From the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the other members of the Board of Trustees approved today a conservation easement with Smith Family Farms as part of the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. More than 200 acres of the Putnam County farm will be protected under the conservation easement, allowing agricultural operations to continue while protecting sensitive natural resources.
“The Smith Family Farms property is nationally certified as a sustainable tree farm and includes 13 acres of sensitive cypress dome swampland. The land is also a habitat for black bear, gopher tortoise and other wildlife,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “This is the 15th easement of our Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, making a total of 8,765 acres protected from future development, while allowing the land to continue to contribute to Florida’s economy.”
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Rural and Family Lands Protection Program was created in 2001 with the goal of acquiring perpetual agricultural conservation easements that ensure privately owned lands will be preserved in agricultural use while providing for the protection of natural resources.
Florida agriculture has an overall economic impact estimated at more than $120 billion annually, making it the state’s second largest industry. The agriculture industry supports more than 2 million jobs in Florida.
More information on the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program is available here.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.