Ag Economic Development Council Meeting

Yesterday was my introduction to the Ag. Econ. Development Council (AEDC)Advisory Meeting. It was a veritable who's who in Hillsborough County agriculture along with all the supporting government agencies. This meeting helps set the agenda for the office of AEDC in Hills. Co. and how the county government works for the agricultural clientele. Topics of discussion were how South West Florida Water Management District defines who pays for the remediation of homeowner wells during the draw down of the aquifer during freeze protections. They said that the draw down level was 32 feet causing nearby residents to burn up their pumps. It is defined by law that if remediation is necessary the last person to put in a large well is the person who will need to pay for the damages. This should cause nursery and greenhouse operators to think really hard about where to start new operations. We also discussed the purchasing of ag land for conservation using the ELAPP (Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program). This program helps protect environmentally sensitive or surround land to be purchased in order to preserve the unique environmental benefit function of that land. Also discussed was the ag. innovation program (which looks like it will not have funding), the residential model fertilizer ordinance (which is in the works and is frowned upon by the AEDC Board), and the legislative priorities of the AEDC. If you would like any more information on this meeting please call me.

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