Florida Senate - 2019 SB 880 By Senator Albritton 26-01811A-19 2019880__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to young farmers and ranchers; 3 creating s. 570.842, F.S.; creating the Florida Young 4 Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant Program within the 5 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; 6 specifying the purpose of the grants; requiring the 7 department to select grant recipients based on 8 specified criteria; requiring the department to adopt 9 rules; requiring that applicants meet specified 10 eligibility requirements; specifying a range for grant 11 amounts; providing that a recipient may not receive 12 more than one award per year under the program; 13 specifying that grant funding is contingent upon 14 specific appropriation by the Legislature; providing 15 an effective date. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 19 Section 1. Section 570.842, Florida Statutes, is created to 20 read: 21 570.842 Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant 22 Program.— 23 (1) The Florida Young Farmer and Rancher Matching Grant 24 Program is created within the department to support the startup 25 functions associated with new farming and ranching operations. 26 (a) Grants administered by the department through this 27 program must be for the purpose of fostering the creation and 28 expansion of agricultural businesses by young farmers and 29 ranchers in this state. 30 (b) The department shall select grant recipients based on 31 selection criteria adopted pursuant to subsection (2). 32 (2) The department shall adopt rules governing the 33 operation of the program, including an application process and 34 selection criteria for grant recipients. 35 (a) At a minimum, in order to be eligible to receive a 36 grant, an individual must meet all of the following 37 requirements: 38 1. Be an agricultural producer, be an employee of a farm or 39 ranch, or have been actively involved in Future Farmers of 40 America for at least 1 year. 41 2. Be at least 18 years of age, but younger than 35 years 42 of age. 43 3. Have operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 44 years. 45 4. Demonstrate, at minimum, a dollar-for-dollar matching 46 investment for the grant amount requested. 47 5. Submit, on a form prescribed by the department, a grant 48 application during the application period established by the 49 department. The department may designate only one period each 50 year for accepting applications. 51 (b) In the application review process, the department shall 52 give a preference to an applicant who is a veteran, as defined 53 in s. 1.01(14). 54 (3) Each grant award under the program must be between 55 $5,000 and $20,000, with no more than one award being made to an 56 individual grant recipient per grant period. 57 (4) Annual grant funding for this program is contingent 58 upon specific annual appropriation by the Legislature. 59 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.