The department may establish the Environmental Stewardship Certification Program consistent with this section. (1) The program must:
(a) Be integrated, to the maximum extent practicable, with programs that are sponsored by agricultural organizations or state universities.
(b) Be designed to recognize and promote agricultural operations or homeowner practices that demonstrate exemplary resource management that is related to environmental stewardship.
(c) Include a process to periodically review a certification to ensure compliance with the program requirements, including implementation by the certificateholder.
(d) Require periodic continuing education in relevant environmental stewardship issues in order to maintain certification.
(2) The department shall provide an agricultural certification under this program for implementation of one or more of the following criteria:
(a) A voluntary agreement between an agency and an agricultural producer for environmental improvement or water-resource protection.
(b) A conservation plan that meets or exceeds the requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture.
(c) Best management practices adopted pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(c) or s. 570.93(1)(b). (3) The Soil and Water Conservation Council created by s. 582.06 may develop and recommend to the department for adoption additional criteria for receipt of an agricultural certification which may include, but not be limited to:
(a) Comprehensive management of all on-farm resources.
(b) Promotion of environmental awareness and responsible resource stewardship in agricultural or urban communities.
(c) Completion of a curriculum of study that is related to environmental issues and regulation.
(4) If needed, the department and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida may jointly develop a curriculum that provides instruction concerning environmental issues pertinent to agricultural certification and deliver such curriculum to, and certify its completion by, any person seeking certification or to maintain certification.
(5) The department may enter into agreements with third-party providers to administer or implement all or part of the program.