Farm Bureau Members Created Momentum For Priority Legislation

Farm Bureau Members Created Momentum For Priority Legislation

The impact of grassroots activism was never more evident than during our Legislative Days in March. More than 400 Farm Bureau members traveled to Tallahassee so they could participate in a full round of meetings with Florida’s
public leaders.

Without question the most impressive effort made by our farmers and ranchers involved the small group discussions with our legislators. They presented their personal viewpoints on policy issues that affect their livelihoods.

To say that they were effective advocates would be an understatement. They provided realistic appraisals of policy issues based upon their daily experiences as agricultural producers.

Our legislators welcomed Farm Bureau groups with genuine hospitality. The informal exchanges at these meetings generated a positive level of mutual understanding and will surely help to secure Farm Bureau priorities in
the future.

I cannot say enough about the pleasant greetings our members received from our legislators. They took the time to give their attention and thought to citizens’ opinions.

Most of them asked questions and requested additional information. We sincerely thank them for their support of Florida’s farm families.

The capstone public event of Legislative Days was our gala reception on March 18. Held at the Capitol courtyard under the theme of the “Taste of Florida Agriculture,” the reception attracted more than 1,000 guests. Forty-five lawmakers joined the celebration. Everyone in the large gathering eagerly dined on Florida-produced foods, including beef, seafood, fruits and vegetables.

We appreciate the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for partnering with us at the reception. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam was instrumental in leading his agency with this support. Along with the department, a number of farm commodity associations and county Farm Bureaus helped make the evening a smashing success. Volunteers from these organizations served up a large volume of delicious foods for all in attendance.

Our Legislative Days activities created momentum for passage of omnibus agricultural legislation that will help protect the greenbelt classification for farm properties used as water storage areas. It will also eliminate the sales tax on certain farm equipment and repair parts.

At the same time we are pursuing an expansion of officially designated certifications for agricultural training and
education. This improvement will allow young people to prepare themselves for career positions that provide good salaries.

Both of these agenda items are based upon Farm Bureau’s overall objectives of improving the financial position of farm families and enhancing our rural communities.

I am deeply grateful to all of our members who have built relationships with our state officials. Those relationships will do more than anything else to help us implement our policy priorities.