2010 Florida Statutes
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, AND ANIMAL INDUSTRY
Department created; commissioner.—
There is hereby created a department of the government of this state to be known as the “Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.” The affairs of the department shall be transacted under the control of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106.
The following words and phrases as used in this chapter and in the agricultural laws of this state, unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:
“Agriculture” means the science and art of production of plants and animals useful to humans, including to a variable extent the preparation of these products for human use and their disposal by marketing or otherwise, and includes aquaculture, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, forestry, dairy, livestock, poultry, bees, and any and all forms of farm products and farm production. For the purposes of marketing and promotional activities, seafood shall also be included in this definition.
“Agricultural business products” means nonconsumable products used in the producing, processing, distribution, and marketing of consumable farm products, including, but not limited to, machinery, equipment, and supplies.
“Agricultural marketing facilities” means state-owned wholesale and retail markets managed by the Bureau of State Farmers’ Market.
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture.
“Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 215, ch. 71-377; s. 1, ch. 87-36; s. 1, ch. 88-341; s. 5, ch. 92-291; s. 1, ch. 93-169; s. 11, ch. 94-335; s. 21, ch. 96-247; s. 1182, ch. 97-103.
Offices of the department.—
The principal office of the department shall be located at the seat of state government. Branch offices may be established and maintained by the department in such places as the commissioner may determine. The offices shall be supplied with all necessary books, stationery, office equipment and furniture, to be furnished and paid for in the manner provided by law.
s. 1, ch. 59-54.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; functions, powers, and duties.—
The department shall have and exercise the following functions, powers, and duties:
To inquire into the needs of agriculture in the state and make appropriate recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature, except for those functions specifically assigned under state law to other state agencies.
To perform all regulatory and inspection services relating to agriculture except agricultural education, demonstration, research, and those regulatory functions assigned by law to other state agencies. In doing this, the department may:
Inspect for violations of and enforce all federal standards applicable to the responsibilities of the department, which were adopted for uniform application to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
Enforce federal marketing orders identified in a cooperative agreement between the department and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Apply generally accepted analytical technologies and validated methods in determining compliance with federal standards enforced pursuant to this subsection, statutes, and rules of the department.
Impose a fine, as provided in s. 500.121, for a violation of a federal standard enforced pursuant to this subsection. In imposing any fine or sanction, whether authorized by this paragraph or by any other law, the department shall consider the degree and extent of harm caused by the violation, the cost of rectifying the damage, the monetary benefit to the violator, whether the violation was willful, and the violator’s compliance record.
Except as expressly prohibited by law, use any of the trained personnel in the various divisions of the department in performing the regulatory and inspection services relating to agriculture.
To make investigations, conduct hearings, and make recommendations concerning all matters relating to the powers, duties, and functions of the department as provided by law.
To cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture and any other state or federal agency in any manner which may be helpful to agriculture in obtaining and disseminating production statistics and market and trade information concerning demand, supply, prevailing prices, and commercial movements of agricultural products and extent of products in storage. The department may compile, publish, and disseminate information and pertinent data on crops, livestock, poultry, and agricultural products and may provide matching funds with other agencies, local, state, or national, for the conduct of these services.
To annually fix inspection and license fees and recording and service charges within maximum limits provided by law to pay the cost of the service performed, to pay the cost of maintenance of reasonable reserves for contingencies, including cost of depository, accounting, disbursement, auditing, and rental of quarters and facilities furnished by the state, and to pay compensation to fruit and vegetable inspectors for work in excess of 40 hours per week at the same rate of pay as received for normal work hours when compensatory time cannot be given as reimbursement for overtime work.
To foster and encourage the standardizing, grading, inspection, labeling, handling, storage, and marketing of agricultural products; to enhance the food safety of tomatoes and, after investigation and public hearings, to cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture, to establish and promulgate standard grades and other standard classifications of and for agricultural products; and to establish and adopt requirements for enhancing food safety, in cooperation with appropriate agencies.
To extend in every practicable way the distribution and sale of Florida agricultural products throughout the markets of the world.
To promote, in the interest of the producer, the distributor, and the consumer, the economical and efficient distribution of agricultural products of this state; and to cooperate with the Department of Commerce of the United States and any other department or agency of the federal or state government for this purpose.
To obtain and furnish information: relating to the selection of shipping routes, adoption of shipping methods, or avoidance of delays in the transportation of agricultural products; or helpful in the solution of other transportation problems connected with the distribution of agricultural products.
To act as adviser to producers and distributors, when requested, to assist them in the economical and efficient distribution of their agricultural products, to encourage cooperative effort among producers to gain economical and efficient production of agricultural products, and to adopt rules establishing comprehensive best management practices for agricultural production and food safety.
To foster and encourage cooperation between producers and distributors in the interest of the general public.
To act as a mediator or arbitrator in any controversy or issue between producers and distributors of any agricultural products concerning the grade or classification of such products.
To protect the agricultural and horticultural interests of the state; and, to that end, it shall enforce those functions, powers, and duties given to it in chapter 581 and all other laws relating thereto.
To inspect apiaries for diseases inimical to bees and beekeeping and enforce the laws relating thereto.
To protect the livestock interests of the state; and, to that end, it shall enforce those functions, powers, and duties given to it in chapter 585 and all other laws relating thereto.
To enforce the state laws and rules relating to:
Fruit and vegetable inspection and grading;
Pesticide spray, residue inspection, and removal;
Registration, labeling, inspection, and analysis of commercial stock feeds and commercial fertilizers;
Classification, inspection, and sale of poultry and eggs;
Registration, inspection, and analysis of gasolines and oils;
Registration, labeling, inspection, and analysis of pesticides;
Registration, labeling, inspection, germination testing, and sale of seeds, both common and certified;
Weights, measures, and standards;
Foods, as set forth in the Florida Food Safety Act;
Inspection and certification of honey;
Sale of liquid fuels;
Licensing of dealers in agricultural products;
Administration and enforcement of all regulatory legislation applying to milk and milk products, ice cream, and frozen desserts;
Recordation and inspection of marks and brands of livestock; and
All other regulatory laws relating to agriculture.
In order to ensure uniform health and safety standards, the adoption of standards and fines in the subject areas of paragraphs (a)-(n) is expressly preempted to the state and the department. Any local government enforcing the subject areas of paragraphs (a)-(n) must use the standards and fines set forth in the pertinent statutes or any rules adopted by the department pursuant to those statutes.
To receive and compile reports on all fruits, vegetables, and other farm products grown in the state, and publish them in a state press that will do so without cost;
To obtain and disseminate information on carriers’ rates;
To collect information on additional market centers and their capacities;
To keep and compile a statement of all shipments moving out of the state;
To keep farmers and producers posted as to the exact conditions existing in the state and the markets of the country;
To cooperate with the United States Government in establishing and maintaining a market news system;
To issue bulletins or other information advising the best method for picking, packing, packaging, and distributing agricultural products and to study all conditions as affecting other states;
To keep in touch with the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., to advise our people what crops to plant or not plant, what markets are overstocked, and through a system of cooperation to aid in development of agricultural interests and protection of Florida’s producers;
To devise such methods as will best carry forward this work, such as inspection of packages and other measures that conform to the marketing system of the Department of Agriculture in Washington;
To publish or issue bulletins listing items for sale or exchange, or wanted by farmers; and
To do all that can be done to bring relief to and aid in the marketing and distribution of Florida’s products.
To instruct the industry in the standardization, grading, packing, processing, loading, refrigeration, routing, diversion, and distribution of farm products;
To carry out research or cooperate with other state or federal agricultural agencies on research work in marketing;
To provide any other information and assistance necessary to the efficient selling of farm products;
To acquire suitable sites and erect necessary marketing facilities and properly equip, maintain, and operate them for the handling of all staple field crops, meats, fruits and vegetables, poultry and dairy products, and all farm and home products and for selling and loading livestock and other activities determined to be beneficial to the production or sale of agricultural products and to lease this space;
To store or refrigerate any meats, vegetables, fruits, poultry, or dairy products; and
To employ managers and other help as may be necessary to operate the plants and market products and to charge for these services in an amount sufficient to cover their costs.
To protect the dairy interests of the state; and, to that end, it shall enforce those functions, powers, and duties given to it in chapters 502 and 503.
To stimulate, encourage, and foster the production and consumption of agricultural and agricultural business products;
To conduct activities that may foster a better understanding and more efficient cooperation among producers, dealers, buyers, food editors, and the consuming public in the promotion and marketing of Florida’s agricultural and agricultural business products; and
To sponsor trade breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners and distribute promotional materials and favors in connection with meetings, conferences, and conventions of dealers, buyers, food editors, and merchandising executives that will assist in the promotion and marketing of Florida’s agricultural and agricultural business products to the consuming public.
The department is authorized to receive and expend donations contributed by private persons for the purpose of covering costs associated with the above described activities.
To declare an emergency when one exists in any matter pertaining to agriculture; to make, adopt, and promulgate rules and issue orders which will be effective during the term of the emergency; and to issue or require to be issued food safety information, pertaining to the emergency, that is based on reliable scientific facts and reliable scientific data. When the Commissioner of Agriculture has declared an agricultural emergency, no county or municipal ordinance relating to any action intended to end the emergency shall be enforced within a county or municipality with respect to such action taken by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services during the agricultural emergency.
To hold hearings, administer oaths, subpoena witnesses and documents, and take testimony in all matters relating to the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of the department. Upon the failure or refusal of any witness to obey any subpoena, the department may petition the circuit court having jurisdiction in the county within which the seat of government is located; and, upon proper showing, the court shall enter an order compelling the witness to appear and testify or produce documentary evidence. The failure to obey the order of the court is punishable as a contempt of court.
To adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement provisions of law conferring duties upon it.
To promulgate rules pertaining to the inspection of quality, the truthful and honest branding of each package shipped, and the prohibiting of any shipper having the benefit of shipping through the facilities of the department who does not strictly observe and obey such rules in the preparation, packing, and shipping of his or her agricultural products.
With the approval of a majority of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, to sell, exchange, convey, or otherwise dispose of any real property owned or held by it when, in its judgment, the property is not needed for the purpose for which the property was held and cannot be put to any other beneficial use by the department. A deed to any real property owned or held by the department, duly executed by the department and witnessed by a majority of the board of trustees, is sufficient to convey all the right, title, and interest of the department or of the state in and to the property described.
To sell, exchange, convey, or otherwise dispose of any personal property and lease any real property owned or held by the department when, in its judgment, the property is not needed for the purpose for which the property was held and cannot be put to any other beneficial use by the department; and to seek, locate, receive, acquire, collect, preserve, exchange, sell, shelter, and exhibit artifacts, relics, and historic items reflective of the history of Florida agriculture.
To incur expenses for membership dues in the national and southern associations of state departments of agriculture and other organizations affiliated with agriculture and for presentment of plaques and framed certificates for outstanding service.
For pollution control purposes, to regulate open burning connected with rural land-clearing, agricultural, or forestry operations, except fires for cold or frost protection.
To advance funds monthly to career service employees to be used for the purchase of official state samples for state examination. Each monthly advance shall be in an amount equal to one-twelfth of the actual expenses paid the position for samples in the previous fiscal year or, in the case of a new position, one-twelfth of the expenses paid for samples of a similar classification in the previous fiscal year; however, in the event of unusual circumstances, such advances may be increased for a period not to exceed 60 days. Advances shall be granted only to career service employees who have executed a proper power of attorney with the department to ensure the collection of such advances if not timely repaid.
In conjunction with its inspection duties under chapters 487, 525, and 576, to notify the Department of Environmental Protection of any tank subject to the registration requirements of chapter 17-61, Florida Administrative Code, for which proof of valid registration is not displayed on the tank, on the dispensing or measuring device connected to it, or, where appropriate, in the office or kiosk of the facility where the tank is located.
To coordinate its programs to maximize the efficient and strategic use of its resources and to provide information to the consuming public.
To receive and accept grants, gifts, and donations to further the mission of the department, except as provided in s. 112.3148.
To assist local volunteer and nonprofit organizations in soliciting, collecting, packaging, or delivering surplus fresh fruit and vegetables for distribution in accordance with s. 570.0725. The department also may coordinate the development of food recovery programs in the production areas of the state using local volunteer and nonprofit organizations.
To adopt policies creating, and providing for the operation of, an employees’ benefit fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 273, the department may deposit moneys received from the disposition of state-owned tangible personal property, specifically livestock maintained and located at the Doyle E. Conner Agricultural Complex, in the employees’ benefit fund.
Under emergency conditions, to authorize the purchase of supplemental nutritional food and drink items, provide meals when personnel cannot leave an emergency incident location, and set temporary meal expenditure limits for employees engaged in physical activity for prolonged periods of time in excess of the rate established by s. 112.061(6), but not to exceed 1$50 per day.
If the department, by its own inquiry or as a result of complaints, has reason to believe that a violation of the laws of the state relating to consumer protection has occurred or is occurring, to conduct an investigation, subpoena witnesses and evidence, and administer oaths and affirmations. If, as a result of the investigation, the department has reason to believe a violation of chapter 501 has occurred, the department with the coordination of the Department of Legal Affairs and any state attorney, if the violation has occurred or is occurring within her or his judicial circuit, shall have the authority to bring an action in accordance with the provisions of chapter 501.
If the department, by its own inquiry or as a result of complaints, has reason to believe that a violation of the laws of the state relating to consumer protection has occurred or is occurring, that the interests of the consumers of this state have been damaged or are being damaged, or that the public health, safety, or welfare is endangered or is likely to be endangered by any consumer product or service, to commence legal proceedings in circuit court to enjoin the act or practice or the sale of the product or service and may seek appropriate relief on behalf of consumers. Upon application by the department, a hearing shall be held within 3 days after the commencement of the proceedings.
To repair or build structures, from existing appropriations authority, notwithstanding chapters 216 and 255, not to exceed a cost of $250,000 per structure. These structures must meet all applicable building codes.
To adopt by rule requirements governing aircraft used for the aerial application of pesticides, fertilizers, or seed, including requirements for recordkeeping, annual aircraft registration, secure storage when not in use, area-of-application information, and reporting any sale, lease, purchase, rental, or transfer of such aircraft to another person.
To adopt by rule requirements governing the aerial applicator’s secure storage of pesticides and fertilizers. Except as provided in chapters 373, 376, and 403, regulation of the use of pesticides and fertilizers by aerial applicators is expressly preempted to the department.
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 287.057(22) that require all agencies to use the online procurement system developed by the Department of Management Services, the department may continue to use its own online system. However, vendors utilizing such system shall be prequalified as meeting mandatory requirements and qualifications and shall remit fees pursuant to s. 287.057(22), and any rules implementing s. 287.057.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 1, ch. 61-407; s. 1, ch. 67-77; ss. 14, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-348; s. 1, ch. 71-340; s. 4, ch. 77-114; s. 1, ch. 77-216; s. 6, ch. 78-95; s. 1, ch. 78-396; s. 3, ch. 84-72; s. 32, ch. 86-159; s. 1, ch. 87-78; s. 2, ch. 88-341; s. 1, ch. 90-323; s. 2, ch. 92-4; s. 9, ch. 92-151; s. 6, ch. 92-291; s. 2, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 94-234; s. 12, ch. 94-335; s. 462, ch. 94-356; s. 35, ch. 97-98; s. 885, ch. 97-103; s. 187, ch. 98-200; s. 6, ch. 98-396; s. 23, ch. 2000-308; s. 22, ch. 2001-279; s. 2, ch. 2001-360; s. 29, ch. 2002-295; s. 13, ch. 2002-404; s. 14, ch. 2005-210; s. 23, ch. 2006-79; s. 11, ch. 2007-67; s. 75, ch. 2009-21; s. 3, ch. 2010-25; s. 37, ch. 2010-151.
Section 1, ch. 2006-41, amended s. 112.061(6)(a) to revise the maximum amount from $50 to $80.
Former ss. 570.35, 570.39, 570.08.
From time to time the commissioner may appoint any advisory committee to assist the department with its duties and responsibilities.
An advisory committee may exist for no more than 3 years, but may be reestablished as necessary.
Each person serving on an advisory committee shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner.
Each advisory committee, whether created by the commissioner or the Legislature, including technical councils, shall be governed by the following provisions, in addition to those specified for that committee:
Composition.—Membership and appointments of advisory committees shall be made by the commissioner in accordance with the criteria set forth in the provisions establishing the committee.
