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The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title XXXV
AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, AND ANIMAL INDUSTRY
Chapter 570
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
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CHAPTER 570
TITLE XXXV
AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, AND ANIMAL INDUSTRY
CHAPTER 570
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(ss. 570.01-570.232)
PART II
PROGRAM SERVICES
(ss. 570.30-570.693)
PART III
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
(ss. 570.70-570.89)
PART IV
AGRICULTURAL WATER POLICY
(ss. 570.916-570.94)
PART V
PENALTIES
(s. 570.971)
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
570.01 Department created; commissioner.
570.02 Definitions.
570.031 Seal of department.
570.041 Organization of departmental work.
570.051 Interference with department employees in performance of duties.
570.06 Offices of the department.
570.07 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; functions, powers, and duties.
570.077 Confidentiality of intelligence or investigative information.
570.081 Division of work between department and experiment station and extension service.
570.09 Assistant commissioner.
570.091 Deputy commissioners.
570.092 Inspector general.
570.10 Counsel.
570.11 Directors; oath of office.
570.12 Other officers and employees.
570.13 Salary of commissioner, officers, and employees; expenses.
570.15 Access to places of business and vehicles.
570.191 Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund.
570.1912 Funding of Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund.
570.192 Administrative Trust Fund.
570.193 Federal Grants Trust Fund.
570.194 Florida Saltwater Products Promotion Trust Fund.
570.20 General Inspection Trust Fund.
570.205 Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund.
570.209 Market Improvements Working Capital Trust Fund.
570.21 Publication of department’s bulletins, publications, and reports.
570.22 Service of process.
570.23 State Agricultural Advisory Council.
570.232 Advisory committees.
570.01 Department created; commissioner.There is hereby created a department of the government of this state to be known as the “Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.” The affairs of the department shall be transacted under the control of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106.
570.02 Definitions.The following words and phrases as used in this chapter and in the agricultural laws of this state, unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:
(1) “Agriculture” means the science and art of production of plants and animals useful to humans, including to a variable extent the preparation of these products for human use and their disposal by marketing or otherwise, and includes aquaculture, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, forestry, dairy, livestock, poultry, bees, and any and all forms of farm products and farm production. For the purposes of marketing and promotional activities, seafood shall also be included in this definition.
(2) “Agricultural business products” means nonconsumable products used in the producing, processing, distribution, and marketing of consumable farm products, including, but not limited to, machinery, equipment, and supplies.
(3) “Agricultural marketing facilities” means state-owned wholesale and retail markets managed by the Bureau of State Farmers’ Market.
(4) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture.
(5) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 215, ch. 71-377; s. 1, ch. 87-36; s. 1, ch. 88-341; s. 5, ch. 92-291; s. 1, ch. 93-169; s. 11, ch. 94-335; s. 21, ch. 96-247; s. 1182, ch. 97-103.
570.031 Seal of department.The department shall have an official seal which shall be used for the authentication of the orders and proceedings of the department and for such other purposes as the department may prescribe. Use of the seal or any likeness thereof requires written approval of the department.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 10, ch. 93-169; s. 69, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.14.
570.041 Organization of departmental work.In the assignment of functions to the divisions of the department created in s. 20.14, the department shall retain within the Division of Administration, in addition to executive functions, those powers and duties enumerated in s. 570.30. The department shall organize the work of the other divisions in such a way as to secure maximum efficiency in the conduct of the department. The divisions created in s. 20.14 are solely to make possible the definite placing of responsibility. The department shall be conducted as a unit in which every employee, including each division director, is assigned a definite workload, and there shall exist between division directors a spirit of cooperative effort to accomplish the work of the department.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 77-289; s. 21, ch. 2000-364; s. 51, ch. 2001-89; s. 4, ch. 2011-56; s. 36, ch. 2011-206; s. 18, ch. 2012-190; s. 72, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.18.
570.051 Interference with department employees in performance of duties.No person shall attempt, by means of any threat or violence, to deter or prevent an inspector, agent, or other employee of the department from performing any duties imposed by law upon him or her or the department; and no person shall impersonate an inspector, agent, or other employee of the department. Whoever violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 584, ch. 71-136; s. 12, ch. 93-169; s. 890, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 2003-181; s. 70, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.16.
570.06 Offices of the department.The principal office of the department shall be located at the seat of state government. Branch offices may be established and maintained by the department in such places as the commissioner may determine. The offices shall be supplied with all necessary books, stationery, office equipment and furniture, to be furnished and paid for in the manner provided by law.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54.
570.07 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; functions, powers, and duties.The department shall have and exercise the following functions, powers, and duties:
(1) To inquire into the needs of agriculture in the state and make appropriate recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature, except for those functions specifically assigned under state law to other state agencies.
(2) To perform all regulatory and inspection services relating to agriculture except agricultural education, demonstration, research, and those regulatory functions assigned by law to other state agencies. In doing this, the department may:
(a) Inspect for violations of and enforce all federal standards applicable to the responsibilities of the department, which were adopted for uniform application to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
(b) Enforce federal marketing orders identified in a cooperative agreement between the department and the United States Department of Agriculture.
(c) Apply generally accepted analytical technologies and validated methods in determining compliance with federal standards enforced pursuant to this subsection, statutes, and rules of the department.
(d) Impose a fine, as provided in s. 500.121, for a violation of a federal standard enforced pursuant to this subsection. In imposing any fine or sanction, whether authorized by this paragraph or by any other law, the department shall consider the degree and extent of harm caused by the violation, the cost of rectifying the damage, the monetary benefit to the violator, whether the violation was willful, and the violator’s compliance record.
(e) Except as expressly prohibited by law, use any of the trained personnel in the various divisions of the department in performing the regulatory and inspection services relating to agriculture.
(3) To make investigations, conduct hearings, and make recommendations concerning all matters relating to the powers, duties, and functions of the department as provided by law.
(4) To cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture and any other state or federal agency in any manner which may be helpful to agriculture in obtaining and disseminating production statistics and market and trade information concerning demand, supply, prevailing prices, and commercial movements of agricultural products and extent of products in storage. The department may compile, publish, and disseminate information and pertinent data on crops, livestock, poultry, and agricultural products and may provide matching funds with other agencies, local, state, or national, for the conduct of these services.
(5) To annually fix inspection and license fees and recording and service charges within maximum limits provided by law to pay the cost of the service performed, to pay the cost of maintenance of reasonable reserves for contingencies, including cost of depository, accounting, disbursement, auditing, and rental of quarters and facilities furnished by the state, and to pay compensation to fruit and vegetable inspectors for work in excess of 40 hours per week at the same rate of pay as received for normal work hours when compensatory time cannot be given as reimbursement for overtime work.
(6) To foster and encourage the standardizing, grading, inspection, labeling, handling, storage, and marketing of agricultural products; to enhance the food safety of tomatoes and, after investigation and public hearings, to cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture, to establish and promulgate standard grades and other standard classifications of and for agricultural products; and to establish and adopt requirements for enhancing food safety, in cooperation with appropriate agencies.
(7) To extend in every practicable way the distribution and sale of Florida agricultural products throughout the markets of the world.
(8) To promote, in the interest of the producer, the distributor, and the consumer, the economical and efficient distribution of agricultural products of this state; and to cooperate with the Department of Commerce of the United States and any other department or agency of the federal or state government for this purpose.
(9) To obtain and furnish information: relating to the selection of shipping routes, adoption of shipping methods, or avoidance of delays in the transportation of agricultural products; or helpful in the solution of other transportation problems connected with the distribution of agricultural products.
(10) To act as adviser to producers and distributors, when requested, to assist them in the economical and efficient distribution of their agricultural products, to encourage cooperative effort among producers to gain economical and efficient production of agricultural products, and to adopt rules establishing comprehensive best management practices for agricultural production and food safety.
(11) To foster and encourage cooperation between producers and distributors in the interest of the general public.
(12) To act as a mediator or arbitrator in any controversy or issue between producers and distributors of any agricultural products concerning the grade or classification of such products.
(13) To protect the agricultural and horticultural interests of the state; and, to that end, it shall enforce those functions, powers, and duties given to it in chapter 581 and all other laws relating thereto.
(14) To inspect apiaries for diseases inimical to bees and beekeeping and enforce the laws relating thereto.
(15) To protect the livestock interests of the state; and, to that end, it shall enforce those functions, powers, and duties given to it in chapter 585 and all other laws relating thereto.
(16) To enforce the state laws and rules relating to:
(a) Fruit and vegetable inspection and grading;
(b) Pesticide spray, residue inspection, and removal;
(c) Registration, labeling, inspection, sale, use, composition, formulation, wholesale and retail distribution, and analysis of commercial stock feeds and registration, labeling, inspection, and analysis of commercial fertilizers;
(d) Classification, inspection, and sale of poultry and eggs;
(e) Registration, inspection, and analysis of gasolines and oils;
(f) Registration, labeling, inspection, and analysis of pesticides;
(g) Registration, labeling, inspection, germination testing, and sale of seeds, both common and certified;
(h) Weights, measures, and standards;
(i) Foods, as set forth in the Florida Food Safety Act;
(j) Inspection and certification of honey;
(k) Sale of liquid fuels;
(l) Licensing of dealers in agricultural products;
(m) Administration and enforcement of all regulatory legislation applying to milk and milk products, ice cream, and frozen desserts;
(n) Recordation and inspection of marks and brands of livestock;
(o) Regulation of fertilizer, including its sale, composition, packaging, labeling, wholesale and retail distribution, and formulation, including nutrient content level and release rates; and
(p) All other regulatory laws relating to agriculture.

In order to ensure uniform health and safety standards, the adoption of standards and fines in the subject areas of paragraphs (a)-(n) is expressly preempted to the state and the department. Any local government enforcing the subject areas of paragraphs (a)-(n) must use the standards and fines set forth in the pertinent statutes or any rules adopted by the department pursuant to those statutes.

(17)(a) To receive and compile reports on all fruits, vegetables, and other farm products grown in the state, and publish them in a state press that will do so without cost;
(b) To obtain and disseminate information on carriers’ rates;
(c) To collect information on additional market centers and their capacities;
(d) To keep and compile a statement of all shipments moving out of the state;
(e) To keep farmers and producers posted as to the exact conditions existing in the state and the markets of the country;
(f) To cooperate with the United States Government in establishing and maintaining a market news system;
(g) To issue bulletins or other information advising the best method for picking, packing, packaging, and distributing agricultural products and to study all conditions as affecting other states;
(h) To keep in touch with the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., to advise our people what crops to plant or not plant, what markets are overstocked, and through a system of cooperation to aid in development of agricultural interests and protection of Florida’s producers;
(i) To devise such methods as will best carry forward this work, such as inspection of packages and other measures that conform to the marketing system of the Department of Agriculture in Washington;
(j) To publish or issue bulletins listing items for sale or exchange, or wanted by farmers; and
(k) To do all that can be done to bring relief to and aid in the marketing and distribution of Florida’s products.
(18)(a) To instruct the industry in the standardization, grading, packing, processing, loading, refrigeration, routing, diversion, and distribution of farm products;
(b) To carry out research or cooperate with other state or federal agricultural agencies on research work in marketing;
(c) To provide any other information and assistance necessary to the efficient selling of farm products;
(d) To acquire suitable sites and erect necessary marketing facilities and properly equip, maintain, and operate them for the handling of all staple field crops, meats, fruits and vegetables, poultry and dairy products, and all farm and home products and for selling and loading livestock and other activities determined to be beneficial to the production or sale of agricultural products and to lease this space;
(e) To store or refrigerate any meats, vegetables, fruits, poultry, or dairy products; and
(f) To employ managers and other help as may be necessary to operate the plants and market products and to charge for these services in an amount sufficient to cover their costs.
(19) To protect the dairy interests of the state; and, to that end, it shall enforce those functions, powers, and duties given to it in chapter 502.
(20)(a) To stimulate, encourage, and foster the production and consumption of agricultural and agricultural business products;
(b) To conduct activities that may foster a better understanding and more efficient cooperation among producers, dealers, buyers, food editors, and the consuming public in the promotion and marketing of Florida’s agricultural and agricultural business products; and
(c) To sponsor events, trade breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners and distribute promotional materials and favors in connection with meetings, conferences, and conventions of dealers, buyers, food editors, and merchandising executives that will assist in the promotion and marketing of Florida’s agricultural and agricultural business products to the consuming public.

The department is authorized to receive and expend donations contributed by private persons for the purpose of covering costs associated with the above described activities.

(21) To declare an emergency when one exists in any matter pertaining to agriculture; to make, adopt, and promulgate rules and issue orders which will be effective during the term of the emergency; and to issue or require to be issued food safety information, pertaining to the emergency, that is based on reliable scientific facts and reliable scientific data. When the Commissioner of Agriculture has declared an agricultural emergency, no county or municipal ordinance relating to any action intended to end the emergency shall be enforced within a county or municipality with respect to such action taken by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services during the agricultural emergency.
(22) To hold hearings, administer oaths, subpoena witnesses and documents, and take testimony in all matters relating to the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of the department. Upon the failure or refusal of any witness to obey any subpoena, the department may petition the circuit court having jurisdiction in the county within which the seat of government is located; and, upon proper showing, the court shall enter an order compelling the witness to appear and testify or produce documentary evidence. The failure to obey the order of the court is punishable as a contempt of court.
(23) To adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement provisions of law conferring duties upon it.
(24) To promulgate rules pertaining to the inspection of quality, the truthful and honest branding of each package shipped, and the prohibiting of any shipper having the benefit of shipping through the facilities of the department who does not strictly observe and obey such rules in the preparation, packing, and shipping of his or her agricultural products.
(25) With the approval of a majority of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, to sell, exchange, convey, or otherwise dispose of any real property owned or held by it when, in its judgment, the property is not needed for the purpose for which the property was held and cannot be put to any other beneficial use by the department. A deed to any real property owned or held by the department, duly executed by the department and witnessed by a majority of the board of trustees, is sufficient to convey all the right, title, and interest of the department or of the state in and to the property described.
(26) To sell, exchange, convey, or otherwise dispose of any personal property and lease any real property owned or held by the department when, in its judgment, the property is not needed for the purpose for which the property was held and cannot be put to any other beneficial use by the department; and to seek, locate, receive, acquire, collect, preserve, exchange, sell, shelter, and exhibit artifacts, relics, and historic items reflective of the history of Florida agriculture.
(27) To incur expenses for membership dues in the national and southern associations of state departments of agriculture and other organizations affiliated with agriculture and for presentment of plaques and framed certificates for outstanding service.
(28) For purposes of pollution control and the prevention of wildfires, to regulate open burning connected with pile burning as defined in s. 590.125(1), agricultural, or forestry operations.
(29) To advance funds monthly to career service employees to be used for the purchase of official state samples for state examination. Each monthly advance shall be in an amount equal to one-twelfth of the actual expenses paid the position for samples in the previous fiscal year or, in the case of a new position, one-twelfth of the expenses paid for samples of a similar classification in the previous fiscal year; however, in the event of unusual circumstances, such advances may be increased for a period not to exceed 60 days. Advances shall be granted only to career service employees who have executed a proper power of attorney with the department to ensure the collection of such advances if not timely repaid.
(30) In conjunction with its inspection duties under chapters 487, 525, and 576, to notify the Department of Environmental Protection of any tank subject to the registration requirements of chapter 17-61, Florida Administrative Code, for which proof of valid registration is not displayed on the tank, on the dispensing or measuring device connected to it, or, where appropriate, in the office or kiosk of the facility where the tank is located.
