Adams Ranch had its start when Alto Adams, Sr. bought a tract of unfenced grassland in St. Lucie County, The first herd was brought to the ranch with a cattle-drive through what is now central Florida and Walt Disney World.
Ten years later, Alto “Bud” Adams Jr. became a partner in the cattle operation as Alto Adams & Son. At that time there were an estimated 1600 cows, valued at $40/head. A pasture restoration program was begun and Hereford bulls were crossed on Brahman cows. The principal product was grass-fattened steers.
In 1961, the ranch was incorporated as Adams Ranch, Inc. The ownership was Alto Adams, Jr., Elaine Harrison, and their children. The 15,000 acres was expanded to 50,000 acres with the purchase of land in Osceola and Okeechobee Counties.
The 14,000 cow herd produces feeder steers, replacement heifers, and breeding bulls. The Braford breed was developed from the Adams Ranch Hereford X Brahman crosses. Feeder calves became the main product and were shipped by train and truck to the corn-belt.In 1969, the Adams Ranch Braford® herd became the number one foundation herd both for the International Bradford Association and its successor the United Braford Breeders.