Powers and duties.—Each advisory committee shall have the power and duty to:
Consider and study the entire field relating to its area of responsibility.
Consider all matters submitted to it by the commissioner or the division directors.
Submit proposed legislation and rules to the commissioner.
Advise and consult with the commissioner and the division directors of the department, at their request or upon its own initiative, regarding the promulgation, administration, and enforcement of all laws and rules relating to its area of responsibility.
Suggest policies and practices for the conduct of departmental business which shall be duly considered by the commissioner or division directors.
The advisory committee shall meet at least annually and elect a chair, a vice chair, and a secretary for 1-year terms.
Each advisory committee shall meet at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its membership, at the request of the department, or at the times prescribed by its rules of procedure.
The department shall provide administrative and staff support services to the committee and shall provide suitable space in the offices of the department for the meetings and records of the committee.
In conducting its meetings, each advisory committee shall use accepted rules of procedure. The secretary shall keep a complete record of the proceedings of each meeting, which shall show the names of the members present and the actions taken. These records shall be kept on file with the department, and records and other documents about matters within the jurisdiction of the advisory committee shall be subject to inspection by the members of the advisory committee.
A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum, and action by a majority of a quorum shall be official.
Members of each advisory committee shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
s. 9, ch. 92-151; s. 2, ch. 93-169; s. 12, ch. 94-335; s. 886, ch. 97-103; s. 153, ch. 2010-102.
Former s. 570.07(33), (34).
Florida Agricultural Exposition; responsibility of Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Corrections.—
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Department of Corrections are authorized to construct and equip an agricultural exposition center in the vicinity of Belle Glade in Palm Beach County to be known as “Florida Agricultural Exposition,” to be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a place to demonstrate and sell Florida agricultural and agriculture business products; to attract and inform buyers; to conduct agricultural short courses and conferences; to organize tours in the aid of marketing Florida agricultural products to the domestic, Latin American, and other foreign markets; and to train prisoners of the correctional institutions of the state in agricultural labor and management.
To accomplish the purpose of this section, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Department of Corrections are authorized to receive donations of funds from growers and dealers of agricultural products and their groups and associations, manufacturers and dealers of agriculture business products and their groups and associations thereof, the Federal Government, and other sources. The funds shall be deposited in the State Treasury in a separate trust.
Further, to accomplish the purpose of this section, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is authorized to expend up to $25,000 from the funds of the department, if available.
s. 1, ch. 69-177; ss. 14, 19, 35, ch. 69-106; ss. 1, 2, ch. 70-441; s. 10, ch. 77-120; s. 17, ch. 79-3; s. 3, ch. 93-169.
Commodity distribution; responsibility of department; functions.—
The department shall conduct, supervise, and administer all commodity distribution services that will be carried on using federal or state funds, or funds from any other source, or commodities received and distributed from the United States or any of its agencies.
The department shall determine the benefits each applicant or recipient of assistance is entitled to receive under this chapter, provided that each applicant or recipient is a resident of this state and a citizen of the United States or is an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law.
The department shall cooperate fully with the United States Government and its agencies and instrumentalities so that the department may receive the benefit of all federal financial allotments and assistance possible to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
The department may:
Accept any duties with respect to commodity distribution services as are delegated to it by an agency of the Federal Government or any state, county, or municipal government;
Act as agent of, or contract with, the Federal Government, state government, or any county or municipal government in the administration of commodity distribution services to secure the benefits of any public assistance that is available from the Federal Government or any of its agencies, and in the distribution of funds received from the Federal Government, state government, or any county or municipal government for commodity distribution services within the state; and
Accept from any person or organization all offers of personal services, commodities, or other aid or assistance.
This chapter does not limit, abrogate, or abridge the powers and duties of any other state agency.
s. 54, ch. 92-58; s. 4, ch. 93-169.
Food recovery; legislative intent; department functions.—
The Legislature finds that:
Millions of pounds of surplus and slightly blemished fresh fruit and vegetables are destroyed each year, while many 1residents of this state go each day without food.
Food recovery programs can beneficially aid residents of this state who lack the means to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables by providing such surplus food to governmental agencies and local volunteer and nonprofit organizations for distribution to those in need, rather than continuing to see it destroyed.
The state, through the Commissioner of Agriculture, should assist food recovery programs, when needed, to aid in their establishment and to support their continued and efficient operation.
A food recovery program is a local, volunteer-based organization near an agricultural production area of the state that is established for the exclusive purpose of soliciting, collecting, packaging, and delivering surplus fresh fruit and vegetables for distribution in communities throughout the state. Distribution of the food to the needy would be accomplished by governmental agencies and volunteer and nonprofit organizations.
In helping to coordinate the establishment of food recovery programs, the department may:
Identify suppliers, volunteers, and nonprofit organizations in the community to ascertain the level of interest in establishing a food recovery program.
Provide facilities and other resources for initial organizational meetings.
Provide direct and indirect support for the fledgling program, upon demonstration of serious interest at the local level.
The department may provide direct and indirect support to food recovery programs that are unable to obtain specific assistance from their communities or other sources by loaning equipment, facilities, and staff resources for the collection, packaging, storage, and transportation of donated food, as needed.
The department shall account for the direct and indirect costs associated with supporting food recovery programs throughout the state. It shall submit an electronic report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by November 1, for the previous fiscal year, when state funds are spent for this purpose. The report must include, but need not be limited to, the identity of organizations receiving funds, the amount of funds disbursed to these organizations, other uses of food recovery funds, and estimates of the amount of fresh produce recovered.
It is the intent of the Legislature that each potential donor, to the greatest extent possible and practicable, make available to any bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization, to any representative or volunteer acting on behalf of such an organization, to an uncompensated person acting in a philanthropic manner providing services similar to those of such an organization, or to a transporter any surplus or excess canned or perishable food for use by such an organization or person to feed homeless persons or other persons who are in need of food and are otherwise unable to provide food for themselves. In achieving this intent, the following provisions must be followed:
Each donor shall make every reasonable effort to contact bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations in the community in which the donor operates in order to provide for the collection by such organizations of any surplus or excess canned food or perishable food from the donor.
Each bona fide charitable or nonprofit organization in this state which provides, as a part of the services that the organization provides to the community in which it operates, food for persons who are in need of food or are otherwise unable to provide food for themselves, or which collects and transports such food to such organizations, shall make every reasonable effort to contact any donors within the organization’s area of operations for purposes of collecting any surplus or excess canned food or perishable food for use in providing such services.
For public information purposes, the department shall develop a public information brochure detailing the need of food recovery programs, the benefit of food recovery programs, the manner in which such organizations may become involved in food recovery programs, the protection afforded to such programs under s. 768.136, and the food recovery entities or food banks that exist in the state. This brochure must be updated annually.
s. 2, ch. 94-234; s. 13, ch. 94-335; s. 1, ch. 98-283; s. 154, ch. 2010-102.
As created by s. 2, ch. 94-234. The enactment by s. 13, ch. 94-335, used the term “Florida citizens” instead of the term “residents of this state.”
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, law enforcement officers.—
The commissioner may create an Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement under the supervision of a senior manager exempt under s. 110.205 in the Senior Management Service. The commissioner may designate law enforcement officers, as necessary, to enforce any criminal law or conduct any criminal investigation or to enforce the provisions of any statute or any other laws of this state. Officers appointed under this section shall have the primary responsibility for enforcing laws relating to agriculture and consumer services, as outlined 1in this section, and 2have jurisdiction over violations of law which threaten the overall security and safety of this state’s agriculture and consumer services. The primary responsibilities of officers appointed under this section include the enforcement of laws relating to:
Domesticated animals, including livestock, poultry, aquaculture products, and other wild or domesticated animals or animal products.
Farms, farm equipment, livery tack, citrus or citrus products, or horticultural products.
Trespass, littering, forests, forest fires, and open burning.
Damage to or theft of forest products.
Enforcement of a marketing order.
Protection of consumers.
Civil traffic offenses as 3provided in state law.
The use of alcohol or drugs which occurs on property owned, managed, or occupied by the department.
Any emergency situation in which the life, limb, or property of any person is placed in immediate and serious danger.
Any crime incidental to or related to paragraphs (a)-(i).
The responsibilities of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
Each law enforcement officer shall meet the qualifications of law enforcement officers under s. 943.13 and shall be certified as a law enforcement officer by the Department of Law Enforcement under the provisions of chapter 943. Upon certification, each law enforcement officer is subject to and shall have the same arrest and other authority provided for law enforcement officers generally in chapter 901 and shall have statewide jurisdiction. Each officer shall also have arrest authority as provided for state law enforcement officers in s. 901.15. Such officers have full law enforcement powers granted to other peace officers of this state, including the authority to make arrests, carry firearms, serve court process, and seize contraband and the proceeds of illegal activities.
The commissioner may also appoint part-time, reserve, or auxiliary law enforcement officers under chapter 943.
All department law enforcement officers, upon certification under s. 943.1395, shall have the same right and authority to carry arms as do the sheriffs of this state.
Each law enforcement officer in the state who is certified pursuant to chapter 943 has the same authority as law enforcement officers designated in this section to enforce the laws of this state as described in subsection (1).
s. 7, ch. 92-291; s. 5, ch. 93-169; s. 2, ch. 95-141; s. 42, ch. 98-34; s. 111, ch. 2002-20; s. 47, ch. 2002-295.
As amended by s. 47, ch. 2002-295. The amendment by s. 111, ch. 2002-20, substitutes the word “below” for the words “in this section.”
As amended by s. 47, ch. 2002-295. The amendment by s. 111, ch. 2002-20, does not include the words “have jurisdiction over.”
As amended by s. 47, ch. 2002-295. The amendment by s. 111, ch. 2002-20, substituted the words “outlined under” for the words “provided in.”
As enacted by s. 47, ch. 2002-295. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, “Statutory Construction.” Paragraph (k) was also enacted by s. 111, ch. 2002-20, and that version reads:
(k) Any law over which the Commissioner of Agriculture has responsibility.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; water policy coordination.—
The commissioner may create an Office of Water Coordination under the supervision of a senior manager exempt under s. 110.205 in the Senior Management Service. The commissioner may designate the bureaus and positions in the various organizational divisions of the department that report to this office relating to any matter over which the department has jurisdiction in matters relating to water policy affecting agriculture, application of such policies, and coordination of such matters with state and federal agencies.
s. 2, ch. 95-317.
Water supply agreements; department negotiation.—
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is authorized to negotiate agreements with landowners for water supply in rural areas, provided that:
The water to be supplied is currently available to property owned or controlled by the department; and
The intended use and quantity are not inconsistent with any permit required under part II of chapter 373 for the source of supply in effect at the time of the agreement.
s. 37, ch. 2000-308.
Environmental Stewardship Certification Program.—
The department may, by rule, establish the Environmental Stewardship Certification Program consistent with this section. A rule adopted under this section must be developed in consultation with state universities, agricultural organizations, and other interested parties.
The program must:
Be integrated, to the maximum extent practicable, with programs that are sponsored by agricultural organizations or state universities.
Be designed to recognize and promote agricultural operations or homeowner practices that demonstrate exemplary resource management that is related to environmental stewardship.
Include a process to periodically review a certification to ensure compliance with the program requirements, including implementation by the certificateholder.
Require periodic continuing education in relevant environmental stewardship issues in order to maintain certification.
The department shall provide an agricultural certification under this program for implementation of one or more of the following criteria:
A voluntary agreement between an agency and an agricultural producer for environmental improvement or water-resource protection.
A conservation plan that meets or exceeds the requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Best management practices adopted by rule pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(c) or s. 570.085(2).
The Soil and Water Conservation Council created by s. 582.06 may develop and recommend to the department for adoption additional criteria for receipt of an agricultural certification which may include, but not be limited to:
Comprehensive management of all on-farm resources.
Promotion of environmental awareness and responsible resource stewardship in agricultural or urban communities.
Completion of a curriculum of study that is related to environmental issues and regulation.
If needed, the department and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida may jointly develop a curriculum that provides instruction concerning environmental issues pertinent to agricultural certification and deliver such curriculum to, and certify its completion by, any person seeking certification or to maintain certification.
The department may enter into agreements with third-party providers to administer or implement all or part of the program.
s. 15, ch. 2005-210; s. 68, ch. 2006-1.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; agricultural water conservation.—
The department shall establish an agricultural water conservation program that includes the following:
A cost-share program, coordinated where appropriate with the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal, state, regional, and local agencies, for irrigation system retrofit and application of mobile irrigation laboratory evaluations for water conservation as provided in this section and, where applicable, for water quality improvement pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(c).
The development and implementation of voluntary interim measures or best management practices, adopted by rule, which provide for increased efficiencies in the use and management of water for agricultural production. In the process of developing and adopting rules for interim measures or best management practices, the department shall consult with the Department of Environmental Protection and the water management districts. Such rules may also include a system to assure the implementation of the practices, including recordkeeping requirements. As new information regarding efficient agricultural water use and management becomes available, the department shall reevaluate and revise as needed, the interim measures or best management practices. The interim measures or best management practices may include irrigation retrofit, implementation of mobile irrigation laboratory evaluations and recommendations, water resource augmentation, and integrated water management systems for drought management and flood control and should, to the maximum extent practicable, be designed to qualify for regulatory incentives and other incentives, as determined by the agency having applicable statutory authority.
Provision of assistance to the water management districts in the development and implementation of a consistent, to the extent practicable, methodology for the efficient allocation of water for agricultural irrigation.
s. 56, ch. 2001-279; s. 8, ch. 2005-166; s. 15, ch. 2005-291.
The commissioner shall appoint an assistant commissioner of agriculture, who shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure. Before beginning the duties of the office, the assistant commissioner shall take and subscribe to the same oath of office as required of state officers in s. 5, Art. II of the Florida Constitution. The assistant commissioner shall be a person qualified by training and experience for the performance of the duties of the office.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 33, ch. 69-216; s. 1, ch. 74-204; s. 8, ch. 92-291; s. 41, ch. 98-34.
The commissioner may appoint no more than three deputy commissioners, who shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure. The deputy commissioners shall be responsible for the duties assigned by the commissioner or assistant commissioner.
s. 9, ch. 92-291; s. 6, ch. 93-169.
The commissioner shall appoint an inspector general, who shall be the inspector general as required in s. 20.055, who shall be directly responsible to the commissioner and shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner. The inspector general shall be responsible for internal affairs investigations, management reviews, and grievances and any other investigations as necessary. The office of the inspector general shall see that all the rules issued by the department are strictly observed by all persons connected with the department. The inspector general and inspectors may enter any place where the department has an office and may review files, consult with employees, or obtain any information as necessary to conduct an investigation. The inspector general and inspectors shall be responsible for criminal and administrative investigation of matters relating to the department.
s. 10, ch. 92-291; s. 6, ch. 95-153.
The department may have a legal staff of full-time attorneys, one of whom shall be general counsel.
The attorneys of the department shall represent and appear for the department at all actions and proceedings involving any question under this chapter or within the jurisdiction of the department under any general or special law or under or in reference to any act, order, or proceedings of or before the department, and shall, when directed, intervene, if possible, in behalf of the department in any action or proceeding involving or relating to any matter within the jurisdiction or powers of the department.
The several prosecuting attorneys of the state shall prosecute all criminal violations of the agricultural laws of this state upon the request of the department.
Counsel shall act as counsel for any officer of the department in the conduct of a hearing, investigation, or inquiry executed under authority of the department or as provided in this chapter; advise any officer of the department, when so requested, in regard to all matters in connection with his or her powers and duties; and perform generally all duties and services as counsel of the department which may be reasonably required of them.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 61-407; ss. 11, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 146, ch. 73-333; ss. 1, 2, ch. 75-252; s. 7, ch. 93-169; s. 887, ch. 97-103.
Directors; oath of office.—
Before entering upon the duties of his or her office, each director of the department shall take and subscribe to the same oath of office as required of state officers by s. 5, Art. II of the Florida Constitution. Such oath must be filed with the Department of State.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 33, ch. 69-216; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 8, ch. 93-169; s. 888, ch. 97-103; s. 43, ch. 98-34.
Other officers and employees.—
There shall be employed or appointed such agents, inspectors, chemists, experts, statisticians, accountants, stenographers, clerks and other assistants and employees, as the department shall deem necessary for the exercise and the performance of the duties of the department under law. Such officers and employees shall be appointed by the department subject to personnel practices which shall be adopted by it and administered by the Division of Administration. The officers and employees of the department who are employed when this chapter takes effect shall continue their employment during the pleasure of the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106.