(31) To coordinate its programs to maximize the efficient and strategic use of its resources and to provide information to the consuming public.
(32) To receive and accept grants, gifts, and donations to further the mission of the department, except as provided in s. 112.3148.
(33) To assist local volunteer and nonprofit organizations in soliciting, collecting, packaging, or delivering surplus fresh fruit and vegetables for distribution pursuant to s. 595.420. The department also may coordinate the development of food recovery programs in the production areas of the state using local volunteer and nonprofit organizations.
(34) To adopt policies creating, and providing for the operation of, an employees’ benefit fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 273, the department may deposit moneys received from the disposition of state-owned tangible personal property, specifically livestock maintained and located at the Doyle E. Conner Agricultural Complex, in the employees’ benefit fund.
(35) Under emergency conditions, to authorize the purchase of supplemental nutritional food and drink items, provide meals when personnel cannot leave an emergency incident location, and set temporary meal expenditure limits for employees engaged in physical activity for prolonged periods of time in excess of the rate established by s. 112.061(6), but not to exceed 1$50 per day.
(36) If the department, by its own inquiry or as a result of complaints, has reason to believe that a violation of the laws of the state relating to consumer protection has occurred or is occurring, to conduct an investigation, subpoena witnesses and evidence, and administer oaths and affirmations. If, as a result of the investigation, the department has reason to believe a violation of chapter 501 has occurred, the department with the coordination of the Department of Legal Affairs and any state attorney, if the violation has occurred or is occurring within her or his judicial circuit, shall have the authority to bring an action in accordance with the provisions of chapter 501.
(37) If the department, by its own inquiry or as a result of complaints, has reason to believe that a violation of the laws of the state relating to consumer protection has occurred or is occurring, that the interests of the consumers of this state have been damaged or are being damaged, or that the public health, safety, or welfare is endangered or is likely to be endangered by any consumer product or service, to commence legal proceedings in circuit court to enjoin the act or practice or the sale of the product or service and may seek appropriate relief on behalf of consumers. Upon application by the department, a hearing shall be held within 3 days after the commencement of the proceedings.
(38) To repair or build structures, from existing appropriations authority, notwithstanding chapters 216 and 255, not to exceed a cost of $250,000 per structure. These structures must meet all applicable building codes.
(39) To adopt by rule requirements governing aircraft used for the aerial application of pesticides, fertilizers, or seed, including requirements for recordkeeping, annual aircraft registration, secure storage when not in use, area-of-application information, and reporting any sale, lease, purchase, rental, or transfer of such aircraft to another person.
(40) To adopt by rule requirements governing the aerial applicator’s secure storage of pesticides and fertilizers. Except as provided in chapters 373, 376, and 403, regulation of the use of pesticides and fertilizers by aerial applicators is expressly preempted to the department.
(41)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), to exercise the exclusive authority to regulate the sale, composition, packaging, labeling, wholesale and retail distribution, and formulation, including nutrient content level and release rates, of fertilizer under chapter 576. This subsection expressly preempts such regulation of fertilizer to the state.
(b) An ordinance regulating the sale of fertilizer adopted by a county or municipal government before July 1, 2011, is exempt from this subsection, and the county or municipal government may enforce such ordinance within its respective jurisdiction.
(42) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 287.057(22) that require all agencies to use the online procurement system developed by the Department of Management Services, the department may continue to use its own online system. However, vendors utilizing such system shall be prequalified as meeting mandatory requirements and qualifications and shall remit fees pursuant to s. 287.057(22), and any rules implementing s. 287.057.
(43) In cooperation with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida and the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, to annually provide to the State Board of Education and the Department of Education information and industry certifications for farm occupations to be considered for placement on the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List and the CAPE Postsecondary Industry Certification Funding List pursuant to s. 1008.44. Information and industry certifications provided by the department must be based upon the best available data.
(44) The department may, in its own name:
(a) Perform all things necessary to secure letters of patent, copyrights, and trademarks on any work products of the department and enforce its rights therein.
(b) License, lease, assign, or otherwise give written consent to any person, firm, or corporation for the manufacture or use of such department work products on a royalty basis or for such other consideration as the department deems proper.
(c) Take any action necessary, including legal action, to protect such department work products against improper or unlawful use or infringement.
(d) Enforce the collection of any sums due to the department for the manufacture or use of such department work products by another party.
(e) Sell any of such department work products and execute all instruments necessary to consummate any such sale.
(f) Do all other acts necessary and proper for the execution of powers and duties conferred upon the department by this section, including adopting rules, as necessary, in order to administer this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 1, ch. 61-407; s. 1, ch. 67-77; ss. 14, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-348; s. 1, ch. 71-340; s. 4, ch. 77-114; s. 1, ch. 77-216; s. 6, ch. 78-95; s. 1, ch. 78-396; s. 3, ch. 84-72; s. 32, ch. 86-159; s. 1, ch. 87-78; s. 2, ch. 88-341; s. 1, ch. 90-323; s. 2, ch. 92-4; s. 9, ch. 92-151; s. 6, ch. 92-291; s. 2, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 94-234; s. 12, ch. 94-335; s. 462, ch. 94-356; s. 35, ch. 97-98; s. 885, ch. 97-103; s. 187, ch. 98-200; s. 6, ch. 98-396; s. 23, ch. 2000-308; s. 22, ch. 2001-279; s. 2, ch. 2001-360; s. 29, ch. 2002-295; s. 13, ch. 2002-404; s. 14, ch. 2005-210; s. 23, ch. 2006-79; s. 11, ch. 2007-67; s. 75, ch. 2009-21; s. 3, ch. 2010-25; s. 37, ch. 2010-151; s. 32, ch. 2011-206; s. 5, ch. 2012-83; s. 9, ch. 2013-226; s. 1, ch. 2014-33; s. 59, ch. 2014-150; s. 70, ch. 2015-2; s. 8, ch. 2016-61.
1Note.Section 1, ch. 2006-41, amended s. 112.061(6)(a) to revise the maximum amount from $50 to $80.
Note.Former ss. 570.35, 570.39, 570.08.
570.077 Confidentiality of intelligence or investigative information.
(1) Criminal or civil intelligence or investigative information or any other information held by the department as part of a joint or multiagency examination or investigation with another state or federal regulatory, administrative, or criminal justice agency which is confidential or exempt under the laws or regulations of that state or federal agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. The department may obtain, use, and release the information in accordance with the conditions imposed by the joint or multiagency agreement.
(2) The department may release information that is made confidential and exempt under subsection (1):
(a) In the furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities.
(b) To another governmental agency in the furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities.
(3) The public records exemption provided in subsection (1) does not apply to information held by the department as part of an independent examination or investigation conducted by the department.
(4) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
History.s. 1, ch. 2016-161.
570.081 Division of work between department and experiment station and extension service.All of the regulatory work of the state relating to the protection of agricultural interests shall be conducted by the department and all of the demonstrational work shall be conducted by the Extension Service of the University of Florida. The experimental and research work pertaining to agriculture shall be conducted by the Experiment Station of the University of Florida.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 3, ch. 61-407; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 71, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.17.
570.09 Assistant commissioner.The commissioner shall appoint an assistant commissioner of agriculture, who shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure. Before beginning the duties of the office, the assistant commissioner shall take and subscribe to the same oath of office as required of state officers in s. 5, Art. II of the Florida Constitution. The assistant commissioner shall be a person qualified by training and experience for the performance of the duties of the office.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 33, ch. 69-216; s. 1, ch. 74-204; s. 8, ch. 92-291; s. 41, ch. 98-34.
570.091 Deputy commissioners.The commissioner may appoint no more than three deputy commissioners, who shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure. The deputy commissioners shall be responsible for the duties assigned by the commissioner or assistant commissioner.
History.s. 9, ch. 92-291; s. 6, ch. 93-169.
570.092 Inspector general.The commissioner shall appoint an inspector general, who shall be the inspector general as required in s. 20.055, who shall be directly responsible to the commissioner and shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner. The inspector general shall be responsible for internal affairs investigations, management reviews, and grievances and any other investigations as necessary. The office of the inspector general shall see that all the rules issued by the department are strictly observed by all persons connected with the department. The inspector general and inspectors may enter any place where the department has an office and may review files, consult with employees, or obtain any information as necessary to conduct an investigation. The inspector general and inspectors shall be responsible for criminal and administrative investigation of matters relating to the department.
History.s. 10, ch. 92-291; s. 6, ch. 95-153.
570.10 Counsel.
(1) The department may have a legal staff of full-time attorneys, one of whom shall be general counsel.
(2) The attorneys of the department shall represent and appear for the department at all actions and proceedings involving any question under this chapter or within the jurisdiction of the department under any general or special law or under or in reference to any act, order, or proceedings of or before the department, and shall, when directed, intervene, if possible, in behalf of the department in any action or proceeding involving or relating to any matter within the jurisdiction or powers of the department.
(3) The several prosecuting attorneys of the state shall prosecute all criminal violations of the agricultural laws of this state upon the request of the department.
(4) Counsel shall act as counsel for any officer of the department in the conduct of a hearing, investigation, or inquiry executed under authority of the department or as provided in this chapter; advise any officer of the department, when so requested, in regard to all matters in connection with his or her powers and duties; and perform generally all duties and services as counsel of the department which may be reasonably required of them.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 61-407; ss. 11, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 146, ch. 73-333; ss. 1, 2, ch. 75-252; s. 7, ch. 93-169; s. 887, ch. 97-103.
570.11 Directors; oath of office.Before entering upon the duties of his or her office, each director of the department shall take and subscribe to the same oath of office as required of state officers by s. 5, Art. II of the Florida Constitution. Such oath must be filed with the Department of State.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 33, ch. 69-216; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 8, ch. 93-169; s. 888, ch. 97-103; s. 43, ch. 98-34.
570.12 Other officers and employees.There shall be employed or appointed such agents, inspectors, chemists, experts, statisticians, accountants, stenographers, clerks and other assistants and employees, as the department shall deem necessary for the exercise and the performance of the duties of the department under law. Such officers and employees shall be appointed by the department subject to personnel practices which shall be adopted by it and administered by the Division of Administration. The officers and employees of the department who are employed when this chapter takes effect shall continue their employment during the pleasure of the department.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106.
570.13 Salary of commissioner, officers, and employees; expenses.
(1) The annual salary of the commissioner shall be the amount as provided by law. The salaries of the assistant commissioner, counsel, directors, and all other officers and employees of the department shall be fixed by the department within the limits of funds appropriated for them.
(2) The reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses of the commissioner, assistant commissioner, counsel, directors, and other officers and employees of the department, while actually engaged in the performance of their duties, outside of the City of Tallahassee, or if any such officer or employee be in charge of or regularly employed at a branch office of the department, the reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses outside the place such branch office is located, shall be paid from the State Treasury after audit by the Chief Financial Officer of vouchers approved by the department in the amount provided in s. 112.061.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 9, ch. 93-169; s. 736, ch. 2003-261.
570.15 Access to places of business and vehicles.
(1)(a) Any duly authorized employee of the department shall have full access at all reasonable hours to inspect:
1. All:
a. Places of business;
b. Factories;
c. Farm buildings;
d. Carriages;
e. Railroad cars;
f. Trucks;
g. Motor vehicles, except private passenger automobiles with no trailer in tow, travel trailers, camping trailers, van conversions, and motor homes as defined in s. 320.01(1)(b), or pickup trucks not carrying agricultural, horticultural, or livestock products and which have visible access to the entire cargo area, or city, county, state, or federal vehicles;
h. Truck and motor vehicle trailers; and
i. Vessels

which are used or could be used in the production, manufacture, storage, sale, or transportation within the state of any food product; any agricultural, horticultural, or livestock product; or any article or product with respect to which any authority is conferred by law on the department; and

2. All records or documents pertaining thereto.
(b) The department may examine and open any package or container of any kind containing or believed to contain any article or product which may be transported, manufactured, sold, or offered for sale in violation of the provisions of this chapter, the rules of the department, or the laws which the department enforces and may inspect the contents and take samples for analysis.
(c) If access is refused by the owner, agent, manager, or other person in charge of any premises, or by the owner, driver, operator, or other person in charge of any vehicle, the department employee may apply for, obtain, and execute a search warrant for regulatory inspection under the provisions of this section and ss. 933.20-933.30. The provisions of chapter 933 relating to probable cause do not apply to regulatory inspections under this section. Routine inspections of vehicles shall be conducted in accordance with the administrative standards, including neutral criteria, for conducting these inspections set forth by rules of the department.
(2) It is unlawful for the driver of any vehicle, other than one exempted in sub-subparagraph (1)(a)1.g. or one authorized pursuant to subsection (5), to pass any official agricultural inspection station without first stopping and submitting the vehicle for inspection. A violation of this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) Every law enforcement officer is authorized to assist employees of the department in the enforcement of this section. Every law enforcement officer is authorized to stop and detain any vehicle and its driver if the driver has failed to comply with this section until an employee of the department arrives to conduct the inspection required or permitted by law. The law enforcement officer may require the driver to return with the vehicle to the agricultural inspection station where the driver failed to stop the vehicle for inspection.
(4) No civil or criminal liability shall be imposed upon any person who is authorized to enforce or assist in enforcement of the provisions of this section and who is lawfully engaged in such activity.
(5) The department shall establish by rule conditions and criteria by which nonagricultural laden vehicles may pass an agricultural inspection station without stopping for inspection.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 1, ch. 75-215; s. 1, ch. 78-180; s. 1, ch. 79-371; s. 1, ch. 79-587; s. 1, ch. 83-237; s. 11, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 93-270; s. 3, ch. 95-141; s. 36, ch. 97-98; s. 889, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2003-181.
570.191 Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund.There is created in the office of the commissioner the Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund. Funds in the trust fund may be made available for the promotion, advancement, and protection of agriculture in this state, including maintaining or increasing market share and suppressing or eradicating wildfire, animal or plant disease, insect infestation, or a plant or pest that endangers or threatens agriculture.
History.s. 1, ch. 98-110; s. 6, ch. 99-391; ss. 46, 75, ch. 2004-269; s. 11, ch. 2008-107.
570.1912 Funding of Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund.In fiscal year 1999-2000 and each year thereafter, there shall be appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Agricultural Emergency Eradication Trust Fund an amount equal to the previous year’s transfers into the trust fund from ss. 206.606 and 206.608.
History.s. 8, ch. 98-114; s. 70, ch. 2000-154.
570.192 Administrative Trust Fund.
(1) The Administrative Trust Fund shall be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(2) Funds to be credited to and uses of the trust fund shall be administered in accordance with s. 215.32.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 4, ch. 2014-43.
570.193 Federal Grants Trust Fund.
(1) The Federal Grants Trust Fund shall be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(2) Funds to be credited to and uses of the trust fund shall be administered in accordance with s. 215.32.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 5, ch. 2014-43.
570.194 Florida Saltwater Products Promotion Trust Fund.
(1) The Florida Saltwater Products Promotion Trust Fund shall be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(2) Funds to be credited to and uses of the trust fund shall be administered in accordance with ss. 328.76 and 379.362.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 6, ch. 2014-43.
