Pooling together their resources, the brother/father-son team of John Dee, J. Roy Dee Sr. and J. Roy Dee Jr. purchased 8,000 acres of land in Citrus County Florida in 1953. This area of land soon became known as Dee River Ranch. Nearly two decades after the founding of the ranch, J. Roy Dee, Jr. began to farm part of the land as the sole owner of the property. The farm began in the early 1970’s with watermelons. After some success, Roy began incorporating corn and soybeans into his crop rotation.
In 1979, Roy and his wife, Mary Ann delved into the cattle industry when they bought 48 pure bred Brahma cows and a Brahma bull. Two years later, they purchased 30 commercial Angus cows. Those animals are the original seed stock of the very cattle that comprise the 600+ head of brood cows on the ranch today.
Following her parents’ lead, Annie Dee began full time employment on Dee River Ranch in 1981. Several years later, in 1989, Southwest Florida Water Management purchased the property in its entirety from Roy and Mary Ann. At that point, Dee River Ranch loaded up the cattle and equipment and moved to its present location in Aliceville, Alabama.
The farm continued its progressive movement and began incorporating land conservation techniques into their daily farming operations. Mike Dee, Annie’s brother, began full time employment with the farm in 1997.
Today the ranch is still a family run operation, managed by Annie, Mike, and Annie’s sons, Seth and Jesse.