Salary of commissioner, officers, and employees; expenses.—
The annual salary of the commissioner shall be the amount as provided by law. The salaries of the assistant commissioner, counsel, directors, and all other officers and employees of the department shall be fixed by the department within the limits of funds appropriated for them.
The reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses of the commissioner, assistant commissioner, counsel, directors, and other officers and employees of the department, while actually engaged in the performance of their duties, outside of the City of Tallahassee, or if any such officer or employee be in charge of or regularly employed at a branch office of the department, the reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses outside the place such branch office is located, shall be paid from the State Treasury after audit by the Chief Financial Officer of vouchers approved by the department in the amount provided in s. 112.061.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 9, ch. 93-169; s. 736, ch. 2003-261.
Seal of department.—
The department shall have an official seal which shall be used for the authentication of the orders and proceedings of the department and for such other purposes as the department may prescribe.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 10, ch. 93-169.
Access to places of business and vehicles.—
Any duly authorized employee of the department shall have full access at all reasonable hours to inspect:
Places of business;
Motor vehicles, except private passenger automobiles with no trailer in tow, travel trailers, camping trailers, van conversions, and motor homes as defined in s. 320.01(1)(b), or pickup trucks not carrying agricultural, horticultural, or livestock products and which have visible access to the entire cargo area, or city, county, state, or federal vehicles;
Truck and motor vehicle trailers; and
which are used or could be used in the production, manufacture, storage, sale, or transportation within the state of any food product; any agricultural, horticultural, or livestock product; or any article or product with respect to which any authority is conferred by law on the department; and
All records or documents pertaining thereto.
The department may examine and open any package or container of any kind containing or believed to contain any article or product which may be transported, manufactured, sold, or offered for sale in violation of the provisions of this chapter, the rules of the department, or the laws which the department enforces and may inspect the contents and take samples for analysis.
If access is refused by the owner, agent, manager, or other person in charge of any premises, or by the owner, driver, operator, or other person in charge of any vehicle, the department employee may apply for, obtain, and execute a search warrant for regulatory inspection under the provisions of this section and ss. 933.20-933.30. The provisions of chapter 933 relating to probable cause do not apply to regulatory inspections under this section. Routine inspections of vehicles shall be conducted in accordance with the administrative standards, including neutral criteria, for conducting these inspections set forth by rules of the department.
It is unlawful for the driver of any vehicle, other than one exempted in sub-subparagraph (1)(a)1.g. or one authorized pursuant to subsection (5), to pass any official agricultural inspection station without first stopping and submitting the vehicle for inspection. A violation of this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Every law enforcement officer is authorized to assist employees of the department in the enforcement of this section. Every law enforcement officer is authorized to stop and detain any vehicle and its driver if the driver has failed to comply with this section until an employee of the department arrives to conduct the inspection required or permitted by law. The law enforcement officer may require the driver to return with the vehicle to the agricultural inspection station where the driver failed to stop the vehicle for inspection.
No civil or criminal liability shall be imposed upon any person who is authorized to enforce or assist in enforcement of the provisions of this section and who is lawfully engaged in such activity.
The department shall establish by rule conditions and criteria by which nonagricultural laden vehicles may pass an agricultural inspection station without stopping for inspection.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 1, ch. 75-215; s. 1, ch. 78-180; s. 1, ch. 79-371; s. 1, ch. 79-587; s. 1, ch. 83-237; s. 11, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 93-270; s. 3, ch. 95-141; s. 36, ch. 97-98; s. 889, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2003-181.
Interference with department employees in performance of duties.—
No person shall attempt, by means of any threat or violence, to deter or prevent an inspector, agent, or other employee of the department from performing any duties imposed by law upon him or her or the department; and no person shall impersonate an inspector, agent, or other employee of the department. Whoever violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 584, ch. 71-136; s. 12, ch. 93-169; s. 890, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 2003-181.
Division of work between department and experiment station and extension service.—
All of the regulatory work of the state relating to the protection of agricultural interests shall be conducted by the department and all of the demonstrational work shall be conducted by the Extension Service of the University of Florida. The experimental and research work pertaining to agriculture shall be conducted by the Experiment Station of the University of Florida.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 3, ch. 61-407; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106.
Organization of departmental work.—
In the assignment of functions to the 12 divisions of the department created in s. 570.29, the department shall retain within the Division of Administration, in addition to executive functions, those powers and duties enumerated in s. 570.30. The department shall organize the work of the other 11 divisions in such a way as to secure maximum efficiency in the conduct of the department. The divisions created in s. 570.29 are solely to make possible the definite placing of responsibility. The department shall be conducted as a unit in which every employee, including each division director, is assigned a definite workload, and there shall exist between division directors a spirit of cooperative effort to accomplish the work of the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 77-289; s. 21, ch. 2000-364; s. 51, ch. 2001-89.
Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund.—
There is created in the office of the commissioner the Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund. Funds in the trust fund may be made available for the promotion, advancement, and protection of agriculture in this state, including maintaining or increasing market share and suppressing or eradicating wildfire, animal or plant disease, insect infestation, or a plant or pest that endangers or threatens agriculture.
s. 1, ch. 98-110; s. 6, ch. 99-391; ss. 46, 75, ch. 2004-269; s. 11, ch. 2008-107.
Funding of Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund.—
In fiscal year 1999-2000 and each year thereafter, there shall be appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund an amount equal to the previous year’s transfers into the trust fund from ss. 206.606 and 206.608.
s. 8, ch. 98-114; s. 70, ch. 2000-154.
General Inspection Trust Fund.—
All donations and all inspection fees and other funds authorized and received from whatever source in the enforcement of the inspection laws administered by the department shall be paid into the General Inspection Trust Fund of Florida, which is created in the office of the Chief Financial Officer. All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of the inspection laws shall be paid from this fund as other funds are paid from the State Treasury. A percentage of all revenue deposited in this fund, including transfers from any subsidiary accounts, shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund pursuant to chapter 215, except that funds collected for marketing orders shall pay at the rate of 4 percent.
For the 2010-2011 fiscal year only and notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in addition to the spending authorized in subsection (1), moneys in the General Inspection Trust Fund may be appropriated for programs operated by the department which are related to the programs authorized by this chapter. This subsection expires July 1, 2011.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 4, ch. 61-493; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 9, ch. 83-339; s. 13, ch. 93-169; s. 738, ch. 2003-261; s. 27, ch. 2007-73; s. 39, ch. 2008-153; s. 3, ch. 2009-78; s. 34, ch. 2009-82; s. 30, ch. 2010-153.
Section 30, ch. 2010-153, amended subsection (2) “[i]n order to implement Specific Appropriations 1378 through 1538 of the 2010-2011 General Appropriations Act.”
Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund.—
The Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund is created within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The department may deposit into the trust fund receipts and revenues received as a result of federal criminal, administrative, or civil forfeiture proceedings and receipts and revenues received from federal asset-sharing programs. The trust fund is exempt from the service charges imposed by s. 215.20.
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
s. 1, ch. 98-393; s. 2, ch. 99-72; s. 11, ch. 2001-65.
Conservation and Recreation Lands Program Trust Fund of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.—
There is created a Conservation and Recreation Lands Program Trust Fund within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The purpose of the trust fund is to provide for the management of conservation and recreation lands by the department. Funds may be appropriated to the trust fund from the Conservation and Recreation Lands Trust Fund in the Department of Environmental Protection, as created by s. 259.032(2), or from such other sources as the Legislature may determine.
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
s. 1, ch. 2000-287; s. 2, ch. 2004-132; ss. 47, 75, ch. 2004-269.
Publication of department’s bulletins, publications, and reports.—
The Divisions of Administration and Marketing and Development may publish bulletins or other publications and reports containing data and statistics and information relating to:
Agriculture, agricultural production, agricultural labor, and the agricultural conditions of the state, and their development and improvement to increase farm production and values.
The sources, supply, and prices of food; their storage and accumulation at different places; and the quantity and location of the available supply.
The market prices of foods.
Facilities afforded for transportation, marketing, and distribution of foods within the state.
Matters pertaining generally to the production of foods, food safety, the actual food value of articles used in food, and the sale and distribution to the consumer.
Investigations, hearings, and inquiries conducted as provided in this chapter; conclusions reached; and the orders and recommendations made.
Rules and orders of the department.
Any other matter of an agricultural nature which the department deems proper and that is not within the jurisdiction of the agricultural experiment station or the agricultural extension service.
Such bulletins, publications, reports, rules, and orders and the information contained therein shall be published and distributed in the manner deemed best by the department for the dissemination of knowledge as to the agricultural interest of the state and the production, sale, purchase, storage, marketing, and distribution of food, and the economic and food value of articles used as food. The cost of publishing these materials shall be paid in the same manner as other expenses of the department. Copies of these materials may also be sold to the public at their estimated cost, in accordance with a schedule of charges adopted by the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 17, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 73-283; s. 2, ch. 77-289; s. 14, ch. 93-169; s. 2, ch. 93-270; s. 35, ch. 2001-63.
Service of process.—
Process against the department shall be served on the commissioner or in the commissioner’s absence, on the assistant commissioner.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 891, ch. 97-103.
State Agricultural Advisory Council.—
COMPOSITION.—The State Agricultural Advisory Council is hereby created in the department.
The council shall be composed of 33 members with an alternate for each member. Members and their alternates shall be appointed by the commissioner. The dean for extension and the dean for research, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Florida, and the Vice President for Agricultural Affairs at the University of Florida shall be nonvoting, ex officio members of the council.
Membership shall include one citizen-at-large member and alternate who shall be representative of the views of the general public toward agriculture and its activities, but who is not actively engaged in any agricultural pursuit, and one member and alternate qualified to represent each of the 32 agricultural or trade interests enumerated in this section.
Producers or growers who are actively engaged in the agricultural areas of:
Persons actively engaged in the trade of:
Food processing and canning, other than meat or citrus;
Independent agricultural markets;
Meat processing or packing;
Retail food stores.
Distributors of petroleum or petroleum products.
Growers and processors of sugarcane.
With the exception of the citizen-at-large member and alternate, each member and alternate shall be selected from no fewer than two nor more than three nominees submitted by recognized statewide organizations representing each agricultural or trade interest enumerated in this section. In the absence of nominations, the commissioner shall appoint persons who otherwise meet the qualifications for nomination and appointment to the council.
On or after January 15, 1988, alternates shall be appointed for each member and shall serve as alternates for the remainder of the corresponding members’ terms. As terms of current members expire, members and their alternates shall be appointed for 4-year terms and shall serve until their successors are duly qualified and appointed. A vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of an unexpired term in the same manner as an initial appointment.
An alternate member shall have all the rights, privileges, and powers of the member for whom he or she is the alternate when that member is absent from this council or any other council to which the member is appointed by designation of his or her position on this council.
Any member of the council who fails to attend three consecutive council meetings without good cause may be removed from the council by the commissioner.
POWERS AND DUTIES; MEETINGS; PROCEDURES; RECORDS; COMPENSATION.—The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the State Agricultural Advisory Council, and per diem and reimbursement of expenses of council members, shall be governed by the provisions of s. 570.0705 relating to advisory committees established within the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 1, ch. 61-224; s. 1, ch. 63-395; s. 1, ch. 65-459; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 77-71; s. 5, ch. 77-108; s. 1, ch. 78-24; s. 1, ch. 78-196; s. 4, ch. 78-323; ss. 1, 2, ch. 80-11; ss. 1, 4, 5, ch. 81-62; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 7, ch. 84-90; s. 1, ch. 85-37; ss. 2, 4, 5, ch. 87-36; s. 2, ch. 90-323; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 92-291; s. 15, ch. 93-169; s. 14, ch. 94-335; s. 892, ch. 97-103.
This act may be cited as the “Agricultural Economic Development Act.”
ss. 1, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
Definitions relating to Agricultural Economic Development Act.—
For purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
“Agriculturally depressed area” means a rural area which has declining profitability from agricultural enterprises and one or more of the following characteristics:
A stable or declining population.
A stable or declining real per capita income.
A traditional economy based on agriculture or extraction of solid minerals.
A low ad valorem tax base.
A need for agribusiness and leadership training.
Crop losses or economic depression resulting from a natural disaster or socioeconomic conditions or events which negatively impact a crop.
“Assistance” means financial or nonfinancial assistance issued pursuant to the provisions of this act.
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture.
“Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“Financial assistance” means the providing of funds to an agribusiness.
“Nonfinancial assistance” means the providing of personnel to work with an agribusiness to establish an infrastructure, including, but not limited to, the development of an accounting system, management procedures, and a marketing plan. Nonfinancial assistance shall also include the providing of equipment.
ss. 2, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 12, ch. 92-291; s. 24, ch. 2000-308.
Agricultural Economic Development Program; legislative intent.—
There is created within the department the Agricultural Economic Development Program. The purpose of this program shall be to promote and coordinate efficient and beneficial agricultural economic development within agriculturally depressed areas of the state.
ss. 3, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; powers and duties.—
For the accomplishment of the purposes specified in this act, the department shall have all powers and duties necessary, including, but not limited to, the power and duty to:
Identify and coordinate with all state agencies that can assist in agricultural economic development.
Administer, with approval of the commissioner, agricultural economic development funds appropriated to the department.
Identify, develop, and collect sources of funding for the initiation of agricultural economic development projects.
Facilitate economic growth through the development of agribusinesses such as value-added processing plants and associated enterprises using raw products which are produced in the state.
Accept, expend, and utilize any gift, grant of money, or property provided to the department.
Provide assistance pursuant to appropriations for agricultural economic development approved by the Legislature.
Establish procedures and circumstances for repayment of financial assistance by an assisted agribusiness.
On or before November 1 of each year, submit an annual report to the chairs of the House of Representatives and Senate committees on agriculture. The annual report shall include, but not be limited to:
A list of all projects that received assistance during the previous fiscal year, the needs each project was designed to address, the type of assistance provided, and the benefits derived from the assistance.
The business plans of projects receiving assistance, including the proposed schedule for repayment of funds by assisted agribusinesses.
ss. 4, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 13, ch. 92-291; s. 893, ch. 97-103; s. 24, ch. 2001-279.
Interaction with other economic development agencies and groups.—
Because interagency and local community cooperation and sharing of available resources and expertise is crucial to the success of an agricultural economic development program, the department shall interact with federal and state agencies, commissions, boards, and advisory groups that have programs and interests in agricultural economic development.
ss. 5, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
Agricultural economic development funding.—
Funds appropriated for the purposes specified in this act shall be used for the following:
Employment of personnel and payment of associated overhead, equipment, and supply costs.
Stimulating and assisting agribusiness entrepreneurship and new product development.
Feasibility studies and consulting contracts for the development of agribusinesses and value-added processes.
Issuance to approved agribusinesses, including any funds from private sources.
ss. 6, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
Promulgation of rules.—
In conjunction with funds specifically appropriated for the purposes specified in this act, the department shall begin to promulgate rules no later than January 1, 1992, pursuant to s. 120.54, pertaining to:
Formal notification procedures for the availability of assistance, including publication in the Florida Administrative Weekly pursuant to s. 120.55.
Written evaluation criteria for selecting project proposals to receive assistance. The criteria for eligibility of assistance shall include a written business plan delineating the economic viability of the proposed project, including the financial commitment by project participants and a schedule for repayment of agricultural economic development funds.
Procedures for repayment of financial assistance by an assisted agribusiness into the General Inspection Trust Fund within the department. Repayment of financial assistance shall be based upon a percentage of future profits until repayment is complete.
Funding procedures for projects eligible for assistance. These procedures shall include the amount of funding, the limits and requirements for the objects of expenditure, and the duration of assistance.
Other subject matter pertaining to the implementation of this act.
ss. 7, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
Agricultural Economic Development Project Review Committee; powers and duties.—
There is created an Agricultural Economic Development Project Review Committee consisting of five members appointed by the commissioner. The members shall be appointed based upon the recommendations submitted by each entity represented on the committee and shall include:
The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee.
One representative from the Farm Credit Service.
One representative from Enterprise Florida, Inc.
One representative from the Florida Farm Bureau Federation.
One agricultural economist from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences or from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
The committee shall:
Review each application for assistance that meets the basic program criteria.
Make recommendations to the commissioner regarding all aspects of each eligible application, including the acceptance or rejection of each application.
