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.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 570.842, Florida Statutes, is created to
   21  read:
   22         570.842Florida 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.