FDACS Announces Preservation of Florida Family Farm

Dan Florida, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)

family farm
Holifield Family Farms, Old Town, Florida
FDACS image

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has announced the preservation of a family farm in the Florida Wildlife Corridor through their Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP). The Holifield Family Farms property, a nearly 160-acre cattle and row crop operation in Dixie County, is being preserved through a rural land protection easement for $329,300. 

“Partnering with Holifield Family Farms to preserve productive agricultural land through the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program marks another significant victory for Florida,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson.“ By safeguarding our rural lands through protection easements, we enhance food security, maintain these protected properties within the local tax system, and ensure property owners adhere to state standards for land and natural resource conservation.” 

Holifield Family Farms is located within two miles of the Suwannee River and is a row crop operation on 100 acres during the spring and summer with cattle grazing on the land in the fall and winter. On the remainder of the property, cattle graze year-round on a large portion, hay is grown and harvested on a smaller portion, and there is a small acreage of natural areas. The Holifield family has farmed in this area since the mid to late 1800s and drove cattle to Dixie County just after the Civil War, where they still live today. 


The RFLPP purchases the development rights to the agricultural properties through voluntary rural land easements, which prevent the future development of the land and allow agriculture operations to continue to contribute to Florida’s economy and the production of food, timber, and other resources vital to the prosperity of Florida. 

During the 2023 Legislative Session, HB 1279 was signed to support the department’s RFLPP by no longer requiring the department to submit a purchase agreement to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund for approval for projects with a purchase price of less than $5 million. Then, during the 2024 Legislative Session, Commissioner Simpson helped to secure from the Florida Legislature $100 million for the RFLPP and another $100 million each fiscal year, appropriated in SB 1638 to support the Florida Wildlife Corridor, including the acquisition of conservation easements under the RFLPP. 

For more information about this announcement visit FDACS.gov.