Prioritize the applications recommended for assistance.
Forward all written comments and recommendations to the commissioner, which shall be included in the annual report of the department.
If the commissioner does not accept the recommendations or priorities of the review committee, the annual report of the department shall include justification for any or all rejections.
ss. 8, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 92-291; s. 894, ch. 97-103; s. 25, ch. 2000-308.
Agricultural Economic Development Program disaster loans and grants and aid.—
USE OF LOAN FUNDS.—
Loan funds to agricultural producers who have experienced losses from a natural disaster or a socioeconomic condition or event may be used to:
Restore or replace essential physical property or remove debris from essential physical property.
Pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year.
Pay essential family living expenses.
Restructure farm debts.
To be eligible, agricultural producers must have a parcel or parcels of land in production not exceeding 300 acres.
Funds may be issued as direct loans, or as loan guarantees for up to 90 percent of the total loan, in amounts not less than $30,000 nor more than $300,000. Applicants must provide at least 10 percent equity.
For purposes of this subsection, the term:
“Losses” means loss or damage to crops, agricultural products, agricultural facilities, infrastructure, or farmworker housing.
“Essential physical property” means fences, equipment, structural production facilities such as shade houses and greenhouses, other agricultural facilities, infrastructure, or farmworker housing.
ELIGIBLE CROPS.—Crops eligible for the emergency loan program include:
Crops grown for human consumption.
Crops planted and grown for livestock consumption, including, but not limited to, grain, seed, and forage crops.
Crops grown for fiber, except for trees.
Specialty crops, such as seafood and aquaculture, including, but not limited to, the products of shellfish cultivation and harvesting, ornamental fish farming, and commercial fishing; floricultural or ornamental nursery crops; Christmas trees; turf for sod; industrial crops; and seed crops used to produce eligible crops.
FARMING INFORMATION.—A borrower must keep complete and acceptable farm records and present them as proof of production levels. A borrower must operate in accordance with a farm plan that he or she develops and that is approved by the commissioner. A borrower may be required to participate in a financial management training program and obtain crop insurance.
LOAN APPLICATION.—In order to qualify for a loan under this section, an applicant must submit an application to the department within 90 days after the date the natural disaster or socioeconomic condition or event occurs or the crop damage becomes apparent. An applicant must be a citizen of the United States and a bona fide resident of the state and must also demonstrate the need for economic assistance and demonstrate that he or she has the ability to repay the loan.
LOAN SECURITY REQUIREMENTS.—All loans must be secured. A first lien is required on all property or product acquired, produced, or refinanced with loan funds. The specific type of collateral required may vary depending upon the loan purpose, repayment ability, and the particular circumstances of the applicant.
LOAN REPAYMENT.—Repayment of loans for crops, livestock, and non-real-estate losses shall normally be made within 7 years or, in special circumstances, within 20 years. Loans for physical losses to real estate and buildings shall not exceed 30 years. Borrowers are expected to return to conventional credit sources when they are financially able. Loans are a temporary source of credit, and borrowers must be reviewed periodically to determine whether they can return to conventional credit.
GRANTS AND AID.—The department shall establish a grant program to provide aid to agribusinesses to assist in market development.
s. 26, ch. 2000-308; s. 25, ch. 2001-279; s. 13, ch. 2006-289.
The department shall include the following divisions:
Agricultural Environmental Services.
Fruit and Vegetables.
Marketing and Development.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 8, ch. 77-108; s. 3, ch. 77-289; s. 15, ch. 92-291; s. 22, ch. 2000-364; s. 50, ch. 2001-89.
Division of Administration; powers and duties.—
The Division of Administration shall render services required by the department and its other divisions, or by the commissioner in the exercise of constitutional and cabinet responsibilities, that can advantageously and effectively be centralized and administered and any other function of the department that is not specifically assigned by law to some other division. The duties of this division include, but are not limited to:
Conducting all of the accounting and budgeting work of the department, including, but not restricted to, budget preparation and planning, revenue, auditing, payroll, property, inventories, insurance coverage and claims, federal funds, fixed construction, and all other contracts and grants.
Conducting a sound personnel management program for the department, including, but not restricted to, the handling of all official personnel actions, records, training, recruiting, organizational changes, and employee relations and any other personnel matters.
Disseminating information concerning the programs and activities of the department as set forth in s. 570.21.
Researching and disseminating information concerning the constitutional and cabinet responsibilities of the commissioner.
Providing electronic data processing and management information systems support for the department.
Providing support for the department, including, but not limited to, mailing, printing, purchasing, maintenance, supplies inventory, communications, and such other services as may be assigned.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 4, ch. 61-407; ss. 4, 14, 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 77-289; s. 229, ch. 79-400; s. 3, ch. 84-165; s. 16, ch. 92-291; s. 16, ch. 93-169.
The director of the Division of Administration shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
It shall be the duty of the director to supervise, direct and coordinate the activities provided in s. 570.30.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 74-204; s. 17, ch. 92-291.
Division of Plant Industry; powers and duties.—
The duties of the Division of Plant Industry include, but are not limited to:
Identifying insects, mites, and mollusks submitted; surveying agricultural and horticultural crops to determine the presence of insect, mite, or mollusk populations; and investigating methods of control, eradication, and prevention of dissemination of insect, mite, or mollusk pests.
Identifying plant diseases from samples submitted; surveying agricultural and horticultural crops to determine the presence of plant diseases; and investigating methods of control, eradication, and prevention of dissemination of plant diseases.
Identifying nematodes submitted; surveying agricultural and horticultural crops to determine the presence of nematode population; and investigating methods of control, eradication, and prevention of dissemination of nematode pests.
Enforcing the laws of the state and the rules of the department relating to honeybees and the control and eradication of honeybee pests and unwanted races of honeybees.
Surveying for all plant pests, inspecting all plants or plant products grown or held in any area of the state, and enforcing the laws of the state and the rules of the department pertaining to plants and plant products.
Conducting plant pest and noxious weed eradication and control programs and all plant pest surveys associated with eradication and control.
Testing citrus trees for diseases and desirable horticultural characteristics; registering trees meeting the requirements of the test; maintaining a source of budwood of the superior, tested varieties for distribution to the citrus industry; verifying propagations of citrus varieties and special rootstocks for growers when requested; and maintaining appropriate records.
Developing, investigating, and implementing new ideas, techniques, and methods for the survey, detection, control, and eradication of plant pests.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 65-459; ss. 4, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 79-127; s. 4, ch. 84-165; s. 1, ch. 87-17; s. 17, ch. 93-169.
Director; qualifications; duties.—
The director of the Division of Plant Industry shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
The director shall be responsible for protecting the plant industry of the state, and shall, under the direction of the commissioner, direct, coordinate, and enforce the activities described in this chapter, in chapters 581 and 586, and in other chapters and applicable rules.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-389; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 2, ch. 79-127; s. 18, ch. 92-291; s. 18, ch. 93-169.
Plant Industry Technical Council.—
COMPOSITION.—The Plant Industry Technical Council is hereby created in the department and shall be composed of 11 members as follows:
The citrus, vegetable, ornamental horticulture, foliage plants, tropical fruits, commercial flower grower, turfgrass, forestry, apiary, and citizen-at-large representatives who serve on the State Agricultural Advisory Council and one additional representative from the citrus fruit industry who shall be appointed by the commissioner for a 4-year term or until his or her successor is duly qualified and appointed.
The additional citrus fruit representative shall be appointed subject to the same qualifications and by the same procedure as prescribed in s. 570.23 for membership to the council by the citrus representative. If a vacancy occurs with regard to this position, it shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the same manner as an initial appointment.
POWERS AND DUTIES; MEETINGS; PROCEDURES; RECORDS; COMPENSATION.—The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the Plant Industry Technical Council, and per diem and reimbursement of expenses of council members, shall be governed by the provisions of s. 570.0705 relating to advisory committees established within the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 5, ch. 61-407; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 70-389; s. 2, ch. 77-71; s. 9, ch. 77-108; s. 4, ch. 78-323; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 81-63; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 49, ch. 83-216; s. 2, ch. 83-265; ss. 1, 6, 7, ch. 87-15; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 19, ch. 92-291; s. 19, ch. 93-169; s. 15, ch. 94-335; s. 895, ch. 97-103.
Pest Control Compact.—
ENACTMENT OF COMPACT.—The Pest Control Compact is enacted into law and entered into with all other jurisdictions legally joining therein in the form substantially as provided in this section.
Consistent with law and within available appropriations, the departments, agencies, and officers of this state may cooperate with the insurance fund established by the compact.
Pursuant to paragraph (5)(h), copies of bylaws and amendments shall be filed with the Commissioner of Agriculture.
The compact administrator for this state shall be the Commissioner of Agriculture.
Within the meaning of paragraph (7)(b) or paragraph (9)(a), a request or application for assistance from the insurance fund may be made by the Commissioner of Agriculture.
The department, agency, or officer expending or becoming liable for an expenditure on account of a control or eradication program undertaken or intensified pursuant to the compact shall have credited to the appropriate account in the State Treasury the amount of any payments made to this state to defray the cost of such program or as reimbursement.
As used in this compact, with reference to this state, the term “executive head” means the Governor.
In the absence of the higher degree of cooperation possible under this compact, the annual loss of approximately $137 billion from the depredations of pests is virtually certain to continue, if not to increase.
Because of the varying climatic, geographic, and economic factors, each state may be affected differently by particular species of pests. However, all states share the inability to protect themselves fully against pests that present serious dangers.
The migratory character of pest infestations makes it necessary for states adjacent to and distant from one another to complement each other’s activities when faced with conditions of infestation and reinfestation.
Although every state is seriously affected by a substantial number of pests, and each state is susceptible to infestation by many species of pests not now causing damage to its crops and plant life and products, the fact that relatively few species of pests present equal danger to or are of interest to all states makes the establishment and operation of an insurance fund, from which individual states may obtain financial support for pest control programs of benefit to them in other states and to which they may contribute in accordance with their relative interest, the most equitable means of financing cooperative pest eradication and control programs.
DEFINITIONS.—As used in this compact, the term:
“State” means a state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“Requesting state” means a state that invokes the procedures of the compact to secure the undertaking or intensification of measures to control or eradicate pests within one or more other states.
“Responding state” means a state that is requested to undertake or intensify the measures referred to in paragraph (b).
“Pest” means any invertebrate animal, pathogen, parasitic plant, or similar or allied organism that can cause disease or damage in any crops, trees, shrubs, grasses, or other plants of substantial value.
“Insurance fund” means the Pest Control Insurance Fund established pursuant to this compact.
“Governing board” means the administrators of this compact representing the party states when the administrators are acting as a body in pursuance of authority vested in them by this compact.
“Executive committee” means the committee established pursuant to paragraph (6)(e).
INSURANCE FUND.—There is established the Pest Control Insurance Fund to finance other than normal pest control operations that states may be required to engage in pursuant to this compact. The insurance fund shall contain moneys appropriated to it by the party states and any donations and grants accepted by it. All appropriations, except as conditioned by the rights and obligations of party states set forth in this compact, shall be unconditional and may not be restricted by the appropriating state to use in the control of any pest. Donations and grants may be conditional or unconditional, except that the insurance fund may not accept a donation or grant that contains terms that are inconsistent with this compact.
PEST CONTROL INSURANCE FUND; INTERNAL OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT.—
The insurance fund shall be administered by a governing board and executive committee. The actions of the governing board and the executive committee shall be deemed the actions of the insurance fund.
Each member of the governing board is entitled to one vote on the board. Action by the governing board is not binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of votes on the governing board is cast in favor of the action. Action of the governing board shall be taken only at a meeting at which a majority of the members is present.
The insurance fund shall have a seal that may be employed as an official symbol and may be affixed to documents and used as the governing board provides.
The governing board shall elect annually, from among its members, a chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, and treasurer. The chairperson may not succeed himself or herself. The governing board may appoint an executive director and fix the duties of the executive director and compensation, if any. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the governing board. The governing board shall provide for the bonding of any officers and employees of the insurance fund as it finds appropriate.
Irrespective of the civil service, personnel, or other merit system laws of any party state, the executive director or, if there is no executive director, the chairperson, pursuant to procedures as the bylaws may provide, shall appoint, remove, or discharge such personnel necessary for the performance of the functions of the insurance fund and shall fix the duties and compensation of such personnel. The governing board in its bylaws shall provide personnel policies and programs of the insurance fund.
The insurance fund may borrow, accept, or contract for the services of personnel from any state, the United States, any governmental agency, or any person, firm, association, or corporation.
The insurance fund may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this compact any donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, conditional or otherwise, from any state, the United States, any other governmental agency, or from any person, firm, association, or corporation, and may receive, use, and dispose of the same. Any donation, gift, or grant accepted by the governing board pursuant to this paragraph or services borrowed pursuant to paragraph (f) shall be reported in the annual report of the insurance fund. The report must include the nature, amount, and conditions of the donation, gift, grant, or services borrowed and the identity of the donor or lender.
The governing board shall adopt bylaws for the operation of the insurance fund and may amend or rescind the bylaws. The insurance fund shall publish its bylaws in a convenient form and shall file a copy and a copy of any amendment with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the party states.
The insurance fund shall submit an annual report to the governor and legislature of each party state which covers its activities for the preceding year. The insurance fund may submit such additional reports as it deems desirable.
In addition to the powers and duties specifically authorized and imposed, the insurance fund may do any other things necessary and incidental to the conduct of its affairs pursuant to this compact.
COMPACT AND INSURANCE FUND ADMINISTRATION.—
In each party state there shall be a compact administrator who shall be selected and serve in the manner as the laws of the state provide. The administrator shall assist in coordinating activities pursuant to the compact in that state and shall represent that state on the governing board of the insurance fund.
If the laws of the United States specifically provide, or if administrative provision is made within the Federal Government, the United States may be represented on the governing board of the insurance fund by not more than three representatives. Any representative of the United States shall be appointed and serve in the manner provided by federal law, but may not vote on the governing board or the executive committee.
The governing board shall meet at least once each year to set policies and procedures in the administration of the insurance fund and, consistent with the provisions of the compact, shall supervise and direct the expenditure of moneys from the insurance fund. Additional meetings of the governing board shall be held at the call of the chairperson, the executive committee, or a majority of the membership of the governing board.
At its meetings, the governing board shall pass upon applications for assistance from the insurance fund and shall authorize disbursements from the fund. When the governing board is not in session, the executive committee shall act as agent of the governing board and has full authority to act for it in passing upon applications.
The executive committee shall be composed of the chairperson of the governing board and four additional members of the governing board chosen by it so that one member represents each of four geographic groupings of party states. The governing board shall make such geographic groupings. If there is representation of the United States on the governing board, one representative may meet with the executive committee. The chair of the governing board shall be the chairperson of the executive committee. Action of the executive committee is not binding unless taken at a meeting at which at least four members are present and vote in favor of the action. Necessary expenses of each of the five members of the executive committee incurred in attending meetings of such committee, when not held at the same time and place as a meeting of the governing board, shall be charged against the insurance fund.
ASSISTANCE AND REIMBURSEMENT.—
Each party state pledges to each other party state that it will employ its best efforts to eradicate, or control within the strictest practicable limits, all pests within its boundaries. The performance of this function includes:
The maintenance of pest control and eradication activities of interstate significance at a level that would be reasonable for its own protection in the absence of this compact.
The meeting of emergency outbreaks or infestations of interstate significance to no less an extent than would have been done in the absence of this compact.
If a party state is threatened by a pest not present within its borders but present within another party state, or if a party state undertakes activities to control or eradicate a pest and finds that such activities are impracticable or substantially more difficult because of the failure of another party state to cope with an actual or threatened infestation, that state may request the governing board to authorize expenditures from the insurance fund for measures to eradicate or control the infestation by other party states at a level sufficient to prevent, or reduce to the greatest practicable extent, infestation or reinfestation of the requesting state. Upon such authorization, any responding states shall take or increase any warranted eradication or control measures. A responding state shall use moneys available from the insurance fund expeditiously and efficiently to assist in providing the protection requested.
In order to apply for expenditures from the insurance fund, a requesting state shall submit, in writing:
A detailed statement of the circumstances that occasion the request for invoking the compact.
Evidence that the pest for which eradication or control assistance is requested constitutes a danger to an agricultural or forest crop, product, tree, shrub, grass, or other plant having a substantial value to the requesting state.