570.20 General Inspection Trust Fund.
(1) All donations and all inspection fees and other funds authorized and received from whatever source in the enforcement of the inspection laws administered by the department shall be paid into the General Inspection Trust Fund of Florida, which is created in the office of the Chief Financial Officer. All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of the inspection laws shall be paid from this fund as other funds are paid from the State Treasury. A percentage of all revenue deposited in this fund, including transfers from any subsidiary accounts, shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund pursuant to chapter 215, except that funds collected for marketing orders shall pay at the rate of 4 percent.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, moneys in the General Inspection Trust Fund may be appropriated for programs operated by the department which are related to the programs authorized by this chapter in addition to the spending authorized in subsection (1).
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 4, ch. 61-493; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 9, ch. 83-339; s. 13, ch. 93-169; s. 738, ch. 2003-261; s. 27, ch. 2007-73; s. 39, ch. 2008-153; s. 3, ch. 2009-78; s. 34, ch. 2009-82; s. 30, ch. 2010-153; ss. 36, 82, ch. 2011-47; s. 5, ch. 2011-56.
570.205 Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund.
(1) The Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund is created within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The department may deposit into the trust fund receipts and revenues received as a result of federal criminal, administrative, or civil forfeiture proceedings and receipts and revenues received from federal asset-sharing programs. The trust fund is exempt from the service charges imposed by s. 215.20.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 98-393; s. 2, ch. 99-72; s. 11, ch. 2001-65.
570.209 Market Improvements Working Capital Trust Fund.There is hereby created within the department the Market Improvements Working Capital Trust Fund. The fund is established as the sole depository for funds collected by, or appropriated for, agricultural marketing facilities. Only costs associated with the operation, maintenance, and expansion of agricultural marketing facilities shall be paid from the fund.
History.s. 5, ch. 88-341; s. 36, ch. 92-291; s. 93, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.531.
570.21 Publication of department’s bulletins, publications, and reports.
(1) The Divisions of Administration and Marketing and Development may publish bulletins or other publications and reports containing data and statistics and information relating to:
(a) Agriculture, agricultural production, agricultural labor, and the agricultural conditions of the state, and their development and improvement to increase farm production and values.
(b) The sources, supply, and prices of food; their storage and accumulation at different places; and the quantity and location of the available supply.
(c) The market prices of foods.
(d) Facilities afforded for transportation, marketing, and distribution of foods within the state.
(e) Matters pertaining generally to the production of foods, food safety, the actual food value of articles used in food, and the sale and distribution to the consumer.
(f) Investigations, hearings, and inquiries conducted as provided in this chapter; conclusions reached; and the orders and recommendations made.
(g) Rules and orders of the department.
(h) Any other matter of an agricultural nature which the department deems proper and that is not within the jurisdiction of the agricultural experiment station or the agricultural extension service.
(2) Such bulletins, publications, reports, rules, and orders and the information contained therein shall be published and distributed in the manner deemed best by the department for the dissemination of knowledge as to the agricultural interest of the state and the production, sale, purchase, storage, marketing, and distribution of food, and the economic and food value of articles used as food. The cost of publishing these materials shall be paid in the same manner as other expenses of the department. Copies of these materials may also be sold to the public at their estimated cost, in accordance with a schedule of charges adopted by the department.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 17, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 73-283; s. 2, ch. 77-289; s. 14, ch. 93-169; s. 2, ch. 93-270; s. 35, ch. 2001-63.
570.22 Service of process.Process against the department shall be served on the commissioner or in the commissioner’s absence, on the assistant commissioner.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 891, ch. 97-103.
570.23 State Agricultural Advisory Council.
(1) COMPOSITION.The State Agricultural Advisory Council is hereby created in the department.
(a) The council shall be composed of 33 members with an alternate for each member. Members and their alternates shall be appointed by the commissioner. The dean for extension and the dean for research, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Florida, and the Vice President for Agricultural Affairs at the University of Florida shall be nonvoting, ex officio members of the council.
(b) Membership shall include one citizen-at-large member and alternate who shall be representative of the views of the general public toward agriculture and its activities, but who is not actively engaged in any agricultural pursuit, and one member and alternate qualified to represent each of the 32 agricultural or trade interests enumerated in this section.
1. Producers or growers who are actively engaged in the agricultural areas of:
a. Apiary;
b. Aquaculture;
c. Beef cattle;
d. Citrus;
e. Commercial flowers;
f. Dairy;
g. Field crops;
h. Foliage plants;
i. Forestry;
j. Grapes;
k. Horses;
l. Ornamental horticulture;
m. Poultry;
n. Seed;
o. Swine;
p. Tobacco;
q. Tropical fruits;
r. Turfgrass;
s. Vegetables; or
t. Watermelons.
2. Persons actively engaged in the trade of:
a. Agricultural limestone;
b. Commercial feed;
c. Commercial fertilizer;
d. Commercial pesticide;
e. Food processing and canning, other than meat or citrus;
f. Independent agricultural markets;
g. Meat processing or packing;
h. Phosphate; or
i. Retail food stores.
3. Distributors of petroleum or petroleum products.
4. Growers and processors of sugarcane.
5. Licensed veterinarians.
(c) With the exception of the citizen-at-large member and alternate, each member and alternate shall be selected from no fewer than two nor more than three nominees submitted by recognized statewide organizations representing each agricultural or trade interest enumerated in this section. In the absence of nominations, the commissioner shall appoint persons who otherwise meet the qualifications for nomination and appointment to the council.
(d) Alternates shall be appointed for each member and shall serve as alternates for the remainder of the corresponding members’ terms. As terms of current members expire, members and their alternates shall be appointed for 4-year terms and shall serve until their successors are duly qualified and appointed. A vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of an unexpired term in the same manner as an initial appointment.
(e) An alternate member shall have all the rights, privileges, and powers of the member for whom he or she is the alternate when that member is absent from this council or any other council to which the member is appointed by designation of his or her position on this council.
(f) Any member of the council who fails to attend three consecutive council meetings without good cause may be removed from the council by the commissioner.
(2) POWERS AND DUTIES; MEETINGS; PROCEDURES; RECORDS.The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the State Agricultural Advisory Council shall be pursuant to s. 570.232.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 1, ch. 61-224; s. 1, ch. 63-395; s. 1, ch. 65-459; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 77-71; s. 5, ch. 77-108; s. 1, ch. 78-24; s. 1, ch. 78-196; s. 4, ch. 78-323; ss. 1, 2, ch. 80-11; ss. 1, 4, 5, ch. 81-62; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 7, ch. 84-90; s. 1, ch. 85-37; ss. 2, 4, 5, ch. 87-36; s. 2, ch. 90-323; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 92-291; s. 15, ch. 93-169; s. 14, ch. 94-335; s. 892, ch. 97-103; s. 37, ch. 2011-206; s. 73, ch. 2014-150.
570.232 Advisory committees.From time to time the commissioner may appoint any advisory committee to assist the department with its duties and responsibilities.
(1) An advisory committee may exist for no more than 3 years, but may be reestablished as necessary.
(2) Each person serving on an advisory committee shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner.
(3) Each advisory committee, whether created by the commissioner or the Legislature, including technical councils, shall be governed by the following provisions, in addition to those specified for that committee:
(a) Composition.Membership and appointments of advisory committees shall be made by the commissioner in accordance with the criteria set forth in the provisions establishing the committee.
(b) Powers and duties.Each advisory committee shall have the power and duty to:
1. Consider and study the entire field relating to its area of responsibility.
2. Consider all matters submitted to it by the commissioner or the division directors.
3. Submit proposed legislation and rules to the commissioner.
4. Advise and consult with the commissioner and the division directors of the department, at their request or upon its own initiative, regarding the promulgation, administration, and enforcement of all laws and rules relating to its area of responsibility.
5. Suggest policies and practices for the conduct of departmental business which shall be duly considered by the commissioner or division directors.
(4) The advisory committee shall meet at least annually and elect a chair, a vice chair, and a secretary for 1-year terms.
(5) Each advisory committee shall meet at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its membership, at the request of the department, or at the times prescribed by its rules of procedure.
(6) The department shall provide administrative and staff support services to the committee and shall provide suitable space in the offices of the department for the meetings and records of the committee.
(7) In conducting its meetings, each advisory committee shall use accepted rules of procedure. The secretary shall keep a complete record of the proceedings of each meeting, which shall show the names of the members present and the actions taken. These records shall be kept on file with the department, and records and other documents about matters within the jurisdiction of the advisory committee shall be subject to inspection by the members of the advisory committee.
(8) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum, and action by a majority of a quorum shall be official.
(9) Notwithstanding s. 20.052(4)(d), members of each advisory committee, council, board, working group, task force, or other advisory body created by law within the department or created by the department under this section may not be reimbursed for per diem or travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
History.s. 9, ch. 92-151; s. 2, ch. 93-169; s. 12, ch. 94-335; s. 886, ch. 97-103; s. 153, ch. 2010-102; s. 34, ch. 2011-206; s. 15, ch. 2012-190; s. 60, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.07(33), (34); s. 570.0705.
PART II
PROGRAM SERVICES
570.30 Division of Administration; powers and duties.
570.31 Director; duties.
570.32 Division of Plant Industry; powers and duties.
570.321 Plant Industry Trust Fund.
570.33 Director; qualifications; duties.
570.36 Division of Animal Industry; powers and duties.
570.37 Director; qualifications; duties.
570.44 Division of Agricultural Environmental Services; powers and duties.
570.441 Pest Control Trust Fund.
570.45 Director; duties.
570.451 Agricultural Feed, Seed, and Fertilizer Advisory Council.
570.48 Division of Fruit and Vegetables; powers and duties; records.
570.482 Citrus Inspection Trust Fund.
570.49 Director; duties.
570.50 Division of Food Safety; powers and duties.
570.51 Director; qualifications; duties.
570.53 Division of Marketing and Development; powers and duties.
570.54 Director; duties.
570.543 Florida Consumers’ Council.
570.544 Division of Consumer Services; director; powers; processing of complaints; records.
570.548 Florida Forest Service; powers and duties.
570.5481 Incidental Trust Fund.
570.549 Director; duties.
570.61 Division of Aquaculture; powers and duties.
570.62 Director; duties.
570.64 Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness.
570.65 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, law enforcement officers.
570.66 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; water policy.
570.67 Office of Energy.
570.68 Office of Agriculture Technology Services.
570.681 Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park; legislative findings.
570.685 Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority.
570.686 Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority; donor identity; records; confidentiality.
570.69 Definitions; ss. 570.69 and 570.691.
570.691 Direct-support organization.
570.692 Florida Agricultural Museum.
570.693 Florida agriculture in the classroom.
570.30 Division of Administration; powers and duties.The Division of Administration shall render services required by the department and its other divisions, or by the commissioner in the exercise of constitutional and cabinet responsibilities, that can advantageously and effectively be centralized and administered and any other function of the department that is not specifically assigned by law to some other division. The duties of this division include, but are not limited to:
(1) Conducting all of the accounting and budgeting work of the department, including, but not restricted to, budget preparation and planning, revenue, auditing, payroll, property, inventories, insurance coverage and claims, federal funds, fixed construction, and all other contracts and grants.
(2) Conducting a sound personnel management program for the department, including, but not restricted to, the handling of all official personnel actions, records, training, recruiting, organizational changes, and employee relations and any other personnel matters.
(3) Disseminating information concerning the programs and activities of the department as set forth in s. 570.21.
(4) Researching and disseminating information concerning the constitutional and cabinet responsibilities of the commissioner.
(5) Providing support for the department, including, but not limited to, mailing, printing, purchasing, maintenance, supplies inventory, communications, and such other services as may be assigned.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 4, ch. 61-407; ss. 4, 14, 22, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 77-289; s. 229, ch. 79-400; s. 3, ch. 84-165; s. 16, ch. 92-291; s. 16, ch. 93-169; s. 9, ch. 2016-61.
570.31 Director; duties.
(1) The director of the Division of Administration shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
(2) It shall be the duty of the director to supervise, direct and coordinate the activities provided in s. 570.30.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 74-204; s. 17, ch. 92-291.
570.32 Division of Plant Industry; powers and duties.The duties of the Division of Plant Industry include, but are not limited to:
(1) Identifying insects, mites, and mollusks submitted; surveying agricultural and horticultural crops to determine the presence of insect, mite, or mollusk populations; and investigating methods of control, eradication, and prevention of dissemination of insect, mite, or mollusk pests.
(2) Identifying plant diseases from samples submitted; surveying agricultural and horticultural crops to determine the presence of plant diseases; and investigating methods of control, eradication, and prevention of dissemination of plant diseases.
(3) Identifying nematodes submitted; surveying agricultural and horticultural crops to determine the presence of nematode population; and investigating methods of control, eradication, and prevention of dissemination of nematode pests.
(4) Enforcing the laws of the state and the rules of the department relating to honeybees and the control and eradication of honeybee pests and unwanted races of honeybees.
(5) Surveying for all plant pests, inspecting all plants or plant products grown or held in any area of the state, and enforcing the laws of the state and the rules of the department pertaining to plants and plant products.
(6) Conducting plant pest and noxious weed eradication and control programs and all plant pest surveys associated with eradication and control.
(7) Testing citrus trees for diseases and desirable horticultural characteristics; registering trees meeting the requirements of the test; maintaining a source of budwood of the superior, tested varieties for distribution to the citrus industry; verifying propagations of citrus varieties and special rootstocks for growers when requested; and maintaining appropriate records.
(8) Developing, investigating, and implementing new ideas, techniques, and methods for the survey, detection, control, and eradication of plant pests.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 2, ch. 65-459; ss. 4, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 79-127; s. 4, ch. 84-165; s. 1, ch. 87-17; s. 17, ch. 93-169.
570.321 Plant Industry Trust Fund.
(1) The Plant Industry Trust Fund shall be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(2) Funds to be credited to and uses of the trust fund shall be administered in accordance with ss. 581.031, 581.141, 581.211, 581.212, 586.045, 586.15, 586.16, 593.114, and 593.117.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 7, ch. 2014-43; s. 80, ch. 2015-229.
570.33 Director; qualifications; duties.
(1) The director of the Division of Plant Industry shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
(2) The director shall be responsible for protecting the plant industry of the state, and shall, under the direction of the commissioner, direct, coordinate, and enforce the activities described in this chapter, in chapters 581 and 586, and in other chapters and applicable rules.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-389; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 2, ch. 79-127; s. 18, ch. 92-291; s. 18, ch. 93-169.
570.36 Division of Animal Industry; powers and duties.The duties of the Division of Animal Industry include, but are not limited to:
(1) Enforcing those provisions of chapter 585, and rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating to testing, supervising, controlling, and eradicating brucellosis and tuberculosis in livestock.
(2) Enforcing those provisions of chapter 585, and rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating to the control and eradication of dangerous transmissible diseases of livestock, including parasitic infestations such as screwworm and the cattle fever tick.
(3) Enforcing those provisions of chapter 534, and rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating to recordation of livestock marks and brands and such other provisions of such chapter as are directed by the department.
(4) Enforcing those provisions of chapter 585, and rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating to the enforcement of the provisions of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and the National Turkey Improvement Plan.
(5) Operating and managing the animal disease diagnostic laboratory provided for in chapter 585.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 1, ch. 67-584; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 79-122; s. 5, ch. 84-165; s. 8, ch. 92-290; s. 103, ch. 92-291; s. 16, ch. 94-335; s. 84, ch. 2014-150.
570.37 Director; qualifications; duties.
(1) The director of the Division of Animal Industry shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure. The director may be known as the State Veterinarian.
(2) No person shall be appointed State Veterinarian who is not a graduate of a recognized and reputable college of veterinary medicine.
