CARES Program Implements New Nomination Process

March 2022 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

Florida Farm Bureau has implemented a new nomination process for the County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES) program. For more than two decades, Farm Bureau’s CARES program has recognized farmers and ranchers who demonstrate exemplary environmental stewardship  to protect Florida’s natural resources.   

This new process will be more inclusive of agricultural producers, such as timber growers and aquaculture farmers, as well as producers who operate outside of Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs).  The process expands to include additional conservation programs with guidelines under agencies, such as Natural Resource Conservation Services, Florida’s Water Management Districts, and more.    

County Farm Bureaus are encouraged to submit a nomination for an outstanding agricultural steward. A farmer or rancher may also self-nominate or complete a nomination for a fellow caretaker. Nominations will be accepted using the online submission form until May 15, 2022.   

Recipients will be notified no later than July 1, 2022. Completed nominations are reviewed for effectiveness of natural resource protection as well as compliance with implemented environmental stewardship. Natural resource conservation practices to be considered include: 

  1. Water Quality and Water Conservation: Preserve or improve water quality, recharge and/or reduce overall use within or adjacent to an agricultural operation.
  2. Land Conservation and Soil Health: Reduce and/or prevent soil erosion while protecting natural areas and local habitats.
  3. Pesticide/Nutrient Management: Use pesticides/nutrients responsibly, maximizing benefits and minimizing potential adverse environmental effects.
  4. Waste Management/Recycling: Reduce waste by recycling agricultural by-products and waste products on site.

To complete the nomination process, please provide the required contact information for both nominator and nominee as well as the online submission and its required attachments. The deadline for nominations is May 15, 2022. Recipients will be notified  no later than July 1, 2022.  

Send questions regarding the nomination process to [email protected] or via phone, (352) 374-1542.