Kissimmee Park Properties, LLC, was established in 2006 to consolidate the ranch and citrus holdings of the Bennie L. Platt, J. Shane Platt and Sherri Otcenasek under a single management. The ranch operates a 250-head crossbred cow-calf operation and 60 acres of citrus groves on 1,200 acres. Because these holdings have been under the same continuous family ownership for 135 years, the primary goal of Kissimmee Park Properties has been to continue the family’s legacy of protecting the ranch as both an economic resource and a sustainable wildlife and ecological habitat. With the unique location of the ranch on Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) at the headwaters of the everglades, Kissimmee Park Properties is one of many in the area committed to protecting lakes and streams, seasonal wet grasslands and longleaf pine savannas. It also sustains one of the most important assemblages of imperiled plant and vertebrate wildlife in the southeast and remains a large portion of the unprotected natural habitat in Florida.
In 2006, the ranch was honored as a Century Pioneer Family Farm acknowledging the benefit that family farms and ranches provide to the state of Florida. The award recognizes these pioneers as the original stewards of the land for preserving environmental resources and for helping foster the state’s agricultural industry which provides an important economic base for Florida.
Kissimmee Park Properties designated wildlife corridors well before it was considered a worthwhile endeavor. This vision is responsible for the diverse wildlife population and acres of wildlife viewing areas which exist on the ranch today. An abundance of deer and Osceola turkey inhabit the land as do species of special concern. The ranch’s natural lakefront ridge is scattered with oaks, pines and cypress and is maintained as a wildlife corridor and natural barrier of Lake Toho. This ridge now provides the many fishermen, eco-tours and sightseers opportunity to see native Florida and the abundance of deer, turkey, eagles, alligators, everglades snail kite and other wildlife which use the lakefront as habitat and nesting sites in harmony with a cattle and citrus business. Kissimmee Park Properties continues to work with state and federal legislators, as well as county and city governments to showcase the economic and environmental impact the ranch provides the economy.