Five Questions for Republicans Running for Florida Agriculture Commissioner

Daniel CooperLegislative, Top

agriculture commissioner

By Gary Cooper, Founder and President of AgNet Media, Inc. The three Republican candidates for Florida Agriculture Commissioner presented their views to approximately 200 attendees at a recent Candidate Summit Luncheon near Orlando. Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate organized and hosted the event in conjunction with its  10th annual Lay of the Land Conference, which draws a strong agricultural following. … Read More

Conaway Introduces the Agriculture and Nutrition Act

Abbey TaylorFarm Bill, Industry News Release, Legislative

Three years, 114 hearings, six listening sessions and countless industry meetings have laid the groundwork for the 2018 farm bill. The House Agriculture Committee delivered what it calls a strong farm bill for producers, consumers and all of rural America. After introducing the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) during a teleconference, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway … Read More

Tree Assistance Program Tweaked to Help Citrus Growers

Tacy CalliesLegislative

crop forecast

By Michael W. Sparks Florida Citrus Mutual, the citrus industry and our Congressional delegation continue to work with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on obtaining federal relief payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for citrus groves damaged by Hurricane Irma. Once specifics are unveiled, we will get them to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, I wanted … Read More

Funding to Help Ag Producers Recover After Hurricanes

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release, Legislative


2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program to Aid Recovery in Rural Communities U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make disaster payments of up to $2.36 billion, as provided by Congress, to help America’s farmers and ranchers recover from hurricanes and wildfires. The funds are available as part of the new 2017 Wildfires … Read More

Growers Lose Lawsuit to Continue Ban on Argentinian Lemons

Tacy CalliesLegislative, lemons

By Brian German The ban on Argentinian lemons will not be reinstated after growers lost a lawsuit filed in May 2017, trying to keep the imports out of the United States. The lawsuit filed by the U.S. Citrus Science Council, along with five growers, claimed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ignored science and based its reasons to lift … Read More

Citrus Growers in Waiting Game for Hurricane Aid

Daniel Cooperhurricane, Industry News Release, Legislative


Frustration is growing among Florida citrus growers awaiting the distribution of $2.36 billion in federal disaster-relief money for agriculture losses sustained in Hurricane Irma. “We’re still waiting, maybe not as patiently as we were to start with,” Florida Citrus Commission Chairman G. Ellis Hunt said Wednesday. President Donald Trump signed the disaster-relief package in February, five months after Hurricane Irma … Read More

Citrus Industry Priorities for the Next Farm Bill

Abbey TaylorLegislative

Crop insurance fixes and the continuation of research funding are top priorities for the citrus industry when it comes to developing the new farm bill. Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy with the United Fresh Produce Association, recently discussed these issues with AgNet Media Founder and President Gary Cooper. They spoke during the recent Crop Insurance Industry Convention … Read More

HCCGA Discusses Disaster Relief Funding

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Legislative, Weather


After months of fighting for disaster relief funding, Florida agriculture finally received the answer it has been waiting to hear. On Feb. 9, a disaster relief package was passed through Congress that allocated $3.6 billion to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with $2.36 billion going toward Florida agriculture producers who suffered hurricane-related crop loss. While this is good news for … Read More

When Can Growers Expect to Receive Relief Funds?

Abbey Taylorfinancial, Legislative, Weather


Florida growers can now breathe a sigh of relief since disaster funding is coming their way. On Feb. 9, a relief package was passed to help the United States following the array of natural disasters in 2017, which included approximately $2.4 billion dollars specifically for U.S. agriculture. However, the big question on everyone’s mind is, how and when will growers … Read More

Call Now for Florida Agriculture Relief Legislation

Tacy CalliesLegislative

orange crop

By Mike Sparks, Florida Citrus Mutual executive vice president/chief executive officer The U.S. Senate is expected to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) sometime today.  The measure to fund the government includes $2.36 billion for Florida agriculture relief. Please immediately contact your U.S. Representative in the House and strongly urge him or her to vote “yes” on the bill. See … Read More

