Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 880
       By Senator Albritton
       26-01811A-19                                           2019880__
    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
    8         specified criteria; requiring the department to adopt
    9         rules; requiring that applicants meet specified
   10         eligibility requirements; specifying a range for grant
   11         amounts; providing that a recipient may not receive
   12         more than one award per year under the program;
   13         specifying that grant funding is contingent upon
   14         specific appropriation by the Legislature; providing
   15         an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Section 570.842, Florida Statutes, is created to
   20  read:
   21         570.842 Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant
   22  Program.—
   23         (1)The Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant
   24  Program is created within the department to support the startup
   25  functions associated with new farming and ranching operations.
   26         (a)Grants administered by the department through this
   27  program must be for the purpose of fostering the creation and
   28  expansion of agricultural businesses by young farmers and
   29  ranchers in this state.
   30         (b)The department shall select grant recipients based on
   31  selection criteria adopted pursuant to subsection (2).
   32         (2)The department shall adopt rules governing the
   33  operation of the program, including an application process and
   34  selection criteria for grant recipients.
   35         (a) At a minimum, in order to be eligible to receive a
   36  grant, an individual must meet all of the following
   37  requirements:
   38         1.Be an agricultural producer, be an employee of a farm or
   39  ranch, or have been actively involved in Future Farmers of
   40  America for at least 1 year.
   41         2. Be at least 18 years of age, but younger than 35 years
   42  of age.
   43         3.Have operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10
   44  years.
   45         4.Demonstrate, at minimum, a dollar-for-dollar matching
   46  investment for the grant amount requested.
   47         5.Submit, on a form prescribed by the department, a grant
   48  application during the application period established by the
   49  department. The department may designate only one period each
   50  year for accepting applications.
   51         (b) In the application review process, the department shall
   52  give a preference to an applicant who is a veteran, as defined
   53  in s. 1.01(14).
   54         (3)Each grant award under the program must be between
   55  $5,000 and $20,000, with no more than one award being made to an
   56  individual grant recipient per grant period.
   57         (4)Annual grant funding for this program is contingent
   58  upon specific annual appropriation by the Legislature.
   59         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.