An alligator farm, infrequently called an alligator ranch, breeds and raises alligators in order to produce meat, leather and other goods. While most "alligator farms" feature alligators and crocodiles solely as a tourist attraction, Gatorama is Florida's top working alligator farm in which gators are not only featured for tourism and education but are also harvested for their meat and skins.
Allen Register, co-owner of Gatorama, is very active in the Alligator industry. He is the chairman of the Florida Alligator Marketing and Education Committee, an appointment by the Commissioner of Ag. Allen is also the Alligator rep for the Aquaculture Review Council and Florida Aquaculture Association. Allen has also been elected to serve as the Alligator Egg Collection Coordinator on Public Wetlands for all the farmers in the state consecutively since 1994.
Alligator farming is not totally unlike raising domestic animals for food and skin, however there are some important differences:
- Alligators are wild and cannot be domesticated (and they bite hard, unlike cows and chickens)
- Alligator are carnivores, eating meat. It takes considerable food to raise an alligator.
- We can raise up an alligator for harvest in about two years
- The tail, ribs and tenderloin are the common eaten parts
- Our livestock just doesn't herd well!