More than 250 Florida Farm Bureau members from across the state convened at the state Capitol on March 8, the second day of session, to meet with legislators during Florida Farm Bureau’s annual Farm Bureau Day.
The state’s largest general agricultural organization and its members spent a full day at the state Capitol visiting with lawmakers to discuss key policy issues that affect agriculture.
Top issues included support for an agricultural lands protection bill and a statewide Florida Farm Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials (TEAM) card that will be used for sales-tax-exempt purchase of agricultural materials.
Additional funding for the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences’ research projects were also a top priority.
The day-long legislative event kicked off with a Champions of Agriculture breakfast at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Seven legislators were recognized at the breakfast for being staunch advocates for agriculture. Rep. Bobby Payne, Rep. James Buchanan, Rep. Josie Tomkow, Sen. Jay Trumbull, Sen. Keith Perry and Sen. Darryl Rousson. The day followed with meetings with elected officials and a group session in the Senate Chamber where members met different lawmakers and received detailed updates on the importance of keeping agriculture strong in Florida.
The annual “Taste of Florida Agriculture” public event at the Capitol Courtyard concluded the day where more than 1,000 guests attended. Visitors were able to sample locally grown Florida fruits and vegetables, meet farmers and ranchers and learn more about the importance of an economic sector that contributes more than $150 billion to the state’s economy.
Keynote speakers at the reception included Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson and Florida Farm Bureau President Jeb S. Smith.
The reception is a joint partnership between Florida Farm Bureau and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.