Florida History Lecture Series Begins 2023 With Look at Deadly Southeast Cattle Battle

Jan 12, 2023

by FSC Staff

The Lawton M. Chiles Jr., Center for Florida History resumes the Florida History Lecture Series on Thursday, Jan. 26 with Dr. Claire Strom's tales of the early days of cattle farming in Florida and the Southeast. This lecture is sponsored by Historic Lakeland Inc.

We are delighted to have award-winning Rollins College Professor Claire Strom with us, said Dr. James M. Denham, executive director of the Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History. Her program on the early days of cattle farming in Florida and the Southeast will be informative as well as entertaining. I also want to thank Historic Lakeland Inc. for their sponsorship of this event.

Dr. Claire Strom's Book

Dr. Strom is a three-time published author with her latest book, Making Catfish Bait Out of Government Boys: The Fight Against Cattle Ticks and the Transformation of the Yeoman South, being the center of her presentation titled Violence in the Rural South: Murder, Ticks and Cows.

In the remote rural sections of the South, resistance to mandatory tick eradication treatment of cattle was unusually strong and sometimes violent. Cattle farmers perceived a double threat from tick eradication mandates. In addition to their added costs, eradication schemes, with their top down imposition of government expertise, were displeasing to the cattle and land owner's notions of liberty. Dr. Strom examines this vexing history while uncovering the human drama in this story. A specialist in agricultural history, the American South, the Progressive Era, and public health, Strom is the Rapetti-Trunzo Chair of History at Rollins College, where for many years she served as editor of Agricultural History. Dr. Strom was honored with the Gladys L. Baker Lifetime Achievement Award from the Agricultural History Society. She is also the author of Profiting from the Plain: The Great Northern Railway and Corporate Development of the American West (2007) and Fargo, North Dakota: 1870-1940 (2002). Currently, Dr. Strom is writing about the global history of cattle.

The Lawton M. Chiles, Jr., Florida Lecture Series is a forum that brings speakers to the Florida Southern College campus to explore Florida life and culture through a wide range of disciplines, including history, public affairs, law, sociology, criminology, anthropology, literature, and art. The overall objective of the series is to bring members of the community, the faculty, and the student body together to interact with and learn from leading scholars in their fields.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Hollis Room and is free to the public.