(3) The director shall be responsible for protecting the animal and livestock interests of the state and shall, under the direction of the commissioner, direct, coordinate, and enforce the applicable provisions of chapters 534 and 585.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 20, ch. 92-291; s. 20, ch. 93-169.
570.44 Division of Agricultural Environmental Services; powers and duties.The duties of the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services include, but are not limited to:
(1) Inspecting and drawing samples of: commercial feeds offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 580 authorized by the department; seeds offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 578 authorized by the department; certified seed grown in this state; fertilizers offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 576 authorized by the department; and pesticides offered for sale in this state, and soil and water in this state for the presence of pesticides, and enforcing those provisions of part I of chapter 487 authorized by the department.
(2) Conducting those general inspection activities in regard to weights, measures, and standards of articles offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 531 as are authorized by the department.
(3) Reviewing and evaluating technical and scientific data associated with the production, manufacture, storage, transportation, sale, or use of any article or product with respect to any statutory authority conferred on the department. The department may establish positions within the division for the employment of experts in the fields of toxicology, hydrology, and biology to conduct such reviews and evaluations and may establish appropriate clerical support positions to implement the duties and responsibilities of the division.
(4) Analyzing samples of fertilizer offered for sale in this state, as required under chapter 576.
(5) Analyzing samples of pesticide formulations offered for sale in this state and tank mix, soil, water, and other environmental samples related to pesticide use investigations, as required under part I of chapter 487.
(6) Analyzing samples of commercial feed offered for sale in this state, as required under chapter 580.
(7) Analyzing samples of vegetables, agricultural, flower, and forest tree seed offered for sale in this state, as required under chapter 578.
(8) Investigating, evaluating, and developing new or improved methodology to enhance the analytical capability and efficiency of all divisional laboratories and performing other related analyses as deemed necessary.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 7, ch. 61-407; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 13, ch. 83-310; s. 7, ch. 84-165; s. 24, ch. 92-291; s. 24, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 96-231; s. 11, ch. 96-407; s. 55, ch. 2004-64; s. 87, ch. 2014-150.
570.441 Pest Control Trust Fund.
(1) The Pest Control Trust Fund shall be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(2) Funds to be credited to and uses of the trust fund shall be administered in accordance with chapter 482.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
(4) In addition to the uses authorized under subsection (2), moneys collected or received by the department under chapter 482 may be used to carry out the provisions of s. 570.44. This subsection expires June 30, 2019.
History.s. 8, ch. 2014-43; s. 10, ch. 2016-61.
570.45 Director; duties.
(1) The director of the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
(2) The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division and enforce this chapter and chapters 388, 482, 487, 501, 504, 531, 576, 578, and 580 and any other chapter necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the division.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 25, ch. 92-291; s. 12, ch. 96-407; s. 88, ch. 2014-150.
570.451 Agricultural Feed, Seed, and Fertilizer Advisory Council.
(1) The Agricultural Feed, Seed, and Fertilizer Advisory Council is created within the department.
(2) The council is composed of the following 15 members appointed by the commissioner:
(a) One representative of the department.
(b) One representative of the dean for extension of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida.
(c) One representative each from the state’s beef cattle, poultry, aquaculture, field crops, citrus, vegetable, and dairy production industries.
(d) Two representatives each from the state’s fertilizer, seed, and commercial feed industries.

Each member shall be appointed for a term not to exceed 4 years and shall serve until his or her successor is appointed.

(3)(a) A majority of the council members constitutes a quorum for all purposes, and an act by a majority of such quorum at any meeting constitutes an official act of the council. The secretary shall keep a complete record of each meeting, which must show the names of members present and the actions taken. Such records must be kept on file with the department.
(b) Members of the council shall meet and organize by electing a chair, a vice chair, and a secretary whose terms shall be for 2 years each. Council officers may not serve consecutive terms.
(c) The council shall meet at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its members, at the request of the department, or at such time as an agricultural or environmental emergency arises, but not less than twice per year.
(d) The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the council shall be pursuant to s. 570.232.
(4) The council shall:
(a) Receive reports of relevant enforcement activity conducted by the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services, including the number of inspections, the number of administrative actions, the number of complaints received and investigated, and the dispositions of complaints.
(b) Provide advice to the department on the conduct of relevant enforcement activities.
(c) Receive reports on disciplinary actions.
(d) Make recommendations to the commissioner for actions to be taken with respect to the regulation of agricultural feed, seed, and fertilizer.
History.s. 21, ch. 2012-190; s. 92, ch. 2013-15; s. 89, ch. 2014-150.
570.48 Division of Fruit and Vegetables; powers and duties; records.The duties of the Division of Fruit and Vegetables include, but are not limited to:
(1) Performing the duties relating to the inspection and certification of fresh citrus fruit shipments for maturity and grade required by rules promulgated under the Florida Citrus Code; performing the inspection and certification duties assigned in connection with regulations issued under federal or state marketing agreements or orders; and performing the other inspection and certification assignments requested by and agreed upon with the applicant.
(2)(a) Performing the duties relating to inspection and certification of the maturity and condition of fresh citrus fruits to be processed required by the rules promulgated under the Florida Citrus Code.
(b) Inspecting and certifying the grade, quality, or condition of the finished processed pack, as required by rules promulgated under the Florida Citrus Code.
(c) Performing the inspection and certification duties as are assigned in connection with regulations issued under federal or state marketing agreements or orders for other fruit and vegetables.
(d) Conducting inspections of internal quality for any fruit or vegetable.
(e) Performing tomato food safety inspections under s. 500.70 on tomato farms, in tomato greenhouses, and in tomato packinghouses and repackers.
(f) Performing other inspection and certification assignments as requested by and agreed upon with the applicant.
(3) Maintaining the records of the division. The records of the division are public records; however, trade secrets as defined in s. 812.081 are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This subsection is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. This section may not be construed to prohibit:
(a) A disclosure necessary to enforcement procedures.
(b) The department from releasing information to other governmental agencies. Other governmental agencies that receive confidential information from the department under this subsection shall maintain the confidentiality of that information.
(c) The department or other agencies from compiling and publishing appropriate data regarding procedures, yield, recovery, quality, and related matters, provided such released data do not reveal by whom the activity to which the data relate was conducted.
(4) Performing such duties relating to inspection and certification of vegetables, other fruits, melons, and nuts as are requested by and agreed upon with the applicant and performing such inspection and certification duties as are assigned in connection with regulations issued under federal or state marketing agreements or orders.
(5) Performing such duties relating to enforcement of the citrus bond and license law as are required by chapter 601.
(6) Performing analyses on waxes, dyes, and other substances used on citrus fruit and issuing authorization for the use of such waxes, dyes, and other substances; issuing equipment to inspectors and maintaining the equipment; conducting necessary technical investigations relative to inspectional procedures; and carrying out the technical duties prescribed under the arsenical spray provisions of chapter 601 and other technical duties prescribed by the department.
(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, appointing, certifying, licensing, and supervising inspectors whose duties are to inspect fruit and vegetables that are regulated by state law, if federal law does not require such inspectors to be licensed or certified by the federal government.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 82-165; s. 50, ch. 83-216; s. 9, ch. 84-165; s. 3, ch. 92-4; ss. 3, 4, ch. 92-290; ss. 29, 30, ch. 92-291; s. 25, ch. 93-169; s. 348, ch. 96-406; s. 8, ch. 99-391; s. 12, ch. 2007-67; s. 4, ch. 2010-25; s. 14, ch. 2016-6.
570.482 Citrus Inspection Trust Fund.
(1) The Citrus Inspection Trust Fund shall be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(2) Funds to be credited to and uses of the trust fund shall be administered in accordance with ss. 573.118, 581.091, 601.28, 601.281, 601.59, and 603.011.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 9, ch. 2014-43; s. 71, ch. 2015-2.
570.49 Director; duties.
(1) The director of the Division of Fruit and Vegetables shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
(2) It shall be the duty of the director of this division to direct and supervise the overall operation of the division and exercise other powers and duties as authorized by the department.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 31, ch. 92-291; s. 27, ch. 93-169.
570.50 Division of Food Safety; powers and duties.The duties of the Division of Food Safety include, but are not limited to:
(1) Enforcing those provisions of chapter 585, and the rules adopted under that chapter, relating to the inspection of meat and the antemortem and postmortem inspection of poultry.
(2) Conducting those general inspection activities relating to food and food products being processed, held, or offered for sale in this state and enforcing those provisions of chapters 500, 501, 502, 531, 583, 585, 586, 597, and 601 relating to foods as authorized by the department.
(3) Analyzing samples of foods offered for sale in this state as required under chapters 500, 501, 502, 585, 586, 597, and 601.
(4) Investigating, evaluating, and developing new or improved methodology to enhance the analytical capability and efficiency of all divisional laboratories and performing other related analyses as deemed necessary.
(5) Analyzing food and feed samples offered for sale in the state for chemical residues as required under the adulteration sections of chapters 500 and 580.
(6) Inspecting dairy farms of the state and enforcing those provisions of chapter 502 as are authorized by the department relating to the supervision of milking operations and the rules adopted pursuant to such law.
(7) Inspecting milk plants, milk product plants, and plants engaged in the manufacture and distribution of frozen desserts and frozen dessert mixes; analyzing and testing samples of milk, milk products, frozen desserts, and frozen dessert mixes which are collected by the division; and enforcing those provisions of chapter 502 as are authorized by the department.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 9, ch. 61-407; s. 2, ch. 65-459; ss. 4, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 79-122; s. 10, ch. 84-165; s. 312, ch. 92-279; ss. 32, 33, ch. 92-291; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 28, ch. 93-169; s. 52, ch. 2001-89; s. 8, ch. 2011-56; s. 43, ch. 2011-206; s. 91, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.32.
570.51 Director; qualifications; duties.
(1) The director of the Division of Food Safety shall be appointed by the commissioner to serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
(2) The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division and enforce the provisions of chapters 500, 501, 502, 531, 583, 585, 597, and 601 and any other chapter necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the division.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 50, ch. 91-220; s. 34, ch. 92-291; s. 53, ch. 2001-89; s. 44, ch. 2011-206; s. 92, ch. 2014-150.
570.53 Division of Marketing and Development; powers and duties.The powers and duties of the Division of Marketing and Development include, but are not limited to:
(1)(a) Managing the operation of all agricultural marketing facilities and managing or leasing state livestock and crop pavilions owned by the state. The department shall give first priority to those engaged in the production or sale of Florida’s agricultural products when negotiating leases for the use of agricultural marketing facilities.
(b) Performing other related duties and responsibilities which are required of the department by s. 570.07(18), including authorizing the removal of a vehicle by a towing service when the vehicle is parked in a manner that restricts the normal operation of business at any such agricultural marketing facility.
(2) Obtaining and disseminating current price, supply, and movement data and other such pertinent information on the agricultural economy of the state as required of the department by ss. 570.07(4) and (17) and 570.21.
(3) Stimulating, encouraging, and fostering the production and consumption of agricultural products and conducting activities that may foster a better understanding and more efficient cooperation among producers, buyers, food editors, and the consuming public in the promotion and marketing of Florida agricultural products as required of the department by s. 570.07(20).
(4) Obtaining and disseminating production statistics, historical data, and other such pertinent information on the agricultural economy of the state as required of the department by ss. 570.07(4) and (17) and 570.21.
(5)(a) Providing professional marketing services to the agricultural agribusiness industry.
(b) Establishing and maintaining programs which will aid in the orderly marketing of agricultural products.
(c) Assisting in providing efficient and effective distribution of agricultural products.
(d) Developing plans and recommendations designed to support the agricultural industry in meeting its marketing needs.
(e) Extending in every practicable way the distribution and sale of Florida agricultural products throughout the markets of the world as required of the department by s. 570.07(7), (8), (10), and (11) and chapters 571, 573, and 574.
(6) Entering into contracts with private persons for the renovation or construction of agricultural marketing facilities. These contracts may include provisions for private financing and leaseback agreements for the recoupment of initial private investment. All schematic and conceptual construction plans shall be subject to approval by the division. The department shall promulgate rules and develop policies for using these contracts.
(7) Administering the provisions of chapter 616, including the Florida State Fair Authority and other fair or exposition charters, permits, applications, fees, premiums and awards, agricultural exhibits, and youth activities, but excluding amusement ride inspection, inspection fees, and safety requirements, at public fairs and expositions, carnivals, festivals, celebrations, bazaars, permanent facilities, and parking lot still dates.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; s. 4, ch. 65-459; ss. 4, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 71-195; s. 5, ch. 79-122; s. 11, ch. 84-165; s. 1, ch. 85-36; s. 4, ch. 88-341; s. 1, ch. 91-253; s. 35, ch. 92-291; s. 29, ch. 93-169; s. 22, ch. 2012-190; s. 11, ch. 2016-61.
570.54 Director; duties.
(1) The director of the Division of Marketing and Development shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
(2) It shall be the duty of the director of this division to supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities authorized by ss. 570.07(4), (7), (8), (10), (11), (12), (17), (18), and (20), 570.21, 534.47-534.53, and 604.15-604.34 and chapters 504, 571, 573, and 574 and to exercise other powers and authority as authorized by the department.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-54; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 79-122; s. 2, ch. 85-36; s. 37, ch. 92-291; s. 30, ch. 93-169; s. 23, ch. 2012-190.
570.543 Florida Consumers’ Council.The Florida Consumers’ Council in the department is created to advise and assist the department in carrying out its duties.
(1) COMPOSITION.
(a) The council, to be appointed by the commissioner, shall not exceed 15 members, selected from the various areas of consumer interest, who are, when possible, leading members of statewide organizations representing segments of the consumer public so as to establish a broadly based and representative consumer council. At least one member of the council must be 60 years of age or older.
(b) All members shall be appointed for a term of 4 years and shall serve until their successors are appointed. A vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(2) POWERS AND DUTIES; MEETINGS; PROCEDURES; RECORDS.The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the Florida Consumers’ Council shall be pursuant to s. 570.232. The council members or chair may call no more than two meetings.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-342; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 77-108; s. 4, ch. 78-323; ss. 1, 3, ch. 79-37; ss. 1, 3, 4, ch. 81-55; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 26, ch. 87-172; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 87-179; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 39, ch. 92-291; s. 32, ch. 93-169; s. 20, ch. 94-335; s. 898, ch. 97-103; s. 155, ch. 2010-102; s. 45, ch. 2011-206; s. 95, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.282.
570.544 Division of Consumer Services; director; powers; processing of complaints; records.
(1) The director of the Division of Consumer Services shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the commissioner.
(2) The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division and shall, under the direction of the department, enforce the provisions of ss. 604.15-604.34 and chapters 472, 496, 501, 507, 525, 526, 527, 531, 539, 559, 616, and 849.
(3) The Division of Consumer Services may:
(a) Conduct studies and make analyses of matters affecting the interests of consumers.
(b) Study the operation of laws for consumer protection.
(c) Advise and make recommendations to the various state agencies concerned with matters affecting consumers.
(d) Assist, advise, and cooperate with local, state, or federal agencies and officials in order to promote the interests of consumers.
(e) Make use of the testing and laboratory facilities of the department for the detection of consumer fraud.
(f) Report to the appropriate law enforcement officers any information concerning violation of consumer protection laws.
(g) Assist, develop, and conduct programs of consumer education and consumer information through publications and other informational and educational material prepared for dissemination to the public, in order to increase the competence of consumers.
