Okeechobee, a rural community rich in pioneer history, is a place of discovery and opportunity.

To the fisherman, Okeechobee County, the home of the “Big O,” is one of the top lakes in the country for catching bass and speckled perch. Professional bass anglers fish Lake Okeechobee for thousands of dollars in tournament prizes.

To the rancher, it’s wide open spaces. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Census, Okeechobee County is home to 599 farms and ranches for a total of 297,439 acres in agriculture. Okeechobee has earned the nickname “Florida’s Cowtown,” as the county is No. 1 in the state in the most beef cattle and the most milk produced.

According to the most recent USDA Census of Agriculture, Okeechobee County ranches and dairies are home to a total of 184,462 head of cattle, including calves. Okeechobee County dairies account for about 20 percent of the milk produced in Florida. The county has also 3,268 acres in citrus trees.

For young families, Okeechobee is a place where kids can be active in school, church and club activities. And, it’s a place where the community supports its youth with thousands of dollars donated each year to give local scholarships to high school graduates headed for college.

For those who love the outdoors, Okeechobee County has plenty to see and do, boating on Lake Okeechobee or the Kissimmee River, hiking the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, enjoying the beauty all around in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, horseback riding and more.

Shooting enthusiasts can choose from world-class outdoor shooting facilities. The area also has plenty of hunting opportunities.

The people of Okeechobee love to show their community spirit, with festivals, parades and special community events throughout the year.

Okeechobee’s hometown newspaper was established in 1914 as the “Okeechobee Call.” A few years later, the name was changed to the “Okeechobee News.” The newspaper published weekly at first, eventually adding a second and then a third publication day. In 1992, it became a daily newspaper, and published seven days a week until 2008, when it reverted back to thrice-weekly. In 2018, the Okeechobee News merged with the Clewiston News, the Glades County Democrat, and The Sun (in Belle Glade/Pahokee) to become the Lake Okeechobee News. The Lake Okeechobee News print edition is published every Wednesday. The online digital edition is updated daily.