on it. He took special care of employees, treating them like family, “only better.” He bred cattle that thrived in the harsh Florida environment rather than destroying the land to support the herd. He also led the way in protecting thousands of acres of the Adams Ranch before his passing.

When it came to conservation, he thought not in terms of years but in terms of generations. “In 50 or 100 years, we are going to need green space, a clean watershed, clean air, and a food supply. We must act now.”

Lisa Gearen remembers a visit she had with Bud in 2015: “A highlight was a ride we took out on the Fort Pierce property, which is also the site of the family homestead. Bud drove us in his pickup truck over land that he knew so intimately, talking passionately about its history and his stewardship.”

We will always be grateful to Bud Adams for his lifelong love of his “Old Florida,” his generous support of CTF, and for working with us to help his family place agricultural easements on portions of the Adams Ranch. We mourn his passing.

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