The Florida Farm Bureau is hosting its annual Legislative Days in Tallahassee. The bureau’s director of state legislative affairs, Adam Basford, is gearing up for the event and discussed the importance of attendance.
The Florida Farm Bureau’s Legislative Days allows members and stakeholders in the agriculture industry to speak with their elected officials about Florida agriculture and issues concerning the industry. The event also includes a reception that highlights Florida products.
Basford says there are many issues that will be addressed at the Legislative Days, including sales tax issues for animal health products and a pollution notification bill, which would ensure notices of pollution are reported by the right people so farmers are not burdened with the task.
Another issue that will be discussed is the proposal to buy 60,000 acres of land south of Lake Okeechobee. Basford says this land acquisition issue is very important to the Florida Farm Bureau. He wants to encourage and help the legislature search for better options so the 60,000 acres of good farm land can be preserved for growers. “We just want to make sure that our farmers down at the EAA (Everglades Agricultural Area) have their voice heard,” Basford said.
Basford believes that the only way to make legislators truly understand the issues within the agriculture industry is for bureau members and growers to make connections in Tallahassee and be vocal about the issues. He added that the Florida Farm Bureau is the voice of Florida agriculture, but that is only possible because of its members.
The Florida Farm Bureau will partner with the Department of Agriculture to host the Taste of Florida Agriculture reception. This is an opportunity for members to highlight Florida products for legislators and attendees. “(At the reception) our members and others are able to show the legislature and their staff the bounty of what Florida agriculture is all about,” Basford said.
The event in Tallahassee will be held March 7–8. Basford encourages everyone who can make the trip to attend the Legislative Days. Visit http://www.floridafarmbureau.org/ for more information.