Sustainable Agriculture

Cracker Cattle

Promoting rearing of Florida heritage breeds is part of the mission of the sustainable agriculture program at Crowley. Heritage breeds, like those who were brought to Florida

from other subtropical climates and have evolved over generations to thrive in spite of heat, humidity, and mosquitoes and are resistant to pests and diseases are sustainable livestock rearing choices. Crowley is proud to have a herd of yearling certified heritage cattle from the herd of Mr. Glynne Owen and managed by our sustainable cattle program director Dixie Resnick. Along with the Cracker cattle you will also see Watusi Cattle in the CMNC herd. To learn more about our cattle visit

Florida Cracker Horses

In a partnership with our Curator and partner in land management, Eric McGrath, in 2018 Crowley introduced Florida Cracker Horses to the property. Currently, registered mare "Emma" can be seen grazing and is a popular addition to the children's programs. Eric is seeking a certified stallion to begin breeding our own herd of pure "MarshTackie" .

The Florida Cracker Horse is a breed of horse from Florida in the United States. It is genetically and physically similar to many other Spanish-style horses, especially those from the Spanish Colonial Horse group. The Florida Cracker is a gaited breed known for its agility and speed. The Spanish first brought horses to Florida with their expeditions in the early 1500s; as colonial settlement progressed, they used the horses for herding cattle. These horses developed into the Florida Cracker type seen today, and continued to be used by Florida cowboys (known as "crackers") until the 1930s. Florida Cracker Horses are small saddle horses, standing from 13.2 hands to 15.2 at the withers and weighing 700 - 1000 pounds.

Dustin's Garden

Crowley Museum & Nature Center in conjunction with the family of the late Dustin Lee Horne, would like to announce the development of Dustin’s Garden. Dustin, a true Florida Cracker- tragically lost his life to a drunk driver in October of 2018. His grief stricken family created this beautiful idea to honor his lifelong mission of helping others.


Dustin grew up in Myakka City loving the country life. He was a member of 4-h and carried it through high school where he also participated in FFA. Dustin was a hard working man, a get dirty kind of guy. He was good with his hands and a great big heart. Well loved in the local community, he knew no stranger.

His biggest accomplishment was his beautiful little boy, who is his namesake. There was never a time that his little side kick was not with him. This is the reason that the garden will also be used as a teaching tool for children. An avid outdoorsman, Dustin gladly taught anyone what he knew. He truely lived to teach and learn all he could about living off the land.

Dustin’s garden will be incorporated into our school education programs, his mother will be teaching the children in his memory. All of the excess produce from the garden will be donated to homeless shelters and food banks in his memory. If you are interested in volunteering for this project or donating, please contact us.

To learn more about Dustin and see how the garden started visit

Chicken Coop

The Peace Volunteer Center of Tampa University partnered with Riley “Robinhood" Winans to create a chicken coop out of recycled materials they found onsite. Currently it houses a mixed flock of chickens and a rooster and recently connected via a protected screened tunnel to our mobile coop housing some young rescue chicks. At this time the Guinea Hens have been moved to their own enclosure along the Children's Discovery Path. Fresh eggs are available in the Welcome' Center when the chickens are cooperating and proceeds support CMNC Animals.