The three Republican candidates for Florida Agriculture Commissioner presented their views to approximately 200 attendees at a recent Candidate Summit Luncheon near Orlando. Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate organized and hosted the event in conjunction with its 10th annual Lay of the Land Conference, which draws a strong agricultural following.
This is the fifth part in a Q&A series of articles that will feature comments from the three candidates for Florida Agriculture Commissioner who attended the luncheon, including (in the order they spoke) Matt Caldwell, Denise Grimsley and Baxter Troutman.
Question 5: Consider Florida’s “Family Lands” program, where the state buys or participates in purchase of development rights of land parcels while allowing agricultural families to keep their farm operations going through future generations. There are some 140 or more parcels presently applying for the program, all of which are potentially worthy and all from farm families wanting to stay on the land and prevent it from development, but also wanting to remain profitable as a sustainable agriculture operation. However, money is limited and it often seems tough to get the Legislature to come along with sufficient funding. So, how do you balance the timely wants and needs for that program with the lack of funding, in order to save a lot of that land that may otherwise be pressured into development or sold outright to non-farm investors?
Matt Caldwell Matt Caldwell question 5
Denise Grimsley Denise Grimsley question 5
Baxter Troutman Baxter Troutman question 5