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.
   28  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.