Comment Period Open for Soil & Water Conservation District Bill- HB 0783/SB1078

January 2022 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter

County Farm Bureaus have the opportunity to comment and speak directly to the bill sponsors for HB 0783/SB1078.  This bill seeks to abolish Soil & Water Conservation Districts which are a vital resource for farmers and ranchers.  Farm Bureau policy supports the existence and function of these districts to work with agricultural landowners.  Members are provided a letter template to help with any communications.  

Suggested language to use when writing to bill sponsors:  

(insert county) Farm Bureau appreciates the opportunity to comment on behalf of your bill to abolish the Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Florida.  Though we understand the concern that you have regarding many of the districts that have moved far away from the core mission of the program, we are contacting you today to let you know that (insert county) Soil & Water Conservation District is providing a valuable service to our farmers and ranchers. 

Florida Farm Bureau Federation policy specifically denotes support for soil and water conservation districts ‘in their efforts to work with agriculture landowners.’  The policy further denotes support ‘when such agencies are operating in a manner that is consistent with the needs of the farming community.’  It is within this context that we support our (insert county) Soil & Water Conservation District. 

There is no doubt that changes need to be made to the soil and water conservation district structure in Florida.  We are encouraged that you are open to reviewing options that will fix the problematic districts without abolishing all including those that are complimentary to the agricultural community.  

We look forward to working with you and your staff in finding an amiable solution that will create a district supportive structure wherein all of the soil and water conservation districts are operating in a manner that is consistent with the needs of the farming community.