Florida Senate - 2018 CS for SB 872 By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senator Grimsley 576-03584-18 2018872c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to young farmers and ranchers; 3 creating s. 570.842, F.S.; creating the Florida Young 4 Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant Program within the 5 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; 6 specifying the purpose of the grants; requiring the 7 department to select grant recipients based on certain 8 criteria; requiring the department to adopt rules; 9 specifying minimum grant selection criteria; 10 specifying a grant award minimum and maximum; 11 requiring that no more than one award per year may go 12 to an individual recipient; specifying that grant 13 funding is contingent upon specific appropriation from 14 the Legislature; creating s. 570.843, F.S.; creating 15 the Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Advisory Council 16 within the department; specifying membership of the 17 council; providing for staggered terms; specifying the 18 meetings, powers, duties, procedures, and 19 recordkeeping of the council; specifying that the 20 council may submit findings and recommendations to the 21 Commissioner of Agriculture; specifying the issues the 22 council may examine; creating s. 570.844, F.S.; 23 requiring the department to establish a clearinghouse 24 on its website for resources to assist young and 25 beginning farmers and ranchers; providing an effective 26 date. 27 28 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 29 30 Section 1. Section 570.842, Florida Statutes, is created to 31 read: 32 570.842 Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant 33 Program.— 34 (1) To support the start-up functions associated with new 35 farming and ranching operations, there is created within the 36 department the Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant 37 Program. 38 (a) Grants administered by the department through this 39 program must be for the purpose of fostering the creation and 40 expansion of agricultural businesses by young farmers and 41 ranchers in the state. 42 (b) The department shall select grant recipients based on 43 selection criteria developed pursuant to subsection (2). 44 (2) The department shall adopt rules governing the 45 operation of the program, an application process, and selection 46 criteria for grant recipients. At a minimum, in order to be 47 eligible to receive a grant, a person must: 48 (a) Be an agricultural producer who is at least 18 years of 49 age but younger than 35 years of age or be an agricultural 50 producer who is a veteran as defined by s. 1.01; 51 (b) Have operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 52 years; 53 (c) Demonstrate, at minimum, a dollar-for-dollar matching 54 investment for grant money requested; and 55 (d) Submit, on a form prescribed by the department, a grant 56 application during the application period established by the 57 department. The department may designate only one period each 58 year for accepting applications. 59 (3) Each grant award under the program must be between 60 $5,000 and $20,000, with no more than one award being made to an 61 individual grant recipient per grant period. 62 (4) Annual grant funding for this program is contingent 63 upon specific annual appropriation by the Legislature. 64 Section 2. Section 570.843, Florida Statutes, is created to 65 read: 66 570.843 Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Advisory Council.— 67 (1) There is created within the department the Florida 68 Young Farmer and Rancher Advisory Council, to consist of 12 69 members to be appointed by the commissioner. Initially, 6 70 members shall be appointed by the commissioner for a 1-year term 71 and 6 members for a 2-year term. Thereafter, members shall be 72 appointed for 2-year terms. 73 (2) The meetings, powers, duties, procedures, and 74 recordkeeping of the Florida Young Farmers and Ranchers Advisory 75 Council shall be pursuant to s. 570.232. 76 (3) The council may submit to the commissioner, annually, 77 findings and recommendations for mitigating challenges facing 78 aspiring farmers and ranchers in the early stages of their 79 careers. The council may examine issues that include, but are 80 not limited to, access to land, availability of credit and 81 capital, and access to business skills training. 82 Section 3. Section 570.844, Florida Statutes, is created to 83 read: 84 570.844 Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Resource 85 Clearinghouse.—The department shall establish on its website a 86 clearinghouse for resources available to young and beginning 87 farmers and ranchers, including, but not limited to, local, 88 state, federal, and private sources of grants, loans, and 89 scholarships, as well as general resources on finance and 90 business planning. The clearinghouse also must include resources 91 available to beginning agricultural producers who are veterans 92 as defined in s. 1.01. 93 Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.