A statement of the extent of the present and projected program of the requesting state, including full information as to the legal authority for the conduct of such program and the expenditures made or budgeted for the eradication, control, or prevention of introduction of the pest.
Proof that the expenditures being made or budgeted as detailed in subparagraph 3. do not constitute a reduction of the effort for the control or eradication of the pest concerned or, if there is a reduction, the reasons why the level of program activity detailed in subparagraph 3. constitutes a normal level of pest control activity.
A declaration as to whether, to the best of the requesting state’s knowledge and belief, the conditions that require the invoking of the compact can be abated by a program undertaken with the aid of moneys from the insurance fund within 1 year or less, or whether the request is for an installment in a program that is likely to continue for a longer period.
Any other information that the governing board requires, consistent with this compact.
The governing board or executive committee shall give notice of any meeting at which an application for assistance from the insurance fund is to be considered. Such notice shall be given to the compact administrator of each party state and to any other officers and agencies designated by the laws of the party states. The requesting state and any other party state is entitled to be represented and present evidence and argument at such meeting.
Upon the submission of the information required by paragraph (c) and any other information that the requesting state may have or acquire, and upon determining that an expenditure of funds is within the purposes of this compact and justified, the governing board or executive committee shall authorize support of the program. The governing board or executive committee may meet at any time and in any place to receive and consider an application. All determinations of the governing board or executive committee related to an application and the reasons for the determination shall be recorded and subscribed to show the votes of the individual members.
A requesting state that is dissatisfied with a determination of the executive committee shall, upon notice in writing submitted within 20 days after the determination, be given a review of the determination at the next meeting of the governing board. Determinations of the executive committee are reviewable only by the governing board at a regular meeting or at a special meeting authorized by the governing board.
Responding states required to undertake or increase measures pursuant to this compact may receive moneys from the insurance fund when such states incur expenditures because of such measures or as reimbursement for expenses incurred and chargeable to the insurance fund. The governing board shall adopt procedures for the submission and payment of claims.
Before authorizing the expenditure of moneys from the insurance fund, the governing board shall determine the extent and nature of any timely assistance or participation that may be available from the Federal Government and shall request assistance and participation from the appropriate federal agencies.
The insurance fund may negotiate and execute a memorandum of understanding or other instrument defining the extent and degree of assistance or participation between and among the insurance fund, cooperating federal agencies, states, and other entities concerned.
ADVISORY AND TECHNICAL COMMITTEES.—The governing board may establish advisory and technical committees composed of state, local, and federal officials and private persons to advise it regarding its functions. Any advisory or technical committee may meet with and participate in its deliberations upon the request of the governing board or executive committee. An advisory or technical committee may furnish information and recommendations concerning an application for assistance from the insurance fund being considered by the board or committee. However, a participant in a meeting of the governing board or executive committee held pursuant to paragraph (7)(d) is entitled to know at the time of the meeting the substance of such information and recommendations that are made prior to or as part of the meeting or, if made after the meeting, no later than the time at which the governing board or executive committee makes its disposition of the application.
RELATIONS AND NONPARTY JURISDICTION.—
A party state may apply for assistance from the insurance fund regarding a pest in a nonparty state. The application shall be considered and disposed of by the governing board or executive committee in the same manner as an application regarding a pest within a party state, except as provided in this subsection.
At or in connection with any meeting of the governing board or executive committee held pursuant to paragraph (7)(d), a nonparty state is entitled to appear, participate, and receive information only to the extent as the governing board or executive committee provides. A nonparty state may not review any determination made by the executive committee.
The governing board or executive committee shall authorize expenditures from the insurance fund to be made in a nonparty state only after determining that the conditions in such state and the value of the expenditures to the party state as a whole justify the expenditures. The governing board or executive committee may set any conditions that it deems appropriate regarding the expenditure of moneys from the insurance fund in a nonparty state and may enter into any agreements with nonparty states and other jurisdictions or entities as it deems necessary or appropriate to protect the interests of the insurance fund with respect to expenditures and activities outside of party states.
The insurance fund shall submit to the executive head or designated officer of each party state a budget for the insurance fund for the period required by the laws of that party state for a presentation to the party state’s legislature.
Each budget shall contain specific recommendations of the amount to be appropriated by each party state. The request for appropriations shall be apportioned among the party states as follows: one-tenth of the total budget in equal shares and the remainder in proportion to the value of agricultural and forest crops and products, excluding animals and animal products, produced in each party state. In determining the value of such crops and products, the insurance fund may employ any sources of information which present the most equitable and accurate comparisons among the party states. Each budget and request for appropriations shall indicate the source used to obtain information concerning the value of products.
The financial assets of the insurance fund shall be maintained in two accounts to be designated respectively as the “operating account” and the “claims account.” The operating account shall consist only of assets necessary to administer the insurance fund during the next ensuing 2-year period. The claims account shall contain all moneys not included in the operating account and may not exceed the amount reasonably estimated to be sufficient to pay all legitimate claims against the insurance fund for a period of 3 years. When the claims account reaches its maximum limit or will reach its maximum limit by the addition of moneys requested for appropriation by the party states, the governing board shall reduce its budget requests on a pro rata basis to keep the claims account within the maximum limit. Any moneys in the claims account because of conditional donations, grants, or gifts shall be included in calculations made pursuant to this paragraph only to the extent that such moneys are available to meet demands arising out of the claims.
The insurance fund may not pledge the credit of any party state. The insurance fund may meet any of its obligations with moneys available to it under paragraph (5)(g) if the governing board takes specific action to set aside such moneys before incurring any obligation to be met in whole or in part in such manner. Except where the insurance fund uses moneys available to it under paragraph (5)(g), the insurance fund may not incur any obligation before the allotment of moneys by the party states adequate to meet the obligation.
The insurance fund shall keep accurate records of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the insurance fund are subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the insurance fund shall be audited annually by a certified or licensed public accountant and a report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the insurance fund.
The accounts of the insurance fund shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection by authorized officers of the party states and any persons authorized by the insurance fund.
ENTRY INTO FORCE AND WITHDRAWAL.—
This compact shall enter into force when enacted into law by five or more states. Thereafter, it shall become effective for any other state upon its enactment by that state.
Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the compact, but a withdrawal does not take effect until 2 years after the executive head of the withdrawing state has given notice in writing of the withdrawal to the executive heads of all other party states. A withdrawal does not affect any liability incurred by or chargeable to a party state before the time of its withdrawal.
CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY.—This compact shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes. The provisions of this compact are severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any state or the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected. If this compact is held contrary to the constitution of any state participating herein, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining party states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.
s. 1, ch. 2009-106.
Division of Animal Industry; powers and duties.—
The duties of the Division of Animal Industry include, but are not limited to:
Enforcing those provisions of chapter 585, and rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating to testing, supervising, controlling, and eradicating brucellosis and tuberculosis in livestock.
Enforcing those provisions of chapter 585, and rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating to the control and eradication of dangerous transmissible diseases of livestock, including parasitic infestations such as screwworm and the cattle fever tick.
Enforcing those provisions of chapter 534, and rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating to recordation of livestock marks and brands and such other provisions of such chapter as are directed by the department.
Enforcing those provisions of chapter 585, and rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating to the enforcement of the provisions of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and the National Turkey Improvement Plan.
Operating and managing the animal disease diagnostic laboratories provided for in chapter 585.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 1, ch. 67-584; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 79-122; s. 5, ch. 84-165; s. 8, ch. 92-290; s. 103, ch. 92-291; s. 16, ch. 94-335.
Director; qualifications; duties.—
The director of the Division of Animal Industry shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure. The director may be known as the State Veterinarian.
No person shall be appointed State Veterinarian who is not a graduate of a recognized and reputable college of veterinary medicine.
The director shall be responsible for protecting the animal and livestock interests of the state and shall, under the direction of the commissioner, direct, coordinate, and enforce the applicable provisions of chapters 534 and 585.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 20, ch. 92-291; s. 20, ch. 93-169.
Animal Industry Technical Council.—
COMPOSITION.—The Animal Industry Technical Council is hereby created in the department and shall be composed of 14 members as follows:
The beef cattle, swine, dairy, horse, independent agricultural markets, meat processing and packing establishments, veterinary medicine, and poultry representatives who serve on the State Agricultural Advisory Council and three additional representatives from the beef cattle industry, as well as three at-large members representing other animal industries in the state, who shall be appointed by the commissioner for 4-year terms or until their successors are duly qualified and appointed.
Each additional beef cattle representative shall be appointed subject to the qualifications and by the procedure as prescribed in s. 570.23 for membership to the council by the beef cattle representative. If a vacancy occurs in these three positions, it shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the same manner as an initial appointment.
POWERS AND DUTIES; MEETINGS; PROCEDURES; RECORDS; COMPENSATION.—The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the Animal Industry Technical Council, and per diem and reimbursement of expenses of council members, shall be governed by the provisions of s. 570.0705 relating to advisory committees established within the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 3, ch. 65-459; s. 1, ch. 67-69; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 10, ch. 77-108; s. 2, ch. 78-196; s. 4, ch. 78-323; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 81-82; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; ss. 2, 6, 7, ch. 87-15; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 21, ch. 92-291; s. 21, ch. 93-169; s. 17, ch. 94-335; s. 26, ch. 2001-279.
Arabian horse racing; breeders’ and stallion awards; Arabian Horse Council; horse registration fees; Florida Arabian Horse Racing Promotion Account.—
LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—It is the finding of the Legislature that:
Breed improvement is an important factor in encouraging Arabian horse racing in this state.
Acquisition and maintenance of Arabian horse breeding farms in this state will greatly enhance the tax revenues derived by the state and counties.
Many jobs will be created through the encouragement of the Arabian horse breeding industry in this state, thereby supplying much needed taxes and revenues to the state and counties.
By encouraging Arabian horse breeding farms, better horses will be available for racing, thereby increasing the pari-mutuel handle which will increase taxes for the state and counties.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES.—The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall administer this section and have the following powers and duties:
To establish a registry for Florida-bred Arabian horses on a voluntary basis.
To make Arabian horse breeders’ and stallion awards available to qualified individuals from funds derived from the Florida Arabian Horse Racing Promotion Account under the authority of ss. 550.2625(8) and 550.2633 and under rules adopted.
To establish a stallion award program. In order for the owner of the sire of a Florida-bred Arabian horse to be eligible for a stallion award, the following requirements must be met:
The stallion shall stand permanently in the state.
If the stallion is dead, it shall have stood permanently in the state for the year immediately prior to its death.
The removal of a stallion from this state for the purpose of breeding shall bar the owner of the stallion from receiving a stallion award for offspring sired in the state in the breeding season commencing January 1st of the year of the stallion’s removal.
If a removed stallion is returned to the state, all offspring sired in the state subsequent to the stallion’s return shall make the owner eligible for the stallion award.
To maintain complete records documenting:
The date a stallion arrived in the state for the first time.
Whether the stallion remained in the state permanently.
The location of the stallion.
Whether the stallion is still standing in the state.
Awards earned, received, and distributed.
ARABIAN HORSE COUNCIL.—
There is created an Arabian Horse Council consisting of seven members as follows:
A representative of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services designated by the commissioner.
Six members appointed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the majority of whom must be Florida breeders of racing Arabian horses.
Each member shall serve for a term of 4 years from date of appointment.
At the first organizational meeting of the council, there shall be elected a chair from the membership, and each 2 years thereafter the council shall elect a chair from its then-constituted membership. The member representing the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall be secretary of the council.
Members of the council shall receive no compensation for their services, except that they shall receive per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061 when actually engaged in the business of the council.
The council shall have the following powers and duties:
To recommend rules.
To receive and report to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services complaints or violations of this section.
To assist the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the collection of information that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services deems necessary to the proper administration of this section.
FRAUDULENT ACTS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS.—Any person who registers unqualified horses or misrepresents information in any way shall be denied any future participation in breeders’ and stallion awards, and all horses misrepresented will no longer be deemed to be Florida-bred.
REGISTRATION FEES TRUST FUND.—
To provide funds to defray the necessary expenses incurred by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the administration of this section:
Owners who participate in this program for Florida-bred Arabian foals under 1 year of age shall pay to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services a registration fee in the amount of $25 per horse.
Owners who participate in this program for Florida-bred Arabian yearlings from 1 to 2 years of age shall pay to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services a registration fee in the amount of $50 per horse.
Owners who participate in this program for Florida-bred Arabian horses 2 years of age or over shall pay to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services a registration fee in the amount of $250 per horse.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall charge the stallion owner a reasonable fee set by rule, not to exceed $100 annually, to cover all costs incurred for the stallion award program.
The fees collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund in a special account to be known as the “Florida Arabian Horse Racing Promotion Account,” and the necessary expenses incurred by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the administration of this section shall be paid out of the account only up to the amount of deposited registration fees.
s. 61, ch. 92-348; s. 1, ch. 93-7; s. 897, ch. 97-103; s. 7, ch. 2006-79.
Division of Dairy Industry; powers and duties.—
The duties of the Division of Dairy Industry include, but are not limited to:
Inspecting dairy farms of the state, enforcing those provisions of chapter 502 as are authorized by the department, enforcing the law relating to inspection for detection of mastitis in dairy cattle and relating to supervision of milking operations, and enforcing rules adopted pursuant to such law.
Inspecting milk plants, milk product plants, and plants engaged in the manufacture and distribution of frozen desserts and frozen desserts mix; analyzing and testing samples of milk, milk products, frozen desserts, and frozen desserts mix collected by it; and enforcing those provisions of chapters 502 and 503 as are authorized by the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 67-584; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 79-122; s. 6, ch. 84-165.
Director; qualifications; duties.—
The director of the Division of Dairy Industry shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division and shall, under the direction of the commissioner, enforce the provisions of chapters 502 and 503.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 22, ch. 92-291; s. 22, ch. 93-169.
Dairy Industry Technical Council.—
COMPOSITION.—The Dairy Industry Technical Council is hereby created in the department and shall be composed of seven members as follows:
Two citizens of the state, one of whom shall be associated with the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Florida and the other with the College of Agriculture of the University of Florida.
An employee of the Department of Health.
Two dairy farmers who are actively engaged in the production of milk in this state and who earn a major portion of their income from the production of milk. The commissioner shall appoint the two members provided for in this paragraph from no fewer than four nor more than six nominees submitted by the recognized statewide organizations representing this group. In the absence of nominations, the commissioner shall appoint other persons qualified under the provisions of this paragraph.
Two distributors of milk. “Distributor” means any milk dealer who operates a milk gathering station or processing plant where milk is collected and bottled or otherwise processed and prepared for sale. The commissioner shall appoint the two members provided for in this paragraph from no fewer than four nor more than six nominees submitted by the recognized statewide organizations representing this group. In the absence of nominations, the commissioner shall appoint other persons qualified under the provisions of this paragraph.
All members shall serve 4-year terms or until their successors are duly qualified and appointed. If a vacancy occurs, it shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner of an initial appointment.
POWERS AND DUTIES; MEETINGS; PROCEDURES; RECORDS; COMPENSATION.—The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the Dairy Industry Technical Council, and per diem and reimbursement of expenses of council members, shall be governed by the provisions of s. 570.0705 relating to advisory committees established within the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 6, ch. 61-407; ss. 14, 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 11, ch. 77-108; s. 461, ch. 77-147; s. 4, ch. 78-323; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 81-79; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; ss. 3, 6, 7, ch. 87-15; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 23, ch. 92-291; s. 23, ch. 93-169; s. 18, ch. 94-335; s. 254, ch. 99-8.
Division of Agricultural Environmental Services; powers and duties.—
The duties of the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services include, but are not limited to:
Inspecting and drawing samples of: commercial feeds offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 580 authorized by the department; seeds offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 578 authorized by the department; certified seed grown in this state; fertilizers offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 576 authorized by the department; and pesticides offered for sale in this state, and soil and water in this state for the presence of pesticides, and enforcing those provisions of part I of chapter 487 authorized by the department.
Conducting those general inspection activities in regard to weights, measures, and standards of articles offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 531 as are authorized by the department.
Supporting the Pesticide Review Council and reviewing and evaluating technical and scientific data associated with the production, manufacture, storage, transportation, sale, or use of any article or product with respect to any statutory authority which is conferred on the department. The department is authorized to establish positions within the division for the employment of experts in the fields of toxicology, hydrology, and biology to conduct such reviews and evaluations. The department is also authorized to establish appropriate clerical support positions to implement the duties and responsibilities of the division.