(h) Organize and hold conferences on problems affecting consumers.
(i) Recommend programs to encourage business and industry to maintain high standards of honesty, fair business practices, and public responsibility in the production, promotion, and sale of consumer goods and services.
(4) In addition to the powers, duties, and responsibilities authorized by this or any other chapter, the Division of Consumer Services shall serve as a clearinghouse for matters relating to consumer protection, consumer information, and consumer services generally. It shall receive complaints and grievances from consumers and promptly transmit them to the agency most directly concerned in order that the complaint or grievance may be expeditiously handled in the best interests of the complaining consumer. If no agency exists, the Division of Consumer Services shall seek a settlement of the complaint using formal or informal methods of mediation and conciliation and may seek any other resolution of the matter in accordance with its jurisdiction.
(5) If any complaint received by the Division of Consumer Services concerns matters that involve concurrent jurisdiction in more than one agency, duplicate copies of the complaint shall be referred to those offices deemed to have concurrent jurisdiction.
(6)(a) Any agency, office, bureau, division, or board of state government receiving a complaint that deals with consumer fraud or consumer protection and that is not within the jurisdiction of the receiving agency, office, bureau, division, or board originally receiving it, shall immediately refer the complaint to the Division of Consumer Services.
(b) Upon receipt of such a complaint, the Division of Consumer Services shall make a determination of the proper jurisdiction to which the complaint relates and shall immediately refer the complaint to the agency, office, bureau, division, or board that does have the proper regulatory or enforcement authority to deal with it.
(7) The office or agency to which a complaint has been referred shall within 30 days acknowledge receipt of the complaint. If an office or agency receiving a complaint determines that the matter presents a prima facie case for criminal prosecution or if the complaint cannot be settled at the administrative level, the complaint together with all supporting evidence shall be transmitted to the Department of Legal Affairs or other appropriate enforcement agency with a recommendation for civil or criminal action warranted by the evidence.
(8) The records of the Division of Consumer Services are public records. However, customer lists, customer names, and trade secrets are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). Disclosure necessary to enforcement procedures does not violate this prohibition.
(9) The Division of Consumer Services shall maintain records and compile summaries and analyses of consumer complaints and their eventual disposition, which data may serve as a basis for recommendations to the Legislature and to state regulatory agencies.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-342; ss. 11, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 73-124; s. 7, ch. 77-108; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-16; s. 7, ch. 78-179; s. 1, ch. 79-37; s. 2, ch. 81-55; s. 3, ch. 89-4; s. 3, ch. 90-323; s. 1, ch. 91-114; s. 1, ch. 92-62; s. 40, ch. 92-291; s. 33, ch. 93-169; s. 349, ch. 96-406; s. 1183, ch. 97-103; s. 50, ch. 2001-279; ss. 60, 61, ch. 2003-399; s. 11, ch. 2006-165; s. 42, ch. 2012-67; s. 12, ch. 2016-61.
Note.Former s. 570.283.
570.548 Florida Forest Service; powers and duties.The duties of the Florida Forest Service include, but are not limited to, administering and enforcing those powers and responsibilities of the Florida Forest Service prescribed in chapters 589, 590, and 591 and rules adopted under those chapters and in other forest fire, forest protection, and forest management laws of this state.
History.s. 2, ch. 79-37; s. 12, ch. 84-165; s. 9, ch. 2011-56; s. 68, ch. 2011-206.
570.5481 Incidental Trust Fund.
(1) The Incidental Trust Fund shall be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(2) Funds to be credited to and uses of the trust fund shall be administered in accordance with ss. 125.27, 253.025, 261.12, 317.0010, 317.0016, 589.011, 589.04, 589.11, 589.277, 589.31, 590.02, 590.14, and 590.42.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 10, ch. 2014-43.
570.549 Director; duties.
(1) The director of the Florida Forest Service shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
(2) The director of the Florida Forest Service shall direct and supervise the overall operation of the Florida Forest Service and exercise such other powers and duties as authorized by the department.
History.s. 2, ch. 79-37; s. 41, ch. 92-291; s. 10, ch. 2011-56; s. 69, ch. 2011-206.
570.61 Division of Aquaculture; powers and duties.The powers and duties of the Division of Aquaculture shall include, but are not limited to, administering the aquaculture certification program; enforcing shellfish sanitation standards; administering the aquaculture and shellfish lease programs; ensuring that shellfish processing facilities comply with applicable food safety requirements; mitigating, creating, and enhancing natural shellfish harvesting areas; providing education to fishers and aquaculturists; promoting aquaculture development; purchasing commodities as necessary to carry out the provisions of this section; receiving and accepting grants, aids, gifts, and donations; providing grants, aids, and other technical assistance; and ensuring the safety of Florida waters.
History.s. 23, ch. 2000-364; s. 4, ch. 2001-66.
570.62 Director; duties.
(1) The director of the Division of Aquaculture shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall serve at the commissioner’s pleasure.
(2) The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate the activities of the division, exercise such other powers and duties as authorized by the commissioner, and enforce the provisions of chapter 597, the rules adopted thereunder, and any other chapter or rule necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the division.
History.s. 24, ch. 2000-364.
570.64 Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness.
(1) The duties of the Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness include, but are not limited to, administering and enforcing the powers and responsibilities of the division prescribed in chapter 595 and the rules adopted thereunder.
(2) The director of the division shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the commissioner. The director shall supervise, direct, and coordinate activities of the division, exercise such powers and duties as authorized by the commissioner, enforce the provisions of chapter 595 and the rules adopted thereunder, and any other powers and duties as authorized by the department.
History.s. 11, ch. 2013-226.
570.65 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, law enforcement officers.
(1) The commissioner may create an Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement under the supervision of a senior manager exempt under s. 110.205 in the Senior Management Service. The commissioner may designate law enforcement officers, as necessary, to enforce any criminal law or conduct any criminal investigation or to enforce the provisions of any statute or any other laws of this state. Officers appointed under this section shall have the primary responsibility for enforcing laws relating to agriculture and consumer services, as outlined in this section, and have jurisdiction over violations of law which threaten the overall security and safety of this state’s agriculture and consumer services. The primary responsibilities of officers appointed under this section include the enforcement of laws relating to:
(a) Domesticated animals, including livestock, poultry, aquaculture products, and other wild or domesticated animals or animal products.
(b) Farms, farm equipment, livery tack, citrus or citrus products, or horticultural products.
(c) Trespass, littering, forests, forest fires, and open burning.
(d) Damage to or theft of forest products.
(e) Enforcement of a marketing order.
(f) Protection of consumers.
(g) Civil traffic offenses as provided in state law.
(h) The use of alcohol or drugs which occurs on property owned, managed, or occupied by the department.
(i) Any emergency situation in which the life, limb, or property of any person is placed in immediate and serious danger.
(j) Any crime incidental to or related to paragraphs (a)-(i).
(k) The responsibilities of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
(2) Each law enforcement officer shall meet the qualifications of law enforcement officers under s. 943.13 and shall be certified as a law enforcement officer by the Department of Law Enforcement under the provisions of chapter 943. Upon certification, each law enforcement officer is subject to and shall have the same arrest and other authority provided for law enforcement officers generally in chapter 901 and shall have statewide jurisdiction. Each officer shall also have arrest authority as provided for state law enforcement officers in s. 901.15. Such officers have full law enforcement powers granted to other peace officers of this state, including the authority to make arrests, carry firearms, serve court process, and seize contraband and the proceeds of illegal activities.
(3) The commissioner may also appoint part-time, reserve, or auxiliary law enforcement officers under chapter 943.
(4) All department law enforcement officers, upon certification under s. 943.1395, shall have the same right and authority to carry arms as do the sheriffs of this state.
(5) Each law enforcement officer in the state who is certified pursuant to chapter 943 has the same authority as law enforcement officers designated in this section to enforce the laws of this state as described in subsection (1).
History.s. 7, ch. 92-291; s. 5, ch. 93-169; s. 2, ch. 95-141; s. 42, ch. 98-34; s. 111, ch. 2002-20; s. 47, ch. 2002-295; s. 62, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.073.
570.66 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; water policy.The commissioner may create an Office of Agricultural Water Policy under the supervision of a senior manager exempt under s. 110.205 in the Senior Management Service. The commissioner may designate the bureaus and positions in the various organizational divisions of the department that report to the office relating to any matter over which the department has jurisdiction in matters relating to water policy affecting agriculture, application of such policies, and coordination of such matters with state and federal agencies. The office shall enforce and implement the provisions of chapter 582 and rules relating to soil and water conservation.
History.s. 2, ch. 95-317; s. 524, ch. 2011-142; s. 35, ch. 2011-206; s. 17, ch. 2012-190; s. 63, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.074.
570.67 Office of Energy.The Office of Energy is created within the department. The office shall be under the supervision of a senior manager exempt under s. 110.205 in the Senior Management Service appointed by the commissioner. The duties of the office shall include, but are not limited to, administering and enforcing parts II and III of chapter 377, the rules adopted under those parts, and any other duties authorized by the commissioner.
History.s. 98, ch. 2014-150.
570.68 Office of Agriculture Technology Services.The commissioner may create an Office of Agriculture Technology Services under the supervision of a senior manager exempt under s. 110.205 in the Senior Management Service. The office shall provide electronic data processing and agency information technology services to support and facilitate the functions, powers, and duties of the department.
History.s. 13, ch. 2016-61.
570.681 Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park; legislative findings.It is the finding of the Legislature that:
(1) Equine and other agriculture-related industries strengthen and benefit each other with the establishment of a statewide agriculture and horse facility.
(2) The Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park provides Florida with a unique tourist experience for visitors and residents, thus generating taxes and additional dollars for the state.
(3) Promoting the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park as a joint effort between the state and the private sector allows this facility to use experts and generate revenue from many areas to ensure the success of this facility.
History.s. 1, ch. 94-301; s. 107, ch. 2014-150; s. 14, ch. 2016-61.
Note.Former s. 570.951.
570.685 Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority.
(1) There is created within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority which shall be governed by this section and s. 570.691.
(2) The authority shall be composed of 21 members appointed by the commissioner.
(a) Initially, the commissioner shall appoint 11 members for 4-year terms and 10 members for 2-year terms. Thereafter, each member shall be appointed for a term of 4 years from the date of appointment, except that a vacancy shall be filled by appointment for the remainder of the term.
(b) A member of the authority who fails to attend three consecutive authority meetings without good cause shall be deemed to have resigned from the authority.
(3) The Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority shall:
(a) Appoint, with approval from the commissioner, an executive director for the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park.
(b) Establish rules of procedure for conducting its meetings and approving matters before the authority pursuant to s. 570.691.
(c) Develop, document, and implement strategies for the planning, construction, and operation of the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park.
(d) Advise and consult with the commissioner on matters related to the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park.
(e) Consider all matters submitted to the authority by the commissioner.
(4) The authority shall meet at least semiannually and elect a chair, a vice chair, and a secretary for 1-year terms.
(a) The authority shall meet at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its membership, at the request of the commissioner, or at such times as may be prescribed by its rules of procedure.
(b) The department may provide administrative and staff support services relating to the meetings of the authority and may provide suitable space in the offices of the department for the meetings and the storage of records of the authority.
(c) In conducting its meetings, the authority shall use accepted rules of procedure. The secretary shall keep a complete record of the proceedings of each meeting, which shows the names of the members present and the actions taken. These records shall be kept on file with the department, and such records and other documents regarding matters within the jurisdiction of the authority shall be subject to inspection by members of the authority.
History.s. 2, ch. 94-301; s. 8, ch. 95-220; s. 7, ch. 98-396; s. 9, ch. 99-391; s. 28, ch. 2000-308; s. 17, ch. 2005-210; s. 108, ch. 2014-150; s. 15, ch. 2016-61.
Note.Former s. 570.952.
570.686 Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority; donor identity; records; confidentiality.The identity of a donor to the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority, if so requested by the donor in writing, is confidential and exempt from s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and the provisions of s. 119.07(1). All other records of the authority are public records for the purposes of chapter 119. This exemption is necessary to protect the privacy of the donor and to encourage donors to make donations without being subjected to requests for moneys from other persons.
History.s. 1, ch. 94-283; s. 351, ch. 96-406; s. 109, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.953.
570.69 Definitions; ss. 570.69 and 570.691.For the purpose of this section and s. 570.691:
(1) “Designated program” means the departmental program which a direct-support organization has been created to support.
(2) “Direct-support organization” or “organization” means an organization which is a Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under chapter 617 and approved by the department to operate for the benefit of a museum or a designated program.
(3) “Museum” means the Florida Agricultural Museum, which is designated as the museum for agriculture and rural history of the State of Florida.
History.s. 12, ch. 92-151; s. 36, ch. 93-169; s. 12, ch. 2013-226; s. 102, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.902.
570.691 Direct-support organization.
(1) The department may authorize the establishment of direct-support organizations to provide assistance, funding, and promotional support for the museums and other programs of the department. The following provisions shall govern the creation, use, powers, and duties of the direct-support organizations:
(a) The department shall enter into a memorandum or letter of agreement with the direct-support organization, which shall specify the approval of the department, the powers and duties of the direct-support organization, and rules with which the direct-support organization must comply.
(b) The department may authorize, without charge, appropriate use of property, facilities, and personnel of the department by the direct-support organization. The use shall be for the approved purposes of the direct-support organization and may not be made at times or places that would unreasonably interfere with opportunities for the general public to use department facilities.
(c) The department shall prescribe by agreement conditions with which the direct-support organization must comply in order to use property, facilities, or personnel of the department. Such conditions shall provide for budget and audit review and oversight by the department.
(d) The department may not authorize the use of property, facilities, or personnel of the museum, department, or designated program by the direct-support organization that does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin.
(2)(a) The direct-support organization may conduct programs and activities; raise funds; request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of money; acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer, in its own name, securities, funds, objects of value, or other property, real or personal; and make expenditures to or for the direct or indirect benefit of the museum or designated program.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 287.025(1)(e), the direct-support organization may enter into contracts to insure property of the museum or designated programs and may insure objects or collections on loan from others in satisfying security terms of the lender.
(3) The direct-support organization shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981.
(4) A department employee, direct-support organization or museum employee, volunteer, or director, or designated program may not:
(a) Receive a commission, fee, or financial benefit in connection with the sale or exchange of real or personal property or historical objects to the direct-support organization, the museum, or the designated program; or
(b) Be a business associate of any individual, firm, or organization involved in the sale or exchange of real or personal property to the direct-support organization, the museum, or the designated program.
(5) All moneys received by the direct-support organization shall be deposited into an account of the direct-support organization and shall be used by the organization in a manner consistent with the goals of the museum or designated program.
(6) The identity of a donor or prospective donor who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(7) The Commissioner of Agriculture, or the commissioner’s designee, may serve on the board of trustees and the executive committee of any direct-support organization established to benefit the museum or any designated program.
(8) The department may terminate its agreement with a direct-support organization at any time if the department determines that the direct-support organization no longer meets the objectives of this section.
(9) Upon termination of the direct-support organization, the assets of the direct-support organization shall be distributed pursuant to its articles of incorporation or bylaws or, if not provided for, to the department.
(10) This section is repealed October 1, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.
History.s. 13, ch. 92-151; s. 37, ch. 93-169; s. 1, ch. 95-126; s. 350, ch. 96-406; s. 1184, ch. 97-103; s. 123, ch. 2001-266; s. 11, ch. 2011-56; s. 70, ch. 2011-206; s. 13, ch. 2013-226; s. 21, ch. 2014-96; s. 103, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.903.
