(FDACS/TALLAHASSEE, FL/Jan. 18, 2022) — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson announced the appointment of West Gregory as the Director of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy.
“I’m honored to appoint West Gregory to lead our Office of Agricultural Water Policy. West Gregory has the unique experience and skillset – having worked in the Florida Legislature and at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection – to set a new, cooperative tone with our colleagues at the Department of Environmental Protection and other key stakeholders,” said Commissioner Wilton Simpson. “Florida’s continued prosperity is dependent on Florida’s leaders providing a long-term, comprehensive, and science-based approach to protecting and restoring our water resources, and I’m confident West Gregory can help Florida achieve this vision.”
Gregory most recently served as deputy general counsel at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, assisting in rulemaking, litigation, and policy development across a wide variety of environmental and water issues. Gregory worked as a senior attorney for the Florida House of Representatives’ Agricultural and Natural Resources Subcommittee from 2014-2018 and was involved in the research, review, and development of agriculture and natural resources legislation. Gregory graduated from the University of Florida with his juris doctorate with an environmental and land use law certificate.
Commissioner Simpson has been involved in Florida’s water and environmental policy issues long before becoming Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture. As Senate President, Simpson worked on legislation and budget issues to protect our precious natural resources. Simpson helped pass the Everglades Restoration Act, advocated for advancements in statewide water policy, secured more than $300 million for the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, secured $75 million per year in springs and estuary restoration, C43 and C44 reservoirs, southern reservoir, northern storage, reclaimed water, and more. Simpson has also worked tirelessly to advance Best Management Practices (BMPs) and funding to support farmers, ranchers, and producers in their shared goal of protecting and restoring Florida’s natural resources.
The FDACS Office of Agricultural Water Policy works with agricultural producers, industry groups, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the university system, and the Florida water management districts to develop and implement agricultural BMPs addressing both water quality and water conservation. Agricultural BMPs are practical, cost-effective actions that agricultural producers can take to conserve water and reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, and other pollutants entering our water resources.