Enforcing and implementing the responsibilities of chapter 582, and the rules relating to soil and water conservation.
Analyzing samples of fertilizer offered for sale in this state, as required under chapter 576.
Analyzing samples of pesticide formulations offered for sale in this state and tank mix, soil, water, and other environmental samples related to pesticide use investigations, as required under part I of chapter 487.
Analyzing samples of commercial feed offered for sale in this state, as required under chapter 580.
Analyzing samples of vegetables, agricultural, flower, and forest tree seed offered for sale in this state, as required under chapter 578.
Investigating, evaluating, and developing new or improved methodology to enhance the analytical capability and efficiency of all divisional laboratories and performing other related analyses as deemed necessary.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 7, ch. 61-407; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 13, ch. 83-310; s. 7, ch. 84-165; s. 24, ch. 92-291; s. 24, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 96-231; s. 11, ch. 96-407; s. 55, ch. 2004-64.
The director of the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division and enforce the provisions of chapters 388, 482, 487, 501, 504, 531, 570, 576, 578, 580, and 582 and any other chapter necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the division.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 25, ch. 92-291; s. 12, ch. 96-407.
Division of Standards; powers and duties.—
The duties of the Division of Standards include, but are not limited to:
Inspecting petroleum measuring devices and performing the quality analyses required under chapters 525 and 526.
Inspecting all scales and measures in the state and carrying out the provisions of chapter 531 relating to weights, scales, and measuring devices.
Enforcing those provisions of ss. 501.91-501.923 relating to the registration of each brand name of antifreeze or coolant sold in the state that the department authorizes it to enforce.
Administering the provisions of chapter 616 relating to amusement rides.
Enforcing the provisions of chapter 527.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 8, ch. 61-407; ss. 4, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 79-122; s. 8, ch. 84-165; ss. 2, 5, ch. 89-4; s. 3, ch. 89-111; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 26, 27, ch. 92-291; s. 3, ch. 98-133; s. 7, ch. 99-391; s. 9, ch. 2006-165.
Director; qualifications; duties.—
The director of the Division of Standards shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division and to that end shall, under the direction of the department, enforce the provisions of chapters 501, 525, 526, 527, 531, and 616.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 28, ch. 92-291; s. 10, ch. 2006-165.
Division of Fruit and Vegetables; powers and duties; records.—
The duties of the Division of Fruit and Vegetables include, but are not limited to:
Performing the duties relating to the inspection and certification of fresh citrus fruit shipments for maturity and grade required by rules promulgated under the Florida Citrus Code; performing the inspection and certification duties assigned in connection with regulations issued under federal or state marketing agreements or orders; and performing the other inspection and certification assignments requested by and agreed upon with the applicant.
Performing the duties relating to inspection and certification of the maturity and condition of fresh citrus fruits to be processed required by the rules promulgated under the Florida Citrus Code.
Inspecting and certifying the grade, quality, or condition of the finished processed pack, as required by rules promulgated under the Florida Citrus Code.
Performing the inspection and certification duties as are assigned in connection with regulations issued under federal or state marketing agreements or orders for other fruit and vegetables.
Conducting inspections of internal quality for any fruit or vegetable.
Performing tomato food safety inspections under s. 500.70 on tomato farms, in tomato greenhouses, and in tomato packinghouses and repackers.
Performing other inspection and certification assignments as requested by and agreed upon with the applicant.
Maintaining the records of the division. The records of the division are public records; however, trade secrets as defined in s. 812.081 are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). This section shall not be construed to prohibit:
A disclosure necessary to enforcement procedures.
The department from releasing information to other governmental agencies. Other governmental agencies that receive confidential information from the department under this subsection shall maintain the confidentiality of that information.
The department or other agencies from compiling and publishing appropriate data regarding procedures, yield, recovery, quality, and related matters, provided such released data do not reveal by whom the activity to which the data relate was conducted.
Performing such duties relating to inspection and certification of vegetables, other fruits, melons, and nuts as are requested by and agreed upon with the applicant and performing such inspection and certification duties as are assigned in connection with regulations issued under federal or state marketing agreements or orders.
Performing such duties relating to enforcement of the citrus bond and license law as are required by chapter 601.
Performing analyses on waxes, dyes, and other substances used on citrus fruit and issuing authorization for the use of such waxes, dyes, and other substances; issuing equipment to inspectors and maintaining the equipment; conducting necessary technical investigations relative to inspectional procedures; and carrying out the technical duties prescribed under the arsenical spray provisions of chapter 601 and other technical duties prescribed by the department.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, appointing, certifying, licensing, and supervising inspectors whose duties are to inspect fruit and vegetables that are regulated by state law, if federal law does not require such inspectors to be licensed or certified by the federal government.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 82-165; s. 50, ch. 83-216; s. 9, ch. 84-165; s. 3, ch. 92-4; ss. 3, 4, ch. 92-290; ss. 29, 30, ch. 92-291; s. 25, ch. 93-169; s. 348, ch. 96-406; s. 8, ch. 99-391; s. 12, ch. 2007-67; s. 4, ch. 2010-25.
Fruit and vegetable inspection fees; penalty.—
Each person receiving inspection services pursuant to s. 570.48 shall pay to the department an inspection fee. This fee shall cover the cost of providing the inspection service and shall be set annually by the department by rule.
All fees collected by the department to cover the cost of providing the inspection service for farms or greenhouses growing tomatoes or for tomato packinghouses and repackers shall be deposited into the General Inspection Trust Fund and shall be used for tomato-related inspections, education, and research.
All fees collected by the department under this section shall be deposited into the Citrus Inspection Trust Fund, except that fees collected pursuant to paragraph (1)(b) and s. 570.48(4) shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund.
The department may terminate inspection services upon a 3-day written notice if inspection fees are not paid.
s. 10, ch. 92-151; s. 26, ch. 93-169; s. 13, ch. 2007-67.
The director of the Division of Fruit and Vegetables shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
It shall be the duty of the director of this division to direct and supervise the overall operation of the division and exercise other powers and duties as authorized by the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 31, ch. 92-291; s. 27, ch. 93-169.
Division of Food Safety; powers and duties.—
The duties of the Division of Food Safety include, but are not limited to:
Enforcing those provisions of chapter 585, and the rules adopted under that chapter, relating to the inspection of meat and the antemortem and postmortem inspection of poultry.
Conducting those general inspection activities relating to food and food products being processed, held, or offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapters 500, 501, 502, 503, 531, 583, 585, 586, and 601 relating to foods as authorized by the department.
Analyzing samples of foods offered for sale in this state as required under chapters 500, 501, 502, 503, 585, 586, and 601.
Investigating, evaluating, and developing new or improved methodology to enhance the analytical capability and efficiency of all divisional laboratories and performing other related analyses as deemed necessary.
Analyzing food and feed samples offered for sale in the state for chemical residues as required under the adulteration sections of chapters 500 and 580.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 9, ch. 61-407; s. 2, ch. 65-459; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 79-122; s. 10, ch. 84-165; s. 312, ch. 92-279; ss. 32, 33, ch. 92-291; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 28, ch. 93-169; s. 52, ch. 2001-89.
Former s. 570.32.
Director; qualifications; duties.—
The director of the Division of Food Safety shall be appointed by the commissioner to serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division and enforce the provisions of chapters 500, 501, 502, 503, 531, 583, 585, and 601 and any other chapter necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the division.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 50, ch. 91-220; s. 34, ch. 92-291; s. 53, ch. 2001-89.
Division of Marketing and Development; powers and duties.—
The powers and duties of the Division of Marketing and Development include, but are not limited to:
Managing the operation of all agricultural marketing facilities and managing or leasing state livestock and crop pavilions owned by the state. The department shall give first priority to those engaged in the production or sale of Florida’s agricultural products when negotiating leases for the use of agricultural marketing facilities.
Performing other related duties and responsibilities which are required of the department by s. 570.07(18), including authorizing the removal of a vehicle by a towing service when the vehicle is parked in a manner that restricts the normal operation of business at any such agricultural marketing facility.
Enforcing the provisions of ss. 604.15-604.34, the dealers in agricultural products law, and ss. 534.47-534.53.
Obtaining and disseminating current price, supply, and movement data and other such pertinent information on the agricultural economy of the state as required of the department by ss. 570.07(4) and (17) and 570.21.
Stimulating, encouraging, and fostering the production and consumption of agricultural products and conducting activities that may foster a better understanding and more efficient cooperation among producers, buyers, food editors, and the consuming public in the promotion and marketing of Florida agricultural products as required of the department by s. 570.07(20).
Obtaining and disseminating production statistics, historical data, and other such pertinent information on the agricultural economy of the state as required of the department by ss. 570.07(4) and (17) and 570.21.
Providing professional marketing services to the agricultural agribusiness industry.
Establishing and maintaining programs which will aid in the orderly marketing of agricultural products.
Assisting in providing efficient and effective distribution of agricultural products.
Developing plans and recommendations designed to support the agricultural industry in meeting its marketing needs.
Extending in every practicable way the distribution and sale of Florida agricultural products throughout the markets of the world as required of the department by ss. 570.07(7), (8), (10), and (11) and 570.071 and chapters 571, 573, and 574.
Entering into contracts with private persons for the renovation or construction of agricultural marketing facilities. These contracts may include provisions for private financing and leaseback agreements for the recoupment of initial private investment. All schematic and conceptual construction plans shall be subject to approval by the division. The department shall promulgate rules and develop policies for using these contracts.
Administering the provisions of chapter 616, including the Florida State Fair Authority and other fair or exposition charters, permits, applications, fees, premiums and awards, agricultural exhibits, and youth activities, but excluding amusement ride inspection, inspection fees, and safety requirements, at public fairs and expositions, carnivals, festivals, celebrations, bazaars, permanent facilities, and parking lot still dates.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 4, ch. 65-459; ss. 4, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 71-195; s. 5, ch. 79-122; s. 11, ch. 84-165; s. 1, ch. 85-36; s. 4, ch. 88-341; s. 1, ch. 91-253; s. 35, ch. 92-291; s. 29, ch. 93-169.
Market Improvements Working Capital Trust Fund.—
There is hereby created within the department the Market Improvements Working Capital Trust Fund. The fund is established as the sole depository for funds collected by, or appropriated for, agricultural marketing facilities. Only costs associated with the operation, maintenance, and expansion of agricultural marketing facilities shall be paid from the fund.
s. 5, ch. 88-341; s. 36, ch. 92-291.
The director of the Division of Marketing and Development shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
It shall be the duty of the director of this division to supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities authorized by ss. 570.07(4), (7), (8), (10), (11), (12), (17), (18), and (20), 570.071, 570.21, 534.47-534.53, and 604.15-604.34 and chapters 504, 571, 573, and 574 and to exercise other powers and authority as authorized by the department.
s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 79-122; s. 2, ch. 85-36; s. 37, ch. 92-291; s. 30, ch. 93-169.
This law shall be known as the “Florida Consumer Services Act.”
s. 1, ch. 67-342; s. 1, ch. 79-37.
Former s. 570.281.
Florida Consumers’ Council.—
The Florida Consumers’ Council in the department is created to advise and assist the department in carrying out its duties.
The council, to be appointed by the commissioner, shall not exceed 15 members, selected from the various areas of consumer interest, who are, when possible, leading members of statewide organizations representing segments of the consumer public so as to establish a broadly based and representative consumer council. At least one member of the council must be 60 years of age or older.
All members shall be appointed for a term of 4 years and shall serve until their successors are appointed. A vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.
POWERS AND DUTIES; MEETINGS; PROCEDURES; RECORDS; COMPENSATION.—The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the Florida Consumers’ Council, and per diem and reimbursement of expenses of council members, shall be governed by the provisions of s. 570.0705 relating to advisory committees established within the department. The council members or chair may call no more than two meetings.
s. 1, ch. 67-342; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 77-108; s. 4, ch. 78-323; ss. 1, 3, ch. 79-37; ss. 1, 3, 4, ch. 81-55; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 26, ch. 87-172; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 87-179; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 39, ch. 92-291; s. 32, ch. 93-169; s. 20, ch. 94-335; s. 898, ch. 97-103; s. 155, ch. 2010-102.
Former s. 570.282.
Division of Consumer Services; director; powers; processing of complaints; records.—
The director of the Division of Consumer Services shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the commissioner.
The Division of Consumer Services may:
Conduct studies and make analyses of matters affecting the interests of consumers.
Study the operation of laws for consumer protection.
Advise and make recommendations to the various state agencies concerned with matters affecting consumers.
Assist, advise, and cooperate with local, state, or federal agencies and officials in order to promote the interests of consumers.
Make use of the testing and laboratory facilities of the department for the detection of consumer fraud.
Report to the appropriate law enforcement officers any information concerning violation of consumer protection laws.
Assist, develop, and conduct programs of consumer education and consumer information through publications and other informational and educational material prepared for dissemination to the public, in order to increase the competence of consumers.
Organize and hold conferences on problems affecting consumers.
Recommend programs to encourage business and industry to maintain high standards of honesty, fair business practices, and public responsibility in the production, promotion, and sale of consumer goods and services.
In addition to the powers, duties, and responsibilities authorized by this or any other chapter, the Division of Consumer Services shall serve as a clearinghouse for matters relating to consumer protection, consumer information, and consumer services generally. It shall receive complaints and grievances from consumers and promptly transmit them to that agency most directly concerned in order that the complaint or grievance may be expeditiously handled in the best interests of the complaining consumer. If no agency exists, the Division of Consumer Services shall seek a settlement of the complaint using formal or informal methods of mediation and conciliation and may seek any other resolution of the matter in accordance with its jurisdiction.
If any complaint received by the Division of Consumer Services concerns matters which involve concurrent jurisdiction in more than one agency, duplicate copies of the complaint shall be referred to those offices deemed to have concurrent jurisdiction.
Any agency, office, bureau, division, or board of state government receiving a complaint which deals with consumer fraud or consumer protection and which is not within the jurisdiction of the receiving agency, office, bureau, division, or board originally receiving it, shall immediately refer the complaint to the Division of Consumer Services.
Upon receipt of such a complaint, the Division of Consumer Services shall make a determination of the proper jurisdiction to which the complaint relates and shall immediately refer the complaint to the agency, office, bureau, division, or board which does have the proper regulatory or enforcement authority to deal with it.
The office or agency to which a complaint has been referred shall within 30 days acknowledge receipt of the complaint. If an office or agency receiving a complaint determines that the matter presents a prima facie case for criminal prosecution or if the complaint cannot be settled at the administrative level, the complaint together with all supporting evidence shall be transmitted to the Department of Legal Affairs or other appropriate enforcement agency with a recommendation for civil or criminal action warranted by the evidence.
The records of the Division of Consumer Services are public records. However, customer lists, customer names, and trade secrets are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). Disclosure necessary to enforcement procedures shall not be construed as violative of this prohibition.
It shall be the duty of the Division of Consumer Services to maintain records and compile summaries and analyses of consumer complaints and their eventual disposition, which data may serve as a basis for recommendations to the Legislature and to state regulatory agencies.
s. 1, ch. 67-342; ss. 11, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 73-124; s. 7, ch. 77-108; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-16; s. 7, ch. 78-179; s. 1, ch. 79-37; s. 2, ch. 81-55; s. 3, ch. 89-4; s. 3, ch. 90-323; s. 1, ch. 91-114; s. 1, ch. 92-62; s. 40, ch. 92-291; s. 33, ch. 93-169; s. 349, ch. 96-406; s. 1183, ch. 97-103; s. 50, ch. 2001-279; ss. 60, 61, ch. 2003-399; s. 11, ch. 2006-165.
Former s. 570.283.
Unsolicited goods; no obligation on part of recipient.—
When unsolicited goods are delivered to a person, the person may refuse delivery of the goods, or, if the goods are delivered, the person is not obligated to return the goods to the sender. If unsolicited goods are either addressed to or intended for the recipient, they shall be deemed a gift and the recipient may use or dispose of them in any manner without obligation to the sender.
s. 1, ch. 69-43; s. 1, ch. 79-37; s. 899, ch. 97-103.
Former s. 570.284.
Division of Forestry; powers and duties.—
The duties of the Division of Forestry include, but are not limited to, administering and enforcing those powers and responsibilities of the division prescribed in chapters 589, 590, and 591 and the rules adopted pursuant thereto and in other forest fire, forest protection, and forest management laws of this state.
s. 2, ch. 79-37; s. 12, ch. 84-165.