Florida Citrus Mutual Sets Goals for 2018 Legislative Session

Abbey TaylorLegislative


The Florida legislative session began Jan. 9 in Tallahassee. Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) has several goals for the 2018 session to aid an industry already dealing with devastating challenges. Andrew Meadows, FCM’s director of communications, says a big item on FCM’s radar is Hurricane Irma. The industry is continuing to suffer from the storm that occurred in September 2017. So, … Read More

Powerful Citrus Tax Incentive Now Law

Tacy CalliesLegislative

By Mike Sparks Executive Vice President/CEO, Florida Citrus Mutual I want to make sure this great news did not get lost in the holiday season. The tax bill recently signed into law by President Trump contains our citrus tax expensing provision that we have been working hard on for more than three years! The new law took effect on December … Read More

Update on Hurricane Disaster Relief Legislation

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Legislative


Mike Sparks, executive vice president/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, provides the following update on hurricane disaster relief legislation: This was another busy week in Washington. The industry, led by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, spent two days working with the Florida delegation and Congressional leaders in an attempt to find a path forward for disaster relief legislation. There is more … Read More

Citrus Money Passes House but Could Stall in Senate

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Legislative


Federal relief for Florida citrus growers cleared the U.S. House on Thursday, but its fate remained unclear in the Senate, which may not take up the package until January. Before the House vote, leaders separated an $81 billion disaster-relief package that includes citrus money from a short-term funding resolution needed to keep the government open through mid-January. The move drew … Read More

Gov. Scott Discusses Citrus Storm Relief

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release, Legislative


Gov. Rick Scott spent part of Friday on the phone talking about federal disaster relief amid continuing worries about the storm-ravaged citrus industry. Scott tweeted that his calls with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan included talk of hurricane relief. “I spoke with @GovAbbott this morning about the ongoing recovery in FL and TX from Hurricanes … Read More

Call to Action for Florida Citrus Industry Members

Tacy CalliesLegislative


On December 5, Mike Sparks, Florida Citrus Mutual executive vice president and CEO, sent the following message to the Florida citrus industry: Since Hurricane Irma devastated Florida citrus in September, Commissioner Adam Putnam, Governor Rick Scott, Florida Congressional/Senate leaders, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida citrus growers and the industry have been working tirelessly in Washington, D.C. to obtain a federal relief/rebuild … Read More

Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Hears About Citrus Damage

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Legislative, Weather

Citrus was a hot topic Thursday morning during the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee meeting in Tallahassee to discuss hurricane damage to Florida agriculture. Led by Chairperson Denise Grimsley, the committee heard from two sets of panelists as they explained the damage in their respective industries. The Florida Department of Citrus was represented by citrus grower Ellis Hunt in one of … Read More

Hurricane Damage Reports Needed from Citrus Growers

Tacy CalliesCitrus, Legislative, Water


Mike Sparks, executive vice president/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, reports that his association is working with state and federal officials on a financial assistance program to support losses to the Florida citrus crop from Hurricane Irma. “We have been in constant communication with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), as well as the Florida Department of Citrus … Read More

Ag Secretary Perdue Gains Optimism About Citrus Industry at Citrus Expo

Abbey TaylorCitrus Expo, Citrus Greening, Legislative

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited Citrus Expo on August 16. During his visit, he held a listening session alongside Congressman Tom Rooney and citrus industry professionals. The main topic during the session was citrus greening and the importance of research to combat the devastating disease. Growers and industry leaders spoke about the challenges of the Florida citrus industry. … Read More

Rep. Albritton Discusses Citrus Industry Funding

Abbey TaylorLegislative


By Jaci Schreckengost Ben Albritton, Florida House Representative from District 56, says it is encouraging to see the positivity in the citrus community, especially in challenging times. Due to the rise of huanglongbing (HLB), known as citrus greening disease, Florida citrus growers are facing the challenges of reduced production and health of their crops. There have been some changes in … Read More