Legislators Receive Top Honors for Agricultural Advocacy

Oct. 30, 2015

FL_Farm_Bureau_Growing_Logo_R2[1]State Sen. Kelli Stargel and state Rep. Katie Edwards were named the 2015 Florida Farm Bureau Legislators of the Year on Oct. 29 at the organization’s 2015 annual meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach.

“Sen. Stargel and Rep. Edwards have taken the lead in supporting agricultural policy issues that help farmers and ranchers. We are extremely proud of their excellent leadership and thrilled to recognize them,” said FFBF President John Hoblick.

Sen. Stargel played a key role in promoting Florida Farm Bureau’s legislative priorities in the Senate this year. She sponsored three important bills including a $13 million tax relief package for Florida farmers and ranchers.

Stargel was elected to the Senate in 2012. She resides in Lakeland with her husband, John. She has five children, Rebekah, Amanda, Robert, Hannah and Laura.

Rep. Edwards sponsored legislation that protected private property rights and strengthened the 1955 Bert Harris Private Property Rights Act. The legislation clarifies property owner’s rights to compensation for governmental actions that impose unreasonable restrictions on property and diminish its value.

Edwards was elected to the Florida House of Representative in 2012. She is a former executive director for Dade County Farm Bureau and resides in Plantation. As a native of Broward County, she is committed to supporting family farms. Edwards is a past recipient of FFBF’s Champions for Agriculture award.

Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli was recognized for his sustained and steadfast support of Florida agriculture during his time in the Florida House of Representatives. As a citrus farmer, Speaker Crisafulli has been a long-time advocate for Florida’s farmers and ranchers. Crisafulli has been recognized as one of FFBF’s Champions for Agriculture for three consecutive years and was the 2011 Legislator of the Year.

“We are proud to recognize Speaker Crisafulli as one of our state’s most effective advocates for agriculture,” said Hoblick.

Crisafulli supported several top legislative priorities for Florida Farm Bureau. He included a $13 million agricultural sales tax exemption package, supported funding for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and directed Amendment 1 funds to water and environmental conservation projects and land management instead of land purchases.

Crisafulli resides in Merrit Island with his wife, Kristen. They have two children, Carly and Kennedy.

Florida Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general agricultural organization, represents more than 144,000 member-families. We serve to enhance farm enterprise and improve rural communities.