The director of the Division of Forestry shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
It shall be the duty of the director of this division to direct and supervise the overall operation of the division and to exercise such other powers and duties as authorized by the department.
s. 2, ch. 79-37; s. 41, ch. 92-291.
Identification of sellers or handlers of tropical or subtropical fruit and vegetables; containers specified; penalties.—
SHORT TITLE.—This section may be known and cited as the “Florida Tropical or Subtropical Fruit and Vegetables Sales Law.”
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.—This section shall be administered by the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement and may be enforced by any law enforcement officer as defined in chapter 943.
DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
“Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“Distribute” means to engage in the business of selling, marketing, or distributing, in the primary channel of trade, tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables produced, purchased, or acquired from a producer, or being marketed on behalf of a producer, whether by the owner, agent, employee, broker, or otherwise, but shall not include such activity by a person engaged in the business of retailing.
“Handle” means to produce, distribute, retail, or transport tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables in the primary channel of trade.
“Handler” means any person engaged in growing, distributing, retailing, or transporting tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables in the primary channel of trade.
“Inspector” means an inspector or agent of the department.
“Primary channel of trade” means that period of time when tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables are cut, gathered from the ground, or otherwise harvested for commercial purposes. However, these commodities shall cease to be in the “primary channel of trade” if and when they leave intrastate commerce.
“Retail” means to engage in the business of purchasing or acquiring tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables for resale at retail to the general public, but does not include such activity by a person engaged in the business of distributing.
“Tropical or subtropical fruit” means avocados, bananas, calamondins, carambolas, guavas, kumquats, limes, longans, loquats, lychees, mameys, mangoes, papayas, passion fruit, sapodillas, and fruit that must be grown in tropical or semitropical regions, except citrus fruit as defined in s. 601.03(7).
“Vegetables” means tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, leafy greens, green beans, eggplant, sweet corn, and cabbage. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may by rule include additional vegetables.
IDENTIFICATION OF HANDLER.—At the time of each transaction involving the handling or sale of 55 pounds or more of tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables in the primary channel of trade, the buyer or receiver of the tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables shall demand a bill of sale, invoice, sales memorandum, or other document listing the date of the transaction, the quantity of the tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables involved in the transaction, and the identification of the seller or handler as it appears on the driver’s license of the seller or handler, including the driver’s license number. If the seller or handler does not possess a driver’s license, the buyer or receiver shall use any other acceptable means of identification, i.e., voter’s registration card and number, draft card, social security card, or other identification. However, no less than two identification documents shall be used. The identification of the seller or handler shall be recorded on the bill of sale, sales memorandum, invoice, or voucher, which shall be retained by the buyer or receiver for a period of not less than 1 year from the date of the transaction.
CONFISCATION.—When any person is in violation of subsection (4), an inspector or any law enforcement officer as defined in chapter 943 shall confiscate any and all tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables in the possession of that person.
Each person engaged in the business of packing or shipping tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables for resale or distribution, except growers or growers’ agents transporting their own tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables, shall accept such fruit or vegetables delivered only in a standard industry field container.
PENALTY.—In addition to confiscation of tropical or subtropical fruit or vegetables as provided in subsection (5), whoever knowingly, willfully, and intentionally violates the provisions of subsection (4) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 73-77; s. 1, ch. 75-267; s. 5, ch. 92-290; s. 42, ch. 92-291; s. 34, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 98-123.
Division of Aquaculture; powers and duties.—
The powers and duties of the Division of Aquaculture shall include, but are not limited to, administering the aquaculture certification program; enforcing shellfish sanitation standards; administering the aquaculture and shellfish lease programs; ensuring that shellfish processing facilities comply with applicable food safety requirements; mitigating, creating, and enhancing natural shellfish harvesting areas; providing education to fishers and aquaculturists; promoting aquaculture development; purchasing commodities as necessary to carry out the provisions of this section; receiving and accepting grants, aids, gifts, and donations; providing grants, aids, and other technical assistance; and ensuring the safety of Florida waters.
s. 23, ch. 2000-364; s. 4, ch. 2001-66.
The director of the Division of Aquaculture shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division, exercise such other powers and duties as authorized by the commissioner, and enforce the provisions of chapter 597, the rules adopted thereunder, and any other chapter or rule necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the division.
s. 24, ch. 2000-364.
The Legislature finds and declares that:
A thriving rural economy with a strong agricultural base, healthy natural environment, and viable rural communities is an essential part of Florida. Rural areas also include the largest remaining intact ecosystems and best examples of remaining wildlife habitats as well as a majority of privately owned land targeted by local, state, and federal agencies for natural resource protection.
The growth of Florida’s population can result in agricultural and rural lands being converted into residential or commercial development.
The agricultural, rural, natural resource, and commodity values of rural lands are vital to the state’s economy, productivity, rural heritage, and quality of life.
The Legislature further recognizes the need for enhancing the ability of rural landowners to obtain economic value from their property, protecting rural character, controlling urban sprawl, and providing necessary open space for agriculture and the natural environment, and the importance of maintaining and protecting Florida’s rural economy through innovative planning and development strategies in rural areas and the use of incentives that reward landowners for good stewardship of land and natural resources.
The purpose of this act is to bring under public protection lands that serve to limit subdivision and conversion of agricultural and natural areas that provide economic, open space, water, and wildlife benefits by acquiring land or related interests in land such as perpetual, less-than-fee acquisitions, agricultural protection agreements, and resource conservation agreements and innovative planning and development strategies in rural areas.
s. 62, ch. 2001-279.
Conservation easements and agreements.—
The department, on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, may allocate moneys to acquire perpetual, less-than-fee interest in land, to enter into agricultural protection agreements, and to enter into resource conservation agreements for the following public purposes:
Promotion and improvement of wildlife habitat;
Protection and enhancement of water bodies, aquifer recharge areas, wetlands, and watersheds;
Perpetuation of open space on lands with significant natural areas; or
Protection of agricultural lands threatened by conversion to other uses.
To achieve the purposes of this act, beginning no sooner than July 1, 2002, and every year thereafter, the department may accept applications for project proposals that:
Purchase conservation easements, as defined in s. 704.06.
Purchase rural-lands-protection easements pursuant to this act.
Fund resource conservation agreements pursuant to this act.
Fund agricultural protection agreements pursuant to this act.
Rural-lands-protection easements shall be a perpetual right or interest in agricultural land which is appropriate to retain such land in predominantly its current state and to prevent the subdivision and conversion of such land into other uses. This right or interest in property shall prohibit only the following:
Construction or placing of buildings, roads, billboards or other advertising, utilities, or structures, except those structures and unpaved roads necessary for the agricultural operations on the land or structures necessary for other activities allowed under the easement, and except for linear facilities described in s. 704.06(11);
Subdivision of the property;
Dumping or placing of trash, waste, or offensive materials; and
Activities that affect the natural hydrology of the land or that detrimentally affect water conservation, erosion control, soil conservation, or fish or wildlife habitat, except those required for environmental restoration; federal, state, or local government regulatory programs; or best management practices.
Resource conservation agreements will be contracts for services which provide annual payments to landowners for services that actively improve habitat and water restoration or conservation on their lands over and above that which is already required by law or which provide recreational opportunities. They will be for a term of not less than 5 years and not more than 10 years. Property owners will become eligible to enter into a resource conservation agreement only upon entering into a conservation easement or rural lands protection easement.
Agricultural protection agreements shall be for terms of 30 years and will provide payments to landowners having significant natural areas on their land. Public access and public recreational opportunities may be negotiated at the request of the landowner.
For the length of the agreement, the landowner shall agree to prohibit:
Construction or placing of buildings, roads, billboards or other advertising, utilities, or structures, except those structures and unpaved roads necessary for the agricultural operations on the land or structures necessary for other activities allowed under the easement, and except for linear facilities described in s. 704.06(11);
Subdivision of the property;
Dumping or placing of trash, waste, or offensive materials; and
Activities that affect the natural hydrology of the land, or that detrimentally affect water conservation, erosion control, soil conservation, or fish or wildlife habitat.
As part of the agricultural protection agreement, the parties shall agree that the state shall have a right to buy a conservation easement or rural land protection easement at the end of the 30-year term. If the landowner tenders the easement for the purchase and the state does not timely exercise its right to buy the easement, the landowner shall be released from the agricultural agreement. The purchase price of the easement shall be established in the agreement and shall be based on the value of the easement at the time the agreement is entered into, plus a reasonable escalator multiplied by the number of full calendar years following the date of the commencement of the agreement. The landowner may transfer or sell the property before the expiration of the 30-year term, but only if the property is sold subject to the agreement and the buyer becomes the successor in interest to the agricultural protection agreement. Upon mutual consent of the parties, a landowner may enter into a perpetual easement at any time during the term of an agricultural protection agreement.
Payment for conservation easements and rural land protection easements shall be a lump-sum payment at the time the easement is entered into.
Landowners entering into an agricultural protection agreement may receive up to 50 percent of the purchase price at the time the agreement is entered into, and remaining payments on the balance shall be equal annual payments over the term of the agreement.
Payments for the resource conservation agreements shall be equal annual payments over the term of the agreement.
Easements purchased pursuant to this act may not prevent landowners from transferring the remaining fee value with the easement.
The department, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, the water management districts, the Department of Community Affairs, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, shall adopt rules that establish an application process, a process and criteria for setting priorities for use of funds consistent with the purposes specified in subsection (1) and giving preference to ranch and timber lands managed using sustainable practices, an appraisal process, and a process for title review and compliance and approval of the rules by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
If a landowner objects to having his or her property included in any lists or maps developed to implement this act, the department shall remove the property from any such lists or maps upon receipt of the landowner’s written request to do so.
The department is authorized to use funds from the following sources to implement this act:
Other governmental entities;
Nongovernmental organizations; or
Any such funds provided shall be deposited into the Conservation and Recreation Lands Program Trust Fund within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and used for the purposes of this act.
No more than 10 percent of any funds made available to implement this act shall be expended for resource conservation agreements and agricultural protection agreements.
s. 63, ch. 2001-279; s. 5, ch. 2002-4; s. 48, ch. 2002-295; s. 113, ch. 2005-2.
As used in ss. 570.70 and 570.71, the term “department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
s. 61, ch. 2001-279.
Florida Agricultural Museum.—
The Florida Agricultural Museum is designated as the museum of agriculture and rural history of the State of Florida and is hereby established within the department.
s. 11, ch. 92-151.
Definitions; ss. 570.902 and 570.903.—
For the purpose of ss. 570.902 and 570.903:
“Designated program” means the specific departmental program which a direct-support organization has been created to support.
“Direct-support organization” or “organization” means an organization which is a Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the department to operate for the benefit of a museum or a specific departmental program.
“Museum” means the Florida Agricultural Museum which is designated as the museum for agriculture and rural history of the State of Florida.
s. 12, ch. 92-151; s. 36, ch. 93-169.
When the Legislature authorizes the establishment of a direct-support organization to provide assistance for the museums, the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Program, the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, the Friends of the Florida State Forests Program of the Division of Forestry, and the Forestry Arson Alert Program, and other programs of the department, the following provisions shall govern the creation, use, powers, and duties of the direct-support organization.
The department shall enter into a memorandum or letter of agreement with the direct-support organization, which shall specify the approval of the department, the powers and duties of the direct-support organization, and rules with which the direct-support organization shall comply.
The department may permit, without charge, appropriate use of property, facilities, and personnel of the department by a direct-support organization, subject to the provisions of ss. 570.902 and 570.903. The use shall be directly in keeping with the approved purposes of the direct-support organization and shall not be made at times or places that would unreasonably interfere with opportunities for the general public to use department facilities for established purposes.
The department shall prescribe by contract or by rule conditions with which a direct-support organization shall comply in order to use property, facilities, or personnel of the department or museum. Such rules shall provide for budget and audit review and oversight by the department.
The department shall not permit the use of property, facilities, or personnel of the museum, department, or designated program by a direct-support organization which does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin.
The direct-support organization shall be empowered to conduct programs and activities; raise funds; request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of money; acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer, in its own name, securities, funds, objects of value, or other property, real or personal; and make expenditures to or for the direct or indirect benefit of the museum or designated program.
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 287.057, the direct-support organization may enter into contracts or agreements with or without competitive bidding for the restoration of objects, historical buildings, and other historical materials or for the purchase of objects, historical buildings, and other historical materials which are to be added to the collections of the museum, or benefit the designated program. However, before the direct-support organization may enter into a contract or agreement without competitive bidding, the direct-support organization shall file a certification of conditions and circumstances with the internal auditor of the department justifying each contract or agreement.
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 287.025(1)(e), the direct-support organization may enter into contracts to insure property of the museum or designated programs and may insure objects or collections on loan from others in satisfying security terms of the lender.
The direct-support organization shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981.
Neither a designated program or a museum, nor a nonprofit corporation trustee or employee may:
Receive a commission, fee, or financial benefit in connection with the sale or exchange of historical objects or properties to the direct-support organization, the museum, or the designated program; or
Be a business associate of any individual, firm, or organization involved in the sale or exchange of property to the direct-support organization, the museum, or the designated program.
All moneys received by the direct-support organization shall be deposited into an account of the direct-support organization and shall be used by the organization in a manner consistent with the goals of the museum or designated program.
The identity of a donor or prospective donor who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
The Commissioner of Agriculture, or the commissioner’s designee, may serve on the board of trustees and the executive committee of any direct-support organization established to benefit the museum or any designated program.
The department shall establish by rule archival procedures relating to museum artifacts and records. The rules shall provide procedures which protect the museum’s artifacts and records equivalent to those procedures which have been established by the Department of State under chapters 257 and 267.
s. 13, ch. 92-151; s. 37, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 95-126; s. 350, ch. 96-406; s. 1184, ch. 97-103; s. 123, ch. 2001-266.
Florida agriculture in the classroom.—
The Florida agriculture in the classroom program is hereby established within the department. The purpose of this program is to:
Conduct programs and activities related to collecting and producing resources and materials for agricultural education enhancement programs.
Establish local resource contracts to distribute teacher resources and materials.
Identify methods to integrate resources and materials into the classroom and provide teacher training programs.
s. 17, ch. 92-151.
Beef Market Development Act; definitions; Florida Beef Council, Inc., creation, purposes, governing board, powers, and duties; referendum on assessments imposed on gross receipts from cattle sales; payments to organizations for services; collecting and refunding assessments; vote on continuing the act; council bylaws.—
POPULAR NAME.—This act may be cited as the “Beef Market Development Act.”
LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—The Legislature intends by this act to promote the growth of the cattle industry in this state; to assure the public an adequate and wholesome food supply; to provide for the general economic welfare of producers and consumers of beef and the state; and to provide the beef cattle production and feeding industry of this state with the authority to establish a self-financed, self-governed program to help develop, maintain, and expand the state, national, and foreign markets for beef and beef products that are produced, processed, or manufactured in this state.
DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, the term:
“Beef” or “beef products” means the products of beef intended for human consumption which are derived from any bovine animal, regardless of age, including, but not limited to, veal.
“Cattle” means such animals as are so designated by federal law, including any marketing, promotion, and research orders as are in effect. Unless such federal law provides to the contrary, the term “cattle” includes all bovine animals, regardless of age, including, but not limited to, calves. A cow and nursing calf sold together are considered one unit.
“Council” means the Florida Beef Council, Inc.
“Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“Collection agent” means a person who sells, offers for sale, markets, distributes, trades, or processes cattle that have been purchased or acquired from a producer or that are marketed on behalf of a producer. The term also includes meatpacking firms and their agents that purchase or consign to purchase cattle.
“Person” means any natural person, partnership, corporation, company, association, society, trust, or other business unit or organization.
“Producer” means a person that has owned or sold cattle in the previous calendar year or presently owns cattle.
FLORIDA BEEF COUNCIL, INC.; CREATION; PURPOSES.—
There is created the Florida Beef Council, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of this state and operating as a direct-support organization of the department.
The council is authorized to impose an assessment of not more than $1 on each head of cattle sold in the state if the imposition of the assessment is approved by referendum pursuant to subsection (6). The proceeds of the assessment shall be used to fund the activities of the council. The council shall:
Establish the amount of the assessment at not more than $1 per head of cattle.
Develop, implement, and monitor a collection system for the assessment.
