Herman Laramore is the business manager of the Bar L Ranch located near Marianna. Bar L Ranch is a 1000 head commercial cattle operation that began in 1961 when Herman and his brother Gordon took over the family farming operation.
There are many innovations that have made the Bar L successful. Individual animal identification and extensive record keeping, that included retained ownership and carcass data, helped Laramore identify superior sire lines and inferior cows to drastically improve both the productivity and the marketability of the herd. Artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfer are utilized to make use of the top beef bulls in America, and to create a completely closed herd, with no animals coming onto the ranch for the past six years. The Laramores have improved their management so that their breeding season has condensed from 120 days to 90, and now down to only 75 days per year. The Bar L Ranch has served as one of the cornerstone herds for University of Florida beef cattle research to develop timed AI protocols that are now used around the world. All of the cattle they sell are preconditioned for 45 days after weaning and sold in uniform, tractor-trailer-load lots. Laramore makes use of a variety of byproduct feeds from the cotton and grain industries to balance the excellent quality hay and round bale silage produced on the ranch, and fed through the winter.
In addition to the numerous management innovations, Laramore has also worked very closely with UF/IFAS Extension and been a leader in the Florida Cattle Industry. He worked with Cattle Researchers and Extension Agents on numerous projects dealing with health, nutrition, and reproduction. Laramore serves as a member of the IFAS Regional Advisory Committee and the North Florida Research and Education Center Advisory Committee. He was leading member of the cattlemen group that lobbied the Legislature to get the Marianna Beef Research Unit funded. Laramore served on the screening committees that selected the research faculty for the Unit. He served on the Florida Cattlemen’s Executive Board, and was named Outstanding Florida Cattlemen in 1991. The Laramore Family was named Outstanding Farm Family in Jackson County by the Farm Bureau in 2005.
The Agricultural Innovator of the Year is selected each year by the County Extension Service.