570.692 Florida Agricultural Museum.The Florida Agricultural Museum is designated as the museum of agriculture and rural history of the State of Florida and is hereby established within the department.
History.s. 11, ch. 92-151; s. 101, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.901.
570.693 Florida agriculture in the classroom.The Florida agriculture in the classroom program is hereby established within the department. The purpose of this program is to:
(1) Conduct programs and activities related to collecting and producing resources and materials for agricultural education enhancement programs.
(2) Establish local resource contracts to distribute teacher resources and materials.
(3) Identify methods to integrate resources and materials into the classroom and provide teacher training programs.
History.s. 17, ch. 92-151; s. 104, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.91.
PART III
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
570.70 Legislative findings.
570.71 Conservation easements and agreements.
570.715 Conservation easement acquisition procedures.
570.73 Short title.
570.74 Definitions relating to Agricultural Economic Development Act.
570.75 Agricultural Economic Development Program; legislative intent.
570.76 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; powers and duties.
570.77 Interaction with other economic development agencies and groups.
570.78 Agricultural economic development funding.
570.79 Adoption of rules.
570.81 Agricultural Economic Development Project Review Committee; powers and duties.
570.82 Agricultural Economic Development Program disaster loans and grants and aid.
570.83 Beef Market Development Act; definitions; Florida Beef Council, Inc., creation, purposes, governing board, powers, and duties; referendum on assessments imposed on gross receipts from cattle sales; payments to organizations for services; collecting and refunding assessments; vote on continuing the act; council bylaws.
570.841 Farm-to-fuel initiative.
570.85 Agritourism.
570.86 Definitions.
570.87 Agritourism participation impact on land classification.
570.88 Liability.
570.89 Posting and notification.
570.70 Legislative findings.The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) A thriving rural economy with a strong agricultural base, healthy natural environment, and viable rural communities is an essential part of Florida. Rural areas also include the largest remaining intact ecosystems and best examples of remaining wildlife habitats as well as a majority of privately owned land targeted by local, state, and federal agencies for natural resource protection.
(2) The growth of Florida’s population can result in agricultural and rural lands being converted into residential or commercial development.
(3) The agricultural, rural, natural resource, and commodity values of rural lands are vital to the state’s economy, productivity, rural heritage, and quality of life.
(4) The Legislature further recognizes the need for enhancing the ability of rural landowners to obtain economic value from their property, protecting rural character, controlling urban sprawl, and providing necessary open space for agriculture and the natural environment, and the importance of maintaining and protecting Florida’s rural economy through innovative planning and development strategies in rural areas and the use of incentives that reward landowners for good stewardship of land and natural resources.
(5) The purpose of this act is to bring under public protection lands that serve to limit subdivision and conversion of agricultural and natural areas that provide economic, open space, water, and wildlife benefits by acquiring land or related interests in land such as perpetual, less-than-fee acquisitions, agricultural protection agreements, and resource conservation agreements and innovative planning and development strategies in rural areas.
History.s. 62, ch. 2001-279.
570.71 Conservation easements and agreements.
(1) The department, on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, may allocate moneys to acquire perpetual, less-than-fee interest in land, to enter into agricultural protection agreements, and to enter into resource conservation agreements for the following public purposes:
(a) Promotion and improvement of wildlife habitat;
(b) Protection and enhancement of water bodies, aquifer recharge areas, wetlands, and watersheds;
(c) Perpetuation of open space on lands with significant natural areas; or
(d) Protection of agricultural lands threatened by conversion to other uses.
(2) To achieve the purposes of this section, the department may accept applications for project proposals that:
(a) Purchase conservation easements, as defined in s. 704.06.
(b) Purchase rural-lands-protection easements pursuant to this section.
(c) Fund resource conservation agreements pursuant to this section.
(d) Fund agricultural protection agreements pursuant to this section.
(3) Rural-lands-protection easements shall be a perpetual right or interest in agricultural land which is appropriate to retain such land in predominantly its current state and to prevent the subdivision and conversion of such land into other uses. This right or interest in property shall prohibit only the following:
(a) Construction or placing of buildings, roads, billboards or other advertising, utilities, or structures, except those structures and unpaved roads necessary for the agricultural operations on the land or structures necessary for other activities allowed under the easement, and except for linear facilities described in s. 704.06(11);
(b) Subdivision of the property;
(c) Dumping or placing of trash, waste, or offensive materials; and
(d) Activities that affect the natural hydrology of the land or that detrimentally affect water conservation, erosion control, soil conservation, or fish or wildlife habitat, except those required for environmental restoration; federal, state, or local government regulatory programs; or best management practices.
(4) Resource conservation agreements will be contracts for services which provide annual payments to landowners for services that actively improve habitat and water restoration or conservation on their lands over and above that which is already required by law or which provide recreational opportunities. They will be for a term of not less than 5 years and not more than 10 years. Property owners will become eligible to enter into a resource conservation agreement only upon entering into a conservation easement or rural lands protection easement.
(5) Agricultural protection agreements shall be for terms of 30 years and will provide payments to landowners having significant natural areas on their land. Public access and public recreational opportunities may be negotiated at the request of the landowner.
(a) For the length of the agreement, the landowner shall agree to prohibit:
1. Construction or placing of buildings, roads, billboards or other advertising, utilities, or structures, except those structures and unpaved roads necessary for the agricultural operations on the land or structures necessary for other activities allowed under the easement, and except for linear facilities described in s. 704.06(11);
2. Subdivision of the property;
3. Dumping or placing of trash, waste, or offensive materials; and
4. Activities that affect the natural hydrology of the land, or that detrimentally affect water conservation, erosion control, soil conservation, or fish or wildlife habitat.
(b) As part of the agricultural protection agreement, the parties shall agree that the state shall have a right to buy a conservation easement or rural land protection easement at the end of the 30-year term. If the landowner tenders the easement for the purchase and the state does not timely exercise its right to buy the easement, the landowner shall be released from the agricultural agreement. The purchase price of the easement shall be established in the agreement and shall be based on the value of the easement at the time the agreement is entered into, plus a reasonable escalator multiplied by the number of full calendar years following the date of the commencement of the agreement. The landowner may transfer or sell the property before the expiration of the 30-year term, but only if the property is sold subject to the agreement and the buyer becomes the successor in interest to the agricultural protection agreement. Upon mutual consent of the parties, a landowner may enter into a perpetual easement at any time during the term of an agricultural protection agreement.
(6) Payment for conservation easements and rural land protection easements shall be a lump-sum payment at the time the easement is entered into.
(7) Landowners entering into an agricultural protection agreement may receive up to 50 percent of the purchase price at the time the agreement is entered into, and remaining payments on the balance shall be equal annual payments over the term of the agreement.
(8) Payments for the resource conservation agreements shall be equal annual payments over the term of the agreement.
(9) Easements purchased pursuant to this act may not prevent landowners from transferring the remaining fee value with the easement.
(10) The department, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, the water management districts, the Department of Economic Opportunity, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, shall adopt rules that establish an application process, a process and criteria for setting priorities for use of funds consistent with the purposes specified in subsection (1) and giving preference to ranch and timber lands managed using sustainable practices, an appraisal process, and a process for title review and compliance and approval of the rules by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.
(11) If a landowner objects to having his or her property included in any lists or maps developed to implement this act, the department shall remove the property from any such lists or maps upon receipt of the landowner’s written request to do so.
(12) The department may use appropriated funds from the following sources to implement this section:
(a) State funds;
(b) Federal funds;
(c) Other governmental entities;
(d) Nongovernmental organizations; or
(e) Private individuals.

Any such funds provided, other than from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, shall be deposited into the Incidental Trust Fund within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and used for the purposes of this section, including administrative and operating expenses related to appraisals, mapping, title process, personnel, and other real estate expenses.

(13) No more than 10 percent of any funds made available to implement this act shall be expended for resource conservation agreements and agricultural protection agreements.
History.s. 63, ch. 2001-279; s. 5, ch. 2002-4; s. 48, ch. 2002-295; s. 113, ch. 2005-2; s. 425, ch. 2011-142; s. 99, ch. 2014-150; s. 81, ch. 2015-229.
570.715 Conservation easement acquisition procedures.
(1) For less than fee simple acquisitions pursuant to s. 570.71, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall comply with the following acquisition procedures:
(a) Before conveyance of title by the department, evidence of marketable title in the form of a commitment for title insurance or an abstract of title with a title opinion shall be obtained.
(b) Before approval by the board of trustees of an agreement to purchase less than fee simple title to land pursuant to s. 570.71, an appraisal of the parcel shall be required as follows:
1. Each parcel to be acquired shall have at least one appraisal. Two appraisals are required when the estimated value of the parcel exceeds $1 million. However, when both appraisals exceed $1 million and differ significantly, a third appraisal may be obtained.
2. Appraisal fees and associated costs shall be paid by the department. All appraisals used for the acquisition of less than fee simple interest in lands pursuant to this section shall be prepared by a state-certified appraiser who meets the standards and criteria established by rule of the board of trustees. Each appraiser selected to appraise a particular parcel shall, before contracting with the department or a participant in a multiparty agreement, submit to the department or participant an affidavit substantiating that he or she has no vested or fiduciary interest in such parcel.
(c) A certified survey must be made that meets the minimum requirements for upland parcels established in the Standards of Practice for Land Surveying in Florida published by the department and that accurately portrays, to the greatest extent practicable, the condition of the parcel as it currently exists. The requirement for a certified survey may, in whole or in part, be waived by the board of trustees any time before acquisition of the less than fee simple interest. If an existing boundary map and description of a parcel are determined by the department to be sufficient for appraisal purposes, the department may temporarily waive the requirement for a survey until any time before conveyance of title to the parcel.
(d) On behalf of the board of trustees and before the appraisal of parcels approved for purchase under ss. 259.105(3)(i) and 570.71, the department may enter into option contracts to buy less than fee simple interest in such parcels. Any such option contract shall state that the final purchase price is subject to approval by the board of trustees and that the final purchase price may not exceed the maximum offer authorized by law. Any such option contract presented to the board of trustees for final purchase price approval shall explicitly state that payment of the final purchase price is subject to an appropriation by the Legislature. The consideration for any such option contract may not exceed $1,000 or 0.01 percent of the estimate by the department of the value of the parcel, whichever amount is greater.
(e) A final offer shall be in the form of an option contract or agreement for purchase of the less than fee simple interest and shall be signed and attested to by the owner and the department. Before the department signs the agreement for purchase of the less than fee simple interest or exercises the option contract, the requirements of s. 286.23 shall be complied with.
(f) The procedures provided in s. 253.025(9)(a)-(d) and (10) shall be followed.
(2) If the public’s interest is reasonably protected, the board of trustees may:
(a) Waive any requirement of this section.
(b) Waive any rules adopted pursuant to s. 570.71, notwithstanding chapter 120.
(c) Substitute any other reasonably prudent procedures, including federally mandated acquisition procedures, for the procedures in this section, if federal funds are available and will be used for the purchase of a less than fee simple interest in lands, title to which will vest in the board of trustees, and qualification for such federal funds requires compliance with federally mandated acquisition procedures.
(3) The less than fee simple land acquisition procedures provided in this section are for voluntary, negotiated acquisitions.
(4) For purposes of this section, the term “negotiations” does not include preliminary contacts with the property owner to determine availability or eligibility of the property, existing appraisal data, existing abstracts, and surveys.
(5) Appraisal reports are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), for use by the department and the board of trustees, until an option contract is executed or, if an option contract is not executed, until 2 weeks before a contract or agreement for purchase is considered for approval by the board of trustees. However, the department has the authority, at its discretion, to disclose appraisal reports to private landowners during negotiations for acquisitions using alternatives to fee simple techniques, if the department determines that disclosure of such reports will bring the proposed acquisition to closure. The department may also disclose appraisal information to public agencies or nonprofit organizations that agree to maintain the confidentiality of the reports or information when joint acquisition of property is contemplated, or when a public agency or nonprofit organization enters into a written multiparty agreement with the department. For purposes of this subsection, the term “nonprofit organization” means an organization whose purposes include the preservation of natural resources, and which is exempt from federal income tax under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The department may release an appraisal report when the passage of time has rendered the conclusions of value in the report invalid or when the department has terminated negotiations.
History.s. 4, ch. 94-240; s. 852, ch. 95-148; s. 5, ch. 96-389; s. 115, ch. 96-406; s. 12, ch. 98-336; s. 19, ch. 99-247; s. 12, ch. 2008-229; s. 27, ch. 2016-233.
Note.Subsection (5) former s. 259.041(7).
570.73 Short title.This act may be cited as the “Agricultural Economic Development Act.”
History.ss. 1, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 74, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.241.
570.74 Definitions relating to Agricultural Economic Development Act.For purposes of this act, the term:
(1) “Agriculturally depressed area” means a rural area that has declining profitability from agricultural enterprises and one or more of the following characteristics:
(a) A stable or declining population.
(b) A stable or declining real per capita income.
(c) A traditional economy based on agriculture or extraction of solid minerals.
(d) A low ad valorem tax base.
(e) A need for agribusiness and leadership training.
(f) Crop losses or economic depression resulting from a natural disaster or socioeconomic conditions or events that negatively impact a crop.
(2) “Assistance” means financial or nonfinancial assistance issued pursuant to this act.
(3) “Financial assistance” means the providing of funds to an agribusiness.
(4) “Nonfinancial assistance” means the providing of personnel to work with an agribusiness to establish an infrastructure, including, but not limited to, the development of an accounting system, management procedures, and a marketing plan. Nonfinancial assistance also includes the providing of equipment.
History.ss. 2, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 12, ch. 92-291; s. 24, ch. 2000-308; s. 75, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.242.
570.75 Agricultural Economic Development Program; legislative intent.There is created within the department the Agricultural Economic Development Program. The purpose of this program shall be to promote and coordinate efficient and beneficial agricultural economic development within agriculturally depressed areas of the state.
History.ss. 3, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 76, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.243.
570.76 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; powers and duties.For the accomplishment of the purposes specified in this act, the department shall have all powers and duties necessary, including, but not limited to, the power and duty to:
(1) Identify and coordinate with all state agencies that can assist in agricultural economic development.
(2) Administer, with approval of the commissioner, agricultural economic development funds appropriated to the department.
(3) Identify, develop, and collect sources of funding for the initiation of agricultural economic development projects.
(4) Facilitate economic growth through the development of agribusinesses such as value-added processing plants and associated enterprises using raw products which are produced in the state.
(5) Accept, expend, and utilize any gift, grant of money, or property provided to the department.
(6) Provide assistance pursuant to appropriations for agricultural economic development approved by the Legislature.
(7) Establish procedures and circumstances for repayment of financial assistance by an assisted agribusiness.
(8) On or before November 1 of each year, submit an annual report to the chairs of the House of Representatives and Senate committees on agriculture. The annual report shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) A list of all projects that received assistance during the previous fiscal year, the needs each project was designed to address, the type of assistance provided, and the benefits derived from the assistance.
(b) The business plans of projects receiving assistance, including the proposed schedule for repayment of funds by assisted agribusinesses.
History.ss. 4, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 13, ch. 92-291; s. 893, ch. 97-103; s. 24, ch. 2001-279; s. 77, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.244.
570.77 Interaction with other economic development agencies and groups.Because interagency and local community cooperation and sharing of available resources and expertise is crucial to the success of an agricultural economic development program, the department shall interact with federal and state agencies, commissions, boards, and advisory groups that have programs and interests in agricultural economic development.
