Agricola, FL : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Looking at a map of Florida, there is a spur that breaks off at Agricola just east of Bradley Junction and goes southeast until reaching Fort Meade. The spur runs past several mines until reaching the SCL just south of Fort Meade. The spur reads on the map as Swift and Co. Any idea who this company is? A small railroad? Any info would greatly be appreciated.


-- James Baker (, December 26, 2001


My goodness, Joe! You are absolutely correct about IMC-Agrico! I trusted my recollective memory when I sent the response. My bad! Sorry for the mistake. Aaron Dowling (

-- Aaron Dowling (, September 27, 2002.

Aaron, I hate to dispute your nice report,but if you look,I think everywhere you mention "Cargill" it should read IMC (International Minerals & Chemicals).Cargill products are moved from Hookers to the plant on HWY60 via CSX.AFAIK the only locations that Cargill has locomotives are South Ft.Meade mine and until two months ago East Tampa.The east Tampa complex now uses two Relco lesed units.

-- Joseph Oates (, September 22, 2002.

Swift & Co. once operated major phosphate ore mining and processing operations in the area south of Bartow, Fl., with the major products being fertilizers and processed ore for shipment to destinations in the U.S.,Canada and overseas. Swift sold their mining and processing operations in the late 1970's. Currently, Cargill owns the ex-Swift operations, and still operates a privatelly-owned railroad operation for the transport of mined phosphate ore to their processing centers, with the largest being the Hooker's Prairie Complex southeast of Bradley, Fl. Cargill motive power consists primarily of Alco (mostly retired) and EMD/ICG GP8 and GP10 units. The primary route of Cargill train movements is between mines located near the common corner of Hillsborough, Polk, Hardee and Manatee counties (the Four Corners Mining Area)and the Hooker's Prairie Complex. Cargill also operates a large yard out in the middle of nowhere jointly with CSX (referred to as "Agrock"), with CSX originating a significant # of trains from Agrock Yd. and the Hooker's Prairie Complex. While Cargill personnel are not happy about rail photographers on their property, some good locations from public rights-of-way are available, including the east end of Agrock Yard (located adjacent to the Old Fort Green Rd/CR #633 south of Bradley, Fl.). Aaron Dowling (

-- Aaron Dowling (, September 21, 2002.

The last answer to this thread was correct, Estech now owns the spur from Agricola to Watson Mine. Agricola itself has been dismantled to mine the area where the plant once stood. Estech still runs to Watson mine and CSX still runs to the phosphate plant at Rockland.

Swift and Co. was the previous owner of this property and indeed is the meat processor and owned a phosphate operation that probably tied into their feedlots for the processing of cattle.

-- Walt Rogers (, January 02, 2002.

Swift's had a food processing plant (ca.1938) and a phospahate mine (Late 1940s-1964)in Agricola. The Florida Photographic Collection had 16 phots, some were of an Estech mine...I can't include links in this message so I will send them in an email. Bill

-- Bill Donahue (, December 27, 2001.

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