Defining Day for Florida Agriculture

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts

Gov. DeSantis

What was ‘decision day’ for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis turned into a ‘defining day’ for Florida agriculture.

The governor signed SB 88: Farming Operations into law which modifies Florida’s Right to Farm Act to broadly protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits if they’ve followed regulatory requirements.

Overwhelming Support

Legislators, farmers and industry leaders applauded the bill:

Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Harbor) said, “It was a pleasure to partner with President Simpson on his passion project to protect Florida’s agriculture industry. With his leadership, Florida’s farming land remembered will never be forgotten. The Right to Farm law recognizes the importance of the agriculture industry to Florida’s economy and putting food on our tables. It gives farmers the protections they need to do their job without fear of nuisance lawsuits. I’ve often said that you occasionally need a doctor, you sometimes need a lawyer, but you’ll always need a farmer – three times a day.”

Steve Singleton, owner of Singleton and Sons Farm located in Hastings, Florida said, “My family and I have been farming on hundreds of acres for over 30 years. We pride ourselves on our family motto: ‘Save your money, work hard, and be patient.’ Our values are focused on finding innovative ways to farm and combat the rising concern of food insecurity. Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for signing Senate Bill 88 into law. Now we can focus on work that matters for the farm and for our community. My sons will be able to continue the legacy of our family-owned operation without the threat of costly and detrimental nuisance lawsuits.”

Aaron Troyer Chair, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association said, “The Florida Fruit And Vegetable Association thanks Governor DeSantis for his support of SB 88 – Farming /Operations. The importance of agriculture to our state’s economy cannot be overstated. Along with Construction and tourism, it is one of the three primary legs keeping Florida’s economy aloft. And over the course of the past year, the importance of this industry to the state has been underscored like never before. By Signing SB 88 in law, the Governor supported our tireless farmers by helping to alleviate some of this encroachment pressure, ensuring that agriculture, an economic pillar of our state, is sustained and remains an integral component and fixture of the Florida landscape.”

Senator Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture said, “This good bill balances the needs of residential development with those of critical agricultural work and agritourism activities that our legacy farms depend on. Our state has experienced tremendous growth since Florida’s Right to Farm Act was originally passed in 1979, and I am pleased to join the Governor as he signs this important update into law.”

Thursday was the last day that DeSantis could sign the bill into law. It becomes effective on July 1.

Source: Governor’s Office