History.ss. 5, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 78, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.245.
570.78 Agricultural economic development funding.Funds appropriated for the purposes specified in this act shall be used for the following:
(1) Employment of personnel and payment of associated overhead, equipment, and supply costs.
(2) Stimulating and assisting agribusiness entrepreneurship and new product development.
(3) Feasibility studies and consulting contracts for the development of agribusinesses and value-added processes.
(4) Issuance to approved agribusinesses, including any funds from private sources.
History.ss. 6, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 79, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.246.
570.79 Adoption of rules.The department shall adopt rules pertaining to:
(1) Formal notification procedures for the availability of assistance, including publication in the Florida Administrative Register pursuant to s. 120.55.
(2) Written evaluation criteria for selecting project proposals to receive assistance. The criteria for eligibility of assistance shall include a written business plan delineating the economic viability of the proposed project, including the financial commitment by project participants and a schedule for repayment of agricultural economic development funds.
(3) Procedures for repayment of financial assistance by an assisted agribusiness into the General Inspection Trust Fund within the department. Repayment of financial assistance shall be based upon a percentage of future profits until repayment is complete.
(4) Funding procedures for projects eligible for assistance. These procedures shall include the amount of funding, the limits and requirements for the objects of expenditure, and the duration of assistance.
(5) Other subject matter pertaining to the implementation of this act.
History.ss. 7, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 51, ch. 2013-14; s. 80, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.247.
570.81 Agricultural Economic Development Project Review Committee; powers and duties.
(1) There is created an Agricultural Economic Development Project Review Committee consisting of five members appointed by the commissioner. The members shall be appointed based upon the recommendations submitted by each entity represented on the committee and shall include:
(a) The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee.
(b) One representative from the Farm Credit Service.
(c) One representative from Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(d) One representative from the Florida Farm Bureau Federation.
(e) One agricultural economist from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences or from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
(2) The committee shall:
(a) Review each application for assistance that meets the basic program criteria.
(b) Make recommendations to the commissioner regarding all aspects of each eligible application, including the acceptance or rejection of each application.
(c) Prioritize the applications recommended for assistance.
(d) Forward all written comments and recommendations to the commissioner, which shall be included in the annual report of the department.
(3) If the commissioner does not accept the recommendations or priorities of the review committee, the annual report of the department shall include justification for any or all rejections.
History.ss. 8, 10, ch. 91-268; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 92-291; s. 894, ch. 97-103; s. 25, ch. 2000-308; s. 81, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.248.
570.82 Agricultural Economic Development Program disaster loans and grants and aid.
(1) USE OF LOAN FUNDS.
(a) Loan funds to agricultural producers who have experienced losses from a natural disaster or a socioeconomic condition or event may be used to:
1. Restore or replace essential physical property or remove debris from essential physical property.
2. Pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year.
3. Pay essential family living expenses.
4. Restructure farm debts.
(b) To be eligible, agricultural producers must have a parcel or parcels of land in production not exceeding 300 acres.
(c) Funds may be issued as direct loans, or as loan guarantees for up to 90 percent of the total loan, in amounts not less than $30,000 nor more than $300,000. Applicants must provide at least 10 percent equity.
(d) For purposes of this subsection, the term:
1. “Losses” means loss or damage to crops, agricultural products, agricultural facilities, infrastructure, or farmworker housing.
2. “Essential physical property” means fences, equipment, structural production facilities such as shade houses and greenhouses, other agricultural facilities, infrastructure, or farmworker housing.
(2) ELIGIBLE CROPS.Crops eligible for the emergency loan program include:
(a) Crops grown for human consumption.
(b) Crops planted and grown for livestock consumption, including, but not limited to, grain, seed, and forage crops.
(c) Crops grown for fiber, except for trees.
(d) Specialty crops, such as seafood and aquaculture, including, but not limited to, the products of shellfish cultivation and harvesting, ornamental fish farming, and commercial fishing; floricultural or ornamental nursery crops; Christmas trees; turf for sod; industrial crops; and seed crops used to produce eligible crops.
(3) FARMING INFORMATION.A borrower must keep complete and acceptable farm records and present them as proof of production levels. A borrower must operate in accordance with a farm plan that he or she develops and that is approved by the commissioner. A borrower may be required to participate in a financial management training program and obtain crop insurance.
(4) LOAN APPLICATION.In order to qualify for a loan under this section, an applicant must submit an application to the department within 90 days after the date the natural disaster or socioeconomic condition or event occurs or the crop damage becomes apparent. An applicant must be a citizen of the United States and a bona fide resident of the state and must also demonstrate the need for economic assistance and demonstrate that he or she has the ability to repay the loan.
(5) LOAN SECURITY REQUIREMENTS.All loans must be secured. A first lien is required on all property or product acquired, produced, or refinanced with loan funds. The specific type of collateral required may vary depending upon the loan purpose, repayment ability, and the particular circumstances of the applicant.
(6) LOAN REPAYMENT.Repayment of loans for crops, livestock, and non-real-estate losses shall normally be made within 7 years or, in special circumstances, within 20 years. Loans for physical losses to real estate and buildings shall not exceed 30 years. Borrowers are expected to return to conventional credit sources when they are financially able. Loans are a temporary source of credit, and borrowers must be reviewed periodically to determine whether they can return to conventional credit.
(7) GRANTS AND AID.The department shall establish a grant program to provide aid to agribusinesses to assist in market development.
History.s. 26, ch. 2000-308; s. 25, ch. 2001-279; s. 13, ch. 2006-289; s. 82, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.249.
570.83 Beef Market Development Act; definitions; Florida Beef Council, Inc., creation, purposes, governing board, powers, and duties; referendum on assessments imposed on gross receipts from cattle sales; payments to organizations for services; collecting and refunding assessments; vote on continuing the act; council bylaws.
(1) POPULAR NAME.This act may be cited as the “Beef Market Development Act.”
(2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.The Legislature intends by this act to promote the growth of the cattle industry in this state; to assure the public an adequate and wholesome food supply; to provide for the general economic welfare of producers and consumers of beef and the state; and to provide the beef cattle production and feeding industry of this state with the authority to establish a self-financed, self-governed program to help develop, maintain, and expand the state, national, and foreign markets for beef and beef products that are produced, processed, or manufactured in this state.
(3) DEFINITIONS.As used in this act, the term:
(a) “Beef” or “beef products” means the products of beef intended for human consumption which are derived from any bovine animal, regardless of age, including, but not limited to, veal.
(b) “Cattle” means such animals as are so designated by federal law, including any marketing, promotion, and research orders as are in effect. Unless such federal law provides to the contrary, the term “cattle” includes all bovine animals, regardless of age, including, but not limited to, calves. A cow and nursing calf sold together are considered one unit.
(c) “Council” means the Florida Beef Council, Inc.
(d) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(e) “Collection agent” means a person who sells, offers for sale, markets, distributes, trades, or processes cattle that have been purchased or acquired from a producer or that are marketed on behalf of a producer. The term also includes meatpacking firms and their agents that purchase or consign to purchase cattle.
(f) “Person” means any natural person, partnership, corporation, company, association, society, trust, or other business unit or organization.
(g) “Producer” means a person that has owned or sold cattle in the previous calendar year or presently owns cattle.
(4) FLORIDA BEEF COUNCIL, INC.; CREATION; PURPOSES.
(a) There is created the Florida Beef Council, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of this state and operating as a direct-support organization of the department.
(b) The council is authorized to impose an assessment of not more than $1 on each head of cattle sold in the state if the imposition of the assessment is approved by referendum pursuant to subsection (6). The proceeds of the assessment shall be used to fund the activities of the council. The council shall:
1. Establish the amount of the assessment at not more than $1 per head of cattle.
2. Develop, implement, and monitor a collection system for the assessment.
3. Coordinate the collection of the assessment with other states.
4. Establish refund procedures.
5. Conduct referenda under subsections (6) and (12).
(c) The council shall:
1. Plan, implement, and conduct programs of promotion, research, and consumer information or industry information which are designed to strengthen the cattle industry’s market position in this state and in the nation and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and expand uses for beef and beef products.
2. Use the proceeds of the assessment for the purpose of funding cattle production and beef research, education, promotion, and consumer and industry information in this state and in the nation.
3. Plan and implement a cattle and beef industry feedback program in this state.
4. Coordinate research, education, promotion, industry, and consumer information programs with any national programs or programs of other states.
5. Develop new uses and markets for beef and beef products.
6. Develop and improve methods of distributing beef and beef products to the consumer.
7. Develop methods of improving the quality of beef and beef products for the benefit of consumers.
8. Inform and educate the public concerning the nutritive and economic values of beef and beef products.
9. Serve as a liaison within the beef and other food industries of the state and elsewhere in matters that would increase efficiencies that ultimately benefit both consumers and industry.
10. Buy, sell, mortgage, rent, or improve, in any manner that the council considers expedient, real property or personal property, or both.
11. Publish and distribute such papers or periodicals as the board of directors considers necessary to encourage and accomplish the purposes of the council.
12. Do all other acts necessary or expedient for the administration of the affairs and attainment of the purposes of the council.
13. Approve an annual plan, budget, and audit for the council.
(d)1. The council may not participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. This restriction includes, but is not limited to, a prohibition against publishing or distributing any statements.
2. No part of the net receipts of the council shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its directors, its officers, or other private persons, except that the council may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered by staff employees and may make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes of this act.
3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the council may not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on:
a. By a corporation exempt from federal income tax under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; or
b. By a corporation to which contributions are deductible under s. 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
4. Notwithstanding any other statement of the purposes and responsibilities of the council, the council may not engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of its specific and primary purposes.
(5) GOVERNING BOARD.
(a) The Florida Beef Council, Inc., shall be governed by a board of directors composed of 13 members, including 8 representatives of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, of whom one is a representative of the Florida Association of Livestock Markets and one is a practicing order buyer; one a representative of the Dairy Farmers, Inc.; one a representative of the Florida CattleWomen, Inc.; one a representative of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation; one an allied-industry representative; and one an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences representative.
(b) The initial board of directors shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture for a term of 1 year. Each subsequent vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the bylaws of the council. Thereafter, each board member shall be appointed to serve a 3-year term and may be reappointed to serve an additional consecutive term. A member may not serve more than two consecutive terms. A member must be a resident of this state and must be a producer who has been a producer for at least the 5 years immediately preceding the first day of his or her service on the board, except that the representative of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, the allied-industry representative, and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences representative need not be producers. All beef council board positions shall be unsalaried; however, the board members are entitled to reimbursement as provided in s. 112.061 for travel and other expenses incurred in carrying out the intents and purposes of this act.
(c) The council shall provide for its officers through its bylaws, including the ability to set forth offices and responsibilities and form committees necessary for the implementation of this act. The Commissioner of Agriculture may designate an ex officio nonvoting member of the board of directors.
(d) If a member of the board misses three consecutive, officially called meetings, the board of directors may declare that position vacant.
(6) REFERENDUM ON ASSESSMENTS.All producers in this state shall have the opportunity to vote in a referendum to determine whether the council shall be authorized to impose an assessment of not more than $1 per head on cattle sold in the state. The referendum shall pose the question: “Do you approve of an assessment program, up to $1 per head of cattle pursuant to section 570.83, Florida Statutes, to be funded through specific contributions that are mandatory and refundable upon request?”
(a) A referendum held under this section must be conducted by secret ballot at extension offices of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Florida or at offices of the United States Department of Agriculture with the cooperation of the department.
(b) Notice of a referendum to be held under this act must be given at least once in trade publications, the public press, and statewide newspapers at least 30 days before the referendum is held.
(c) Additional referenda may be held to authorize the council to increase the assessment to more than $1 per head of cattle. Such referendum shall pose the question: “Do you approve of granting the Florida Beef Council, Inc., authority to increase the per-head-of-cattle assessment pursuant to section 570.83, Florida Statutes, from   (present rate)   to up to a maximum of   (proposed rate)   per head?” Referenda may not be held more often than once every 3 years.
(d) Each cattle producer is entitled to only one vote in a referendum held under this section. Proof of identification and cattle ownership must be presented before voting.
(e) A simple majority of those casting ballots shall determine any issue that requires a referendum under this section.
(7) POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COUNCIL.
(a) The council shall:
1. Receive and disburse funds, as prescribed elsewhere in this act, to be used in administering and implementing the act.
2. Maintain a permanent record of its business proceedings.
3. Maintain a permanent, detailed record of its financial dealings.
4. Prepare periodic reports and an annual report of its activities for the fiscal year, for review by the beef industry in this state, and file its annual report with the department.
5. Prepare, for review by the beef industry in this state, periodic reports and an annual accounting for each fiscal year of all receipts and expenditures, and shall retain a certified public accountant for this purpose.
6. Appoint a licensed banking institution to serve as the depository for program funds and to handle disbursements of those funds.
7. Maintain frequent communication with officers and industry representatives at the state and national levels, including the department.
8. Maintain an office in this state.
(b) The council may:
1. Conduct or contract for scientific research with any accredited university, college, or similar institution, and enter into other contracts or agreements that will aid in carrying out the purposes of the program, including contracts for the purchase or acquisition of facilities or equipment necessary to carry out the purposes of the program.
2. Disseminate reliable information benefiting the consumer and the beef industry on subjects such as, but not limited to, the purchase, identification, care, storage, handling, cookery, preparation, serving, and nutritive value of beef and beef products.
3. Provide to government bodies, on request, information relating to subjects of concern to the beef industry, and may act jointly or in cooperation with the state or Federal Government, and agencies thereof, in the development or administration of programs that the council considers to be consistent with the objectives of the program.
4. Sue and be sued as a council without individual liability of the members for acts of the council when acting within the scope of the powers of this act and in the manner prescribed by the laws of this state.
5. Borrow from licensed lending institutions money in amounts that are not cumulatively greater than 50 percent of the council’s anticipated annual income.
6. Maintain a financial reserve for emergency use, the total of which must not exceed 50 percent of the council’s anticipated annual income.
7. Appoint advisory groups composed of representatives from organizations, institutions, governments, or businesses related to or interested in the welfare of the beef industry and the consuming public.
8. Employ subordinate officers and employees of the council, prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation and terms of employment.
9. Cooperate with any local, state, regional, or nationwide organization or agency engaged in work or activities consistent with the objectives of the program.
10. Cause any duly authorized agent or representative to enter upon the premises of any market agency, market agent, collection agency, or collection agent and examine or cause to be examined by the authorized agent only books, papers, and records that deal with the payment of the assessment provided for in this act or with the enforcement of this act.
11. Do all other things necessary to further the intent of this act which are not prohibited by law.
(8) ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND GIFTS.The council may accept grants, donations, contributions, or gifts from any source if the use of such resources is not restricted in any manner that the council considers to be inconsistent with the objectives of the program.
(9) PAYMENTS TO ORGANIZATIONS.
(a) The council may pay funds to other organizations for work or services performed which are consistent with the objectives of the program.
(b) Before making payments described in this subsection, the council must secure a written agreement that the organization receiving payment will:
1. Furnish at least annually, or more frequently on request of the council, written or printed reports of program activities and reports of financial data that are relative to the council’s funding of such activities; and
2. Agree to have appropriate representatives attend business meetings of the council as reasonably requested by the chairperson of the council.
(c) The council may require adequate proof of security bonding on said funds to any individual, business, or other organization.
