Livestock Producers Provide Essential Information

The participation of ranchers, farmers, and other livestock producers was essential to the success of eradication. Reports of screwworm infestation came from nearly every state in the South, Southwest, and the Plains.

Florida Cattlemen Vigorously Support Eradication

In the 1950s, Florida ranchers began an intense effort to obtain an eradication program in their state. Ranchers lobbied the state legislature, the governor, and Congress for action, enlisting the support of Senator Spessard Holland and other members of the Florida congressional delegation.

SWAHRF Raises Millions

Led by Texas livestock producers, ranchers in the Southwest founded the Southwest Animal Health Research Foundation (SWAHRF) in 1961. The foundation's early financial support provided the funds for a large-capacity fly-production facility at Mission, Texas. Mission became the center of the crusade against the screwworm in the Southwest.

Participation in Mexico and Central America

The difficulties of screwworm eradication were much greater in tropical areas since there was no cold weather to kill the flies back. Eradication proceeded slowly, requiring the ranchers' continuous attention and making their achievement even harder won than that of their northern counterparts.

Film "The Screwworm," Excerpt 3, by United States Department of Agriculture. [ca. 1982].