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Cattle was his work, but children were his passion

Bill Carey was raised in Wisconsin in the livestock industry. He came to Brandon in 1957 at age 22 and started the Carey Cattle Co. He eventually had offices in Washington, D.C., and Brandon and two dairies and a ranch in Hillsborough County.

For many years a big sign touting Carey Cattle Co. was a Brandon landmark on State Road 60 near Interstate 75.

Carey raised and sold livestock locally and internationally. He exported Holstein cows to Cuba South and Central America, Puerto Rico, Europe and Africa. In 1987, he shipped 6,000 head of cattle to Iraq in one year, one of the largest air cattle shipments in the U.S. history.

Carey loved his work, and he also loved children.

At Halloween he would dress as a gorilla and go trick-or-treating with neighborhood kids. He helped many young people in 4-H and FFA with their beef and dairy projects. Carey introduced the Mooo-ternity ward at the Florida State Fair, an exhibit that allows people to view how pregnant dairy cows give birth.

Carey was a member of several organizations, including Nativity Catholic Church and the Florida Cattlemen's Association.

He died in 1997 at 62, and was survived by his wife Trudy, three children and five grandchildren. Trudy Carey sold much of the business after her husband's death.

To honor his accomplishments, in January 2002 civic leaders named the community's newest boys and girls club for Carey. The plaque outside the Bill Carey Boys and Girls Club on Knights Avenue reads: In Memory of Bill Carey 1925 to 1997. In recognition of his love of youth, his zest for life and his many contributions to the Brandon community.