(10) COLLECTION OF MONEYS AT TIME OF MARKETING.
(a) Each collection agent may deduct from the gross receipts of the producer, at the time of sale, the assessment imposed by the council.
(b) The collection agent shall collect all such moneys and forward them to the council periodically, at least once a month, and the council shall provide appropriate business forms for the convenience of the collecting agent in executing this duty.
(c) The council shall maintain within its financial records a separate accounting of all moneys received under this subsection.
(d) The assessment is due and payable upon the sale of cattle in this state. The assessment constitutes a personal debt of the producer who is so assessed or who otherwise owes the assessment. If a producer fails to remit any properly due assessment, the council may bring a civil action against that person in the circuit court of any county for the collection thereof, and may add a penalty in the amount of 10 percent of the assessment owed, the cost of enforcing the collection of the assessment, court costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees. The action shall be tried and judgment rendered as in any other cause of action for debts due and payable. All assessments, penalties, and enforcement costs are due and payable to the council.
(e) The council may adopt reciprocal agreements with other beef councils or similar organizations relating to moneys collected at Florida collection agents on cattle from other states and to Florida cattle sold at other state markets.
(f) The collection agents shall be entitled to deduct 2.5 percent of the amount collected to retain as a reasonable collection allowance prior to remitting the funds to the council.
(11) REFUNDS.
(a) A producer who has had moneys deducted from his or her gross sales receipts under this act is entitled to a prompt and full refund on request.
(b) The council shall make available to all collection agents business forms permitting request for refund, which forms are to be submitted by the objecting producer within 45 days after the sale transaction takes place.
(c) A refund claim must include the claimant’s signature, date of sale, place of sale, number of cattle, and amount of assessment deducted, and must have attached thereto proof of the assessment deducted.
(d) If the council has reasonable doubt that a refund claim is valid, it may withhold payment and take such action as it considers necessary to determine the validity of the claim. Any dispute arising under this subsection shall be determined as specified in paragraph (10)(d).
(e) The council shall take action on refund requests within 30 calendar days following the date of receipt of the request.
(f) Only the producer may initiate a request for refund.
(12) VOTE ON CONTINUING THE ASSESSMENT.Upon the delivery by certified mail to the Florida Beef Council office of petitions from at least 1,800 producers or 10 percent of Florida’s producers as determined by the department, whichever is less, and stating “Shall the assessment authorized by the Beef Market Development Act continue?” the council shall, within 90 days, conduct a referendum to determine whether a majority of the producers voting in the referendum support the continuation of the Beef Market Development Act. All signatures must be collected within a 12-month period. A referendum held under this subsection may not be held more than one time in a 3-year period. Qualifications for signature and vote are the same as those required in subsection (6).
(13) BYLAWS.The Florida Beef Council shall, within 90 days after this act becomes a law, adopt bylaws to carry out the intents and purposes of this act. These bylaws may be amended with a 30-day notice to board members at any regular or special meeting called for this purpose. The bylaws must conform to the requirements of this act but may also address any matter not in conflict with the general laws of this state.
(14) REPEAL.This section is repealed October 1, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.
History.s. 1, ch. 2004-65; s. 16, ch. 2005-210; s. 22, ch. 2014-96; s. 105, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.9135.
570.841 Farm-to-fuel initiative.
(1) The department may develop a farm-to-fuel initiative to enhance the market for and promote the production and distribution of renewable energy from Florida-grown crops, agricultural wastes and residues, and other biomass and to enhance the value of agricultural products or expand agribusiness in the state.
(2) The department may conduct a statewide comprehensive information and education program aimed at educating the general public about the benefits of renewable energy and the use of alternative fuels.
History.s. 7, ch. 2006-289; s. 523, ch. 2011-142; s. 46, ch. 2011-206; s. 110, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.954.
570.85 Agritourism.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote agritourism as a way to support bona fide agricultural production by providing a secondary stream of revenue and by educating the general public about the agricultural industry. It is also the intent of the Legislature to eliminate duplication of regulatory authority over agritourism as expressed in this section. Except as otherwise provided for in this section, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local government may not adopt or enforce a local ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy that prohibits, restricts, regulates, or otherwise limits an agritourism activity on land classified as agricultural land under s. 193.461. This subsection does not limit the powers and duties of a local government to address substantial offsite impacts of agritourism activities or an emergency as provided in chapter 252.
(2) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may provide marketing advice, technical expertise, promotional support, and product development related to agritourism to assist the following in their agritourism initiatives: Enterprise Florida, Inc.; convention and visitor bureaus; tourist development councils; economic development organizations; and local governments. In carrying out this responsibility, the department shall focus its agritourism efforts on rural and urban communities.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-244; s. 426, ch. 2011-142; s. 1, ch. 2013-179; s. 111, ch. 2014-150; s. 1, ch. 2016-14.
Note.Former s. 570.96.
570.86 Definitions.As used in ss. 570.85-570.89, the term:
(1) “Agritourism activity” means any agricultural related activity consistent with a bona fide farm, livestock operation, or ranch or in a working forest which allows members of the general public, for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes, to view or enjoy activities, including farming, ranching, historical, cultural, civic, ceremonial, training and exhibition, or harvest-your-own activities and attractions. An agritourism activity does not include the construction of new or additional structures or facilities intended primarily to house, shelter, transport, or otherwise accommodate members of the general public. An activity is an agritourism activity regardless of whether the participant paid to participate in the activity.
(2) “Agritourism operator” means a person who is engaged in the business of providing one or more agritourism activities, whether for compensation or not for compensation.
(3) “Farm” means the land, buildings, support facilities, machinery, and other appurtenances used in the production of farm or aquaculture products, including land used to display plants, animals, farm products, or farm equipment to the public.
(4) “Farm operation” has the same meaning as in s. 823.14.
(5) “Inherent risks of agritourism activity” means those dangers or conditions that are an integral part of an agritourism activity including certain hazards, such as surface and subsurface conditions; natural conditions of land, vegetation, and waters; the behavior of wild or domestic animals; and the ordinary dangers of structures or equipment ordinarily used in farming and ranching operations. The term also includes the potential of a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to the injury of the participant or others, including failing to follow the instructions given by the agritourism operator or failing to exercise reasonable caution while engaging in the agritourism activity.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-244; s. 17, ch. 2012-83; s. 2, ch. 2013-179; s. 112, ch. 2014-150; s. 2, ch. 2016-14.
Note.Former s. 570.961.
570.87 Agritourism participation impact on land classification.
(1) In order to promote and perpetuate agriculture throughout the state, farm operations are encouraged to engage in agritourism. The conduct of agritourism activity on a bona fide farm or on agricultural lands classified as such pursuant to s. 193.461 does not limit, restrict, or divest the land of that classification as long as such lands classified as agricultural remain used primarily for bona fide agricultural purposes.
(2) Local governments and agricultural representatives shall meet for the purpose of discussing the benefits of agritourism to local economies and opportunities for cooperation, conflict resolution, regulatory streamlining, and incentives.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-244; s. 113, ch. 2014-150; s. 3, ch. 2016-14.
Note.Former s. 570.962.
570.88 Liability.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), an agritourism operator, his or her employer or employee, or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs is not liable for injury or death of, or damage or loss to, a participant resulting from the inherent risks of agritourism activities if the notice of risk required under s. 570.89 is posted as required. Except as provided in subsection (2), a participant, or a participant’s representative, may not maintain an action against or recover from an agritourism operator, his or her employer or employee, or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs for the injury or death of, or damage or loss to, an agritourism participant resulting exclusively from any of the inherent risks of agritourism activities.
(2) In the event of the injury or death of, or damage or loss to, an agritourism participant, subsection (1) does not prevent or limit the liability of an agritourism operator or his or her employer or employee or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs if he or she:
(a) Commits an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, and that act or omission proximately causes injury, damage, or death to the participant; or
(b) Intentionally injures the participant.
(3) The limitation on legal liability afforded by this section to an agritourism operator or his or her employer or employee or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs is in addition to any limitations of legal liability otherwise provided by law.
History.s. 3, ch. 2013-179; s. 114, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.963.
570.89 Posting and notification.
(1)(a) Each agritourism operator shall post and maintain signs that contain the notice of inherent risk specified in subsection (2). A sign shall be placed in a clearly visible location at the entrance to the agritourism location and at the site of the agritourism activity. The notice of inherent risk must consist of a sign in black letters, with each letter a minimum of 1 inch in height, with sufficient color contrast to be clearly visible.
(b) Each written contract entered into by an agritourism operator for the provision of professional services, instruction, or the rental of equipment to a participant, regardless of whether the contract involves agritourism activities on or off the location or at the site of the agritourism activity, must contain in clearly readable print the notice of inherent risk specified in subsection (2).
(2) The sign and contract required under subsection (1) must contain the following notice of inherent risk:

WARNING

Under Florida law, an agritourism operator is not liable for injury or death of, or damage or loss to, a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at this agritourism location if such injury, death, damage, or loss results from the inherent risks of the agritourism activity. Inherent risks of agritourism activities include, among others, risks of injury inherent to land, equipment, and animals, as well as the potential for you to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury, death, damage, or loss. You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.

(3) Failure to comply with this section prevents an agritourism operator, his or her employer or employee, or the owner of the underlying land on which the agritourism occurs from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by this section.
History.s. 4, ch. 2013-179; s. 130, ch. 2014-17; s. 115, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.964.
PART IV
AGRICULTURAL WATER POLICY
570.916 Water supply agreements; department negotiation.
570.921 Environmental Stewardship Certification Program.
570.93 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; agricultural water conservation and agricultural water supply planning.
570.94 Best management practices for wildlife.
570.916 Water supply agreements; department negotiation.The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is authorized to negotiate agreements with landowners for water supply in rural areas, provided that:
(1) The water to be supplied is currently available to property owned or controlled by the department; and
(2) The intended use and quantity are not inconsistent with any permit required under part II of chapter 373 for the source of supply in effect at the time of the agreement.
History.s. 37, ch. 2000-308; s. 65, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.075.
570.921 Environmental Stewardship Certification Program.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.
History.s. 15, ch. 2005-210; s. 68, ch. 2006-1; s. 4, ch. 2013-177; s. 66, ch. 2014-150; s. 3, ch. 2016-9.
Note.Former s. 570.076.
570.93 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; agricultural water conservation and agricultural water supply planning.
(1) The department shall establish an agricultural water conservation program that includes the following:
(a) A cost-share program, coordinated where appropriate with the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal, state, regional, and local agencies, for irrigation system retrofit and application of mobile irrigation laboratory evaluations for water conservation as provided in this section and, where applicable, for water quality improvement pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(c).
(b) The development and implementation of voluntary interim measures or best management practices, adopted by rule, which provide for increased efficiencies in the use and management of water for agricultural production. In the process of developing and adopting rules for interim measures or best management practices, the department shall consult with the Department of Environmental Protection and the water management districts. Such rules may also include a system to assure the implementation of the practices, including recordkeeping requirements. As new information regarding efficient agricultural water use and management becomes available, the department shall reevaluate and revise as needed, the interim measures or best management practices. The interim measures or best management practices may include irrigation retrofit, implementation of mobile irrigation laboratory evaluations and recommendations, water resource augmentation, and integrated water management systems for drought management and flood control and should, to the maximum extent practicable, be designed to qualify for regulatory incentives and other incentives, as determined by the agency having applicable statutory authority.
(c) Provision of assistance to the water management districts in the development and implementation of a consistent, to the extent practicable, methodology for the efficient allocation of water for agricultural irrigation.
(2) The department shall establish an agricultural water supply planning program that includes the following:
(a) The development of data indicative of future agricultural water supply demands which must be:
1. Based on at least a 20-year planning period.
2. Provided to each water management district.
3. Considered by each water management district in accordance with ss. 373.036(2) and 373.709(2)(a)1.b.
(b) The data on future agricultural water supply demands which are provided to each district must include, but need not be limited to:
1. Applicable agricultural crop types or categories.
2. Historic estimates of irrigated acreage, current estimates of irrigated acreage, and future projections of irrigated acreage for each applicable crop type or category, spatially for each county, including the historic and current methods and assumptions used to generate the spatial acreage estimates and projections.
3. Crop type or category water use coefficients for a 1-in-10 year drought and average year used in calculating historic and current water demands and projected future water demands, including data, methods, and assumptions used to generate the coefficients. Estimates of historic and current water demands must take into account actual metered data as available. Projected future water demands must incorporate appropriate potential water conservation factors based upon data collected as part of the department’s agricultural water conservation program pursuant to subsection (1).
4. An evaluation of significant uncertainties affecting agricultural production which may require a range of projections for future agricultural water supply demands.
(c) In developing the data on future agricultural water supply needs described in paragraph (b), the department shall consult with the agricultural industry, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Department of Environmental Protection, the water management districts, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the United States Geological Survey.
(d) The department shall coordinate with each water management district to establish a schedule for provision of data on agricultural water supply needs in order to comply with water supply planning provisions in ss. 373.036(2) and 373.709(2)(a)1.b.
History.s. 56, ch. 2001-279; s. 8, ch. 2005-166; s. 15, ch. 2005-291; s. 5, ch. 2013-177; s. 67, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.085.
570.94 Best management practices for wildlife.The department and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recognize that agriculture provides a valuable benefit to the conservation and management of fish and wildlife in the state and agree to enter into a memorandum of agreement to develop and adopt by rule voluntary best management practices for the state’s agriculture industry which reflect the industry’s existing contribution to the conservation and management of freshwater aquatic life and wild animal life in the state.
(1) The department shall enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for the purpose of developing the best management practices pursuant to this section and applying such best management practices on agricultural lands within the state. The agreement may allow for selected pilot projects in order to better facilitate the development of the best management practices.
(2) The department may adopt rules establishing the best management practices pursuant to this section. The rules must include provisions for a notice of intent to implement the best management practices and a system to assure the implementation of the best management practices, including recordkeeping requirements.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including s. 163.3162, the implementation of the best management practices pursuant to this section is voluntary and except as specifically provided under this section and s. 9, Art. IV of the State Constitution, an agency, department, district, or unit of local government may not adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution, regulation, rule, or policy regarding the best management practices on land classified as agricultural land pursuant to s. 193.461.
History.s. 10, ch. 2013-226; s. 68, ch. 2014-150.
Note.Former s. 570.087.
PART V
PENALTIES
570.971 Penalties; administrative and civil.
570.971 Penalties; administrative and civil.
(1) The department or enforcing authority may impose the following fine amount for the class category specified in the chapter or section of law violated:
(a) Class I.For each violation in the Class I category, a fine not to exceed $1,000 may be imposed.
(b) Class II.For each violation in the Class II category, a fine not to exceed $5,000 may be imposed.
(c) Class III.For each violation in the Class III category, a fine not to exceed $10,000 may be imposed.
(d) Class IV.For each violation in the Class IV category, a fine of $10,000 or more may be imposed.
(2)(a) This section does not supersede a chapter or section of law or rule that limits the total fine amount that may be imposed for a violation.
(b) The class categories under this section also apply to penalties provided by rule.
(c) The penalties under this section are in addition to any other remedy provided by law.
(3) A person who violates this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter is subject to an administrative or civil fine in the Class II category in addition to any other penalty provided by law.
(4) The department may refuse to issue or renew any license, permit, authorization, certificate, or registration to a person who has not satisfied a penalty imposed by the department.
(5) The department may adopt rules to implement this section or any section that references this section.
History.s. 116, ch. 2014-150.