Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1130 By Senator Albritton 26-01739-20 20201130__ 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; requiring the department to 11 give preference to veterans; specifying a range for 12 grant amounts awarded; providing that a recipient may 13 not receive more than one award per grant period under 14 the program; specifying that grant funding is 15 contingent upon specific appropriation from the 16 Legislature; providing an effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Section 570.842, Florida Statutes, is created to 21 read: 22 570.842 Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant 23 Program.— 24 (1) The Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant 25 Program is created within the department to support the startup 26 functions associated with new farming and ranching operations. 27 (a) Grants administered by the department through this 28 program must be for the purpose of fostering the creation and 29 expansion of agricultural businesses by young farmers and 30 ranchers in this state. 31 (b) The department shall select grant recipients based on 32 selection criteria adopted pursuant to subsection (2). 33 (2) The department shall adopt rules governing the 34 operation of the program, including an application process and 35 selection criteria for grant recipients. 36 (a) At a minimum, in order to be eligible to receive a 37 grant, an individual must meet all of the following 38 requirements: 39 1. Be an agricultural producer, be an employee of a farm or 40 ranch, or have been actively involved in Future Farmers of 41 America for at least 1 year. 42 2. Be at least 18 years of age, but younger than 35 years 43 of age. 44 3. Have operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 45 years. 46 4. Demonstrate, at a minimum, a dollar-for-dollar matching 47 investment for the grant amount requested. 48 5. Submit, on a form prescribed by the department, a grant 49 application during the application period established by the 50 department. The department may designate only one period each 51 year for accepting applications. 52 (b) In the application review process, the department shall 53 give a preference to an applicant who is a veteran, as defined 54 in s. 1.01(14). 55 (3) Each grant award under the program must be between 56 $5,000 and $20,000, with no more than one award being made to an 57 individual grant recipient per grant period. 58 (4) Annual grant funding for this program is contingent 59 upon specific annual appropriation by the Legislature. 60 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.