Coordinate the collection of the assessment with other states.
Establish refund procedures.
Conduct referenda under subsections (6) and (12).
The council shall:
Plan, implement, and conduct programs of promotion, research, and consumer information or industry information which are designed to strengthen the cattle industry’s market position in this state and in the nation and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and expand uses for beef and beef products.
Use the proceeds of the assessment for the purpose of funding cattle production and beef research, education, promotion, and consumer and industry information in this state and in the nation.
Plan and implement a cattle and beef industry feedback program in this state.
Coordinate research, education, promotion, industry, and consumer information programs with any national programs or programs of other states.
Develop new uses and markets for beef and beef products.
Develop and improve methods of distributing beef and beef products to the consumer.
Develop methods of improving the quality of beef and beef products for the benefit of consumers.
Inform and educate the public concerning the nutritive and economic values of beef and beef products.
Serve as a liaison within the beef and other food industries of the state and elsewhere in matters that would increase efficiencies that ultimately benefit both consumers and industry.
Buy, sell, mortgage, rent, or improve, in any manner that the council considers expedient, real property or personal property, or both.
Publish and distribute such papers or periodicals as the board of directors considers necessary to encourage and accomplish the purposes of the council.
Do all other acts necessary or expedient for the administration of the affairs and attainment of the purposes of the council.
Approve an annual plan, budget, and audit for the council.
The council may not participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. This restriction includes, but is not limited to, a prohibition against publishing or distributing any statements.
No part of the net receipts of the council shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its directors, its officers, or other private persons, except that the council may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered by staff employees and may make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes of this act.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the council may not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on:
By a corporation exempt from federal income tax under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; or
By a corporation to which contributions are deductible under s. 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
Notwithstanding any other statement of the purposes and responsibilities of the council, the council may not engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of its specific and primary purposes.
The Florida Beef Council, Inc., shall be governed by a board of directors composed of 13 members, including 8 representatives of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, of whom one is a representative of the Florida Association of Livestock Markets and one is a practicing order buyer; one a representative of the Dairy Farmers, Inc.; one a representative of the Florida CattleWomen, Inc.; one a representative of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation; one an allied-industry representative; and one an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences representative.
The initial board of directors shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture for a term of 1 year. Each subsequent vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the bylaws of the council. Thereafter, each board member shall be appointed to serve a 3-year term and may be reappointed to serve an additional consecutive term. A member may not serve more than two consecutive terms. A member must be a resident of this state and must be a producer who has been a producer for at least the 5 years immediately preceding the first day of his or her service on the board, except that the representative of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, the allied-industry representative, and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences representative need not be producers. All beef council board positions shall be unsalaried; however, the board members are entitled to reimbursement as provided in s. 112.061 for travel and other expenses incurred in carrying out the intents and purposes of this act.
The council shall provide for its officers through its bylaws, including the ability to set forth offices and responsibilities and form committees necessary for the implementation of this act. The Commissioner of Agriculture may designate an ex officio nonvoting member of the board of directors.
If a member of the board misses three consecutive, officially called meetings, the board of directors may declare that position vacant.
REFERENDUM ON ASSESSMENTS.—All producers in this state shall have the opportunity to vote in a referendum to determine whether the council shall be authorized to impose an assessment of not more than $1 per head on cattle sold in the state. The referendum shall pose the question: “Do you approve of an assessment program, up to $1 per head of cattle pursuant to section 570.9135, Florida Statutes, to be funded through specific contributions that are mandatory and refundable upon request?”
A referendum held under this section must be conducted by secret ballot at extension offices of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Florida or at offices of the United States Department of Agriculture with the cooperation of the department.
Notice of a referendum to be held under this act must be given at least once in trade publications, the public press, and statewide newspapers at least 30 days before the referendum is held.
Additional referenda may be held to authorize the council to increase the assessment to more than $1 per head of cattle. Such referendum shall pose the question: “Do you approve of granting the Florida Beef Council, Inc., authority to increase the per-head-of-cattle assessment pursuant to section 570.9135, Florida Statutes, from (present rate) to up to a maximum of (proposed rate) per head?” Referenda may not be held more often than once every 3 years.
Each cattle producer is entitled to only one vote in a referendum held under this act. Proof of identification and cattle ownership must be presented before voting.
A simple majority of those casting ballots shall determine any issue that requires a referendum under this act.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COUNCIL.—
The council shall:
Receive and disburse funds, as prescribed elsewhere in this act, to be used in administering and implementing the act.
Maintain a permanent record of its business proceedings.
Maintain a permanent, detailed record of its financial dealings.
Prepare periodic reports and an annual report of its activities for the fiscal year, for review by the beef industry in this state, and file its annual report with the department.
Prepare, for review by the beef industry in this state, periodic reports and an annual accounting for each fiscal year of all receipts and expenditures, and shall retain a certified public accountant for this purpose.
Appoint a licensed banking institution to serve as the depository for program funds and to handle disbursements of those funds.
Maintain frequent communication with officers and industry representatives at the state and national levels, including the department.
Maintain an office in this state.
The council may:
Conduct or contract for scientific research with any accredited university, college, or similar institution, and enter into other contracts or agreements that will aid in carrying out the purposes of the program, including contracts for the purchase or acquisition of facilities or equipment necessary to carry out the purposes of the program.
Disseminate reliable information benefiting the consumer and the beef industry on subjects such as, but not limited to, the purchase, identification, care, storage, handling, cookery, preparation, serving, and nutritive value of beef and beef products.
Provide to government bodies, on request, information relating to subjects of concern to the beef industry, and may act jointly or in cooperation with the state or Federal Government, and agencies thereof, in the development or administration of programs that the council considers to be consistent with the objectives of the program.
Sue and be sued as a council without individual liability of the members for acts of the council when acting within the scope of the powers of this act and in the manner prescribed by the laws of this state.
Borrow from licensed lending institutions money in amounts that are not cumulatively greater than 50 percent of the council’s anticipated annual income.
Maintain a financial reserve for emergency use, the total of which must not exceed 50 percent of the council’s anticipated annual income.
Appoint advisory groups composed of representatives from organizations, institutions, governments, or businesses related to or interested in the welfare of the beef industry and the consuming public.
Employ subordinate officers and employees of the council, prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation and terms of employment.
Cooperate with any local, state, regional, or nationwide organization or agency engaged in work or activities consistent with the objectives of the program.
Cause any duly authorized agent or representative to enter upon the premises of any market agency, market agent, collection agency, or collection agent and examine or cause to be examined by the authorized agent only books, papers, and records that deal with the payment of the assessment provided for in this act or with the enforcement of this act.
Do all other things necessary to further the intent of this act which are not prohibited by law.
ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND GIFTS.—The council may accept grants, donations, contributions, or gifts from any source if the use of such resources is not restricted in any manner that the council considers to be inconsistent with the objectives of the program.
PAYMENTS TO ORGANIZATIONS.—
The council may pay funds to other organizations for work or services performed which are consistent with the objectives of the program.
Before making payments described in this subsection, the council must secure a written agreement that the organization receiving payment will:
Furnish at least annually, or more frequently on request of the council, written or printed reports of program activities and reports of financial data that are relative to the council’s funding of such activities; and
Agree to have appropriate representatives attend business meetings of the council as reasonably requested by the chairperson of the council.
The council may require adequate proof of security bonding on said funds to any individual, business, or other organization.
COLLECTION OF MONEYS AT TIME OF MARKETING.—
Each collection agent may deduct from the gross receipts of the producer, at the time of sale, the assessment imposed by the council.
The collection agent shall collect all such moneys and forward them to the council periodically, at least once a month, and the council shall provide appropriate business forms for the convenience of the collecting agent in executing this duty.
The council shall maintain within its financial records a separate accounting of all moneys received under this subsection.
The assessment is due and payable upon the sale of cattle in this state. The assessment constitutes a personal debt of the producer who is so assessed or who otherwise owes the assessment. If a producer fails to remit any properly due assessment, the council may bring a civil action against that person in the circuit court of any county for the collection thereof, and may add a penalty in the amount of 10 percent of the assessment owed, the cost of enforcing the collection of the assessment, court costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees. The action shall be tried and judgment rendered as in any other cause of action for debts due and payable. All assessments, penalties, and enforcement costs are due and payable to the council.
The council may adopt reciprocal agreements with other beef councils or similar organizations relating to moneys collected at Florida collection agents on cattle from other states and to Florida cattle sold at other state markets.
The collection agents shall be entitled to deduct 2.5 percent of the amount collected to retain as a reasonable collection allowance prior to remitting the funds to the council.
A producer who has had moneys deducted from his or her gross sales receipts under this act is entitled to a prompt and full refund on request.
The council shall make available to all collection agents business forms permitting request for refund, which forms are to be submitted by the objecting producer within 45 days after the sale transaction takes place.
A refund claim must include the claimant’s signature, date of sale, place of sale, number of cattle, and amount of assessment deducted, and must have attached thereto proof of the assessment deducted.
If the council has reasonable doubt that a refund claim is valid, it may withhold payment and take such action as it considers necessary to determine the validity of the claim. Any dispute arising under this subsection shall be determined as specified in paragraph (10)(d).
The council shall take action on refund requests within 30 calendar days following the date of receipt of the request.
Only the producer may initiate a request for refund.
VOTE ON CONTINUING THE ASSESSMENT.—Upon the delivery by certified mail to the Florida Beef Council office of petitions from at least 1,800 producers or 10 percent of Florida’s producers as determined by the department, whichever is less, and stating “Shall the assessment authorized by the Beef Market Development Act continue?” the council shall, within 90 days, conduct a referendum to determine whether a majority of the producers voting in the referendum support the continuation of the Beef Market Development Act. All signatures must be collected within a 12-month period. A referendum held under this subsection may not be held more than one time in a 3-year period. Qualifications for signature and vote are the same as those required in subsection (6).
BYLAWS.—The Florida Beef Council shall, within 90 days after this act becomes a law, adopt bylaws to carry out the intents and purposes of this act. These bylaws may be amended with a 30-day notice to board members at any regular or special meeting called for this purpose. The bylaws must conform to the requirements of this act but may also address any matter not in conflict with the general laws of this state.
s. 1, ch. 2004-65; s. 16, ch. 2005-210.
Equestrian educational sports program.—
The department shall establish an equestrian educational sports program with one or more accredited 4-year state universities, designed to give student riders the opportunity to learn, compete, and succeed at the collegiate level while at the same time promoting the state’s multibillion dollar equine industry.
s. 27, ch. 2000-308.
Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park; legislative findings.—
It is the finding of the Legislature that:
Agriculture is an important industry to the State of Florida, producing over $6 billion per year while supporting over 230,000 jobs.
Equine and other agriculture-related industries will strengthen and benefit each other with the establishment of a statewide agriculture and horse facility.
A Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park will provide Florida with a unique tourist experience for visitors and residents, thus generating taxes and additional dollars for the state.
Promoting the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park as a joint effort between the state and the private sector will allow this facility to utilize experts and generate revenue from many areas to ensure the success of this facility.
s. 1, ch. 94-301.
Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority.—
There is created within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority which shall be governed by this section and s. 570.903.
The authority shall be composed of 21 members appointed by the commissioner.
Initially, the commissioner shall appoint 11 members for 4-year terms and 10 members for 2-year terms. Thereafter, each member shall be appointed for a term of 4 years from the date of appointment, except that a vacancy shall be filled by appointment for the remainder of the term.
Any member of the authority who fails to attend three consecutive authority meetings without good cause shall be deemed to have resigned from the authority.
Terms for members appointed prior to July 1, 2005, shall expire on July 1, 2005.
The Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority shall have the power and duty to:
Appoint, with approval from the commissioner, an executive director for the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park.
Establish rules of procedure for conducting its meetings and approving matters before the authority that are consistent with s. 570.903.
Develop, document, and implement strategies for the planning, construction, and operation of the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park.
Advise and consult with the commissioner on matters related to the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park.
Consider all matters submitted to the authority by the commissioner.
The authority shall meet at least semiannually and elect a chairperson, a vice chairperson, and a secretary for 1-year terms.
The authority shall meet at the call of its chairperson, at the request of a majority of its membership, at the request of the commissioner, or at such times as may be prescribed by its rules of procedure.
The department shall be responsible for providing administrative and staff support services relating to the meetings of the authority and shall provide suitable space in the offices of the department for the meetings and the storage of records of the authority.
In conducting its meetings, the authority shall use accepted rules of procedure. The secretary shall keep a complete record of the proceedings of each meeting, which record shall show the names of the members present and the actions taken. These records shall be kept on file with the department, and such records and other documents regarding matters within the jurisdiction of the authority shall be subject to inspection by members of the authority.
s. 2, ch. 94-301; s. 8, ch. 95-220; s. 7, ch. 98-396; s. 9, ch. 99-391; s. 28, ch. 2000-308; s. 17, ch. 2005-210.
Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority; donor identity; records; confidentiality.—
The identity of a donor to the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority, if so requested by the donor in writing, is confidential and exempt from s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and the provisions of s. 119.07(1). All other records of the authority are public records for the purposes of chapter 119. This exemption is necessary to protect the privacy of the donor and to encourage donors to make donations without being subjected to requests for moneys from other persons.
s. 1, ch. 94-283; s. 351, ch. 96-406.
The department may develop a farm-to-fuel initiative to enhance the market for and promote the production and distribution of renewable energy from Florida-grown crops, agricultural wastes and residues, and other biomass and to enhance the value of agricultural products or expand agribusiness in the state.
The department may conduct a statewide comprehensive information and education program aimed at educating the general public about the benefits of renewable energy and the use of alternative fuels.
The department shall coordinate with and solicit the expertise of the state energy office within the Department of Environmental Protection when developing and implementing this initiative.
s. 7, ch. 2006-289.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may provide marketing advice, technical expertise, promotional support, and product development related to agritourism to assist the following in their agritourism initiatives: the Florida Commission on Tourism; convention and visitor bureaus; tourist development councils; economic development organizations; and local governments. In carrying out this responsibility, the department shall focus its agritourism efforts on rural and urban communities.
s. 1, ch. 2007-244.
As used in ss. 570.96-570.962, the term:
“Agritourism activity” means any activity carried out on a farm or ranch or in a forest that allows members of the general public, for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes, to view or enjoy rural activities, including farming, ranching, historical, cultural, harvest-your-own, or nature-based activities and attractions. An activity is an agritourism activity whether or not the participant paid to participate in the activity.
“Agritourism professional” means any person who is engaged in the business of providing one or more agritourism activities, whether or not for compensation.
“Farm” means the land, buildings, support facilities, machinery, and other appurtenances used in the production of farm or aquaculture products, including land used to display plants, animals, farm products, or farm equipment to the public.
“Farm operation” has the same meaning as defined in s. 823.14.
s. 1, ch. 2007-244.
Agritourism participation impact on land classification.—
In order to promote and perpetuate agriculture throughout the state, farm operations are encouraged to engage in agritourism. The conduct of agritourism activity on a bona fide farm or on agricultural lands classified as such pursuant to s. 193.461 shall not limit, restrict, or divest the land of that classification.
Local governments and agricultural representatives shall meet for the purpose of discussing the benefits of agritourism to local economies and opportunities for cooperation, conflict resolution, regulatory streamlining, and incentives.
s. 1, ch. 2007-244.
Gertrude Maxwell Save a Pet Direct-Support Organization.—
The Gertrude Maxwell Save a Pet Direct-Support Organization is created within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and shall be governed by this section and ss. 570.902 and 570.903. The purpose of this direct-support organization is to provide grants to animal shelters for spaying and neutering animals, provide grants for shelters and services during times of emergencies, and develop and disseminate pet care education materials. The direct-support organization shall not participate in, endorse, or financially support political activities at the national, state, or local level.
The board of directors of the direct-support organization shall include one representative of each of the following groups as recommended by that group: the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs, a humane organization designated by the commissioner, the Florida Animal Control Association, the National Rifle Association, a consumer member not affiliated with any of the aforementioned associations, and the commissioner or his or her designee.
The board of directors of the direct-support organization may appoint up to three nonvoting honorary members. Nominees should be individuals, companies, or organizations that have exemplified themselves or have made significant contributions to the health, safety, or well-being of animals. Honorary board members shall serve for a maximum of two consecutive annual terms. The commissioner shall appoint the board of directors as well as the honorary board members.
s. 2, ch. 2008-72.