Ag News Today
Owner - Stephanie Collins formerly Farmer
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After watching last nights Governor debate it is clear we need to educate Floridians AND these political candidates as to the importance of agriculture in our State.Florida agriculture is the second economic generator behind tourism in Florida. According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce "14% of Florida jobs are connected to agriculture...Agriculture plays a vital role in Florida’s economy, with more than 1.5 million jobs connected to agriculture, natural resources and food industries and 15.4 percent of our gross state product tied to the industry..."http://www.flchamber.com/dyk-14-percent-florida-jobs-conne…/ And in bad economic years...Florida agriculture becomes the number one economic generator for Florida. How? Well, it is more than those producing and picking... agriculture generates jobs by increasing business with not only tractor type businesses but also auto dealers as the industry needs vehicles, tire dealers as vehicles need tires, parts dealers as repairs are needed, insurance companies, hardware stores, grocery stores the list is very, very long. When a business has increased business...they hire more employees. Agriculture is getting a bad "rap" more with people forgetting they need to eat to survive. We need to educate that growers in Florida and the US follow more safety regulations to growing your food than other countries. There are pesticides and methods BANNED in US agriculture that are ALLOWED in foreign countries. Think about that. If as a people we do not support Florida agriculture as well as US agriculture we not only impact the 2nd largest economic generator for Florida, but also impact the quality of the food we eat if the only thing that becomes available to consumers is foreign fruits, vegetables and meat. Yes, agriculture needs immigrant or migrant workers because American's don't want to pick! Let's face it...that issue is not just impacting agriculture it also affects Florida's number 1 economic generator - tourism. Just a quick thought of who you see working at hotels is a quick snapshot of how immigration affects that industry. Congress needs to fix that issue. Florida agriculture, we need to educate NOW before this uneducated political tide as to the importance of Florida agriculture grows.
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