south florida

South Florida Water Managers Debate BMPs, Discuss New Regulations

Dan Editorial, Florida, Lake Okeechobee, Water

by Gary Cooper In this new atmosphere of starting over from scratch with South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) leadership, a growing number of people in agriculture are asking more often and more loudly, “What’s going on?” Agriculture appears to be under the microscope, some say more like under attack, as a fast-growing urban sector reacts to what they don’t …

water

Fact Checking South Florida’s Water Politics – What Got Us Here?

Dan Editorial, Florida, Lake Okeechobee

by Gary Cooper Roots of Algae Debate Show Political Rhetoric Trumping the Facts Politically driven actions in recent months have undeniably brought major upheaval and confusion in South Florida’s water management circles. More than eight million people who are living in and invested in South Florida are directly impacted by these decisions in one way or another. Misinformation swirls about …

conservation

Political Wrangling Over Conservation Program Could Exacerbate Florida Algae Issues

Dan Cattle, Environment, Field Crops, Florida, Industry Videos-Promoting Agriculture, Lake Okeechobee, Legislative, Livestock, Specialty Crops, Water

by Gary Cooper In weekend budget talks, lawmakers slash funding for a key land and water conservation program that is vital to restoring Florida’s waterways. Florida’s Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP) is a budget casualty. This program has a 20-year track record of success in preserving green space in perpetuity, while keeping farmland on the tax rolls. Program …

water quality

Ag’s Past Water Quality Successes Not in Today’s SFWMD “Discussion”

Dan Florida, Water

Areas north of Lake Okeechobee can expect increased attention as debates about water-quality issues and who should do what about them continue in South Florida. At a gathering about the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Protection Plan (LOWPP) Thursday in Okeechobee, it became apparent that the vast investments the area’s farmers, ranchers and dairy producers have been making in water-quality projects for …

florida

Florida Ag Commissioner Fried Meets with South Florida Farmers

Dan Florida, Water

Florida Agriculture Commissioner “Nikki” Fried joined a modest but representative group of south Florida farmers at Bedner Farms Wednesday near Boynton Beach, for an informal lunch and informational exchange about issues of concern to agriculture in the region. Water, weed, trade and the Department’s Fresh From Florida marketing campaign were among topics mentioned in her remarks after lunch, and she …

sfwmd

Some Ag Facts Left Out of New SFWMD Discussion

Dan Environment, Florida, Water

by Gary Cooper The brand new governing board of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is revisiting the mission of the agency that spans 16 counties with a huge network of canals, pumps, levees and structures. Agricultural interests are concerned that this new board will adopt a mission that places the environment ahead of water supply and flood protection. …

agriculture

If You Eat, You Are Involved in Agriculture

Dan Florida, General, Industry News Release

By Sen. Ben Albritton I have enormous respect for Congressman Francis Rooney and his life of public service. However, I have grave concerns about the congressman’s recent misinformed, inaccurate, and hostile comments about agriculture in Florida. Describing any sector of Florida agriculture as a “menace” clearly shows a lack of understanding of how agriculture has been a highly successful partner …

balancing

A Balancing Act

Dan Florida, General

In the world of small business there is a constant balancing act between what needs to be done versus what can be properly achieved with the resources available. For a grower, this means some farm improvements may be put off while addressing the main priorities of producing and harvesting a marketable crop. In the sector of niche journalism, under which …

florida

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Addresses Ag Issues at Lay of the Land Conference

Dan Environment, Florida, Water

FDEP Secretary Noah Valenstein discusses growing water concerns, continued promotions for more urban growth, and views about agriculture south of Lake Okeechobee. By Gary Cooper Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein packed the room for his comments at the eleventh annual Lay of the Land Conference near Orlando late last week. The Lay of the Land Conference, hosted …