Farm Bureau wants ag represented on SFWMD board

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Farm Bureau has reached out to Gov. Ron DeSantis to urge him to include someone from the agriculture industry on the South Florida Water Management District Board.

In a June 19 letter to Gov. DeSantis, Florida Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick wrote:

“On behalf of Florida Farm Bureau Federation and our 147,000 member families, we respectfully request that you consider filling the final South Florida Water Management Governing Board seat with someone who can represent agriculture’s interests. Agriculture is a primary consumptive user of water and is a vital component to regulating flows by holding excess water whenever possible.

“South Florida agriculture has a long history of implementing Best Management Practices that have had a documented positive effect on water quality. We know that there is a long way to go and we play a large part in creating and implementing solutions.

“We appreciate your steadfast focus on water quality and feel that agriculture plays an enormous role in water management. Having representation on the board will help to deliver the goals that we are all striving to achieve.

“Thank you for your consideration. If you need recommendations, please allow me to assist with several qualified candidates.”

Many residents of the rural interior area of south Florida have felt they have been left without a voice on the SFWMD board.

The position for the at-large representative for the area that includes Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties has been vacant since March. In January, Gov. Ron DeSantis demanded the governing board members appointed by former Gov. Rick Scott resign. He quickly filled eight seats on the board, but has not yet appointed the governing board member to represent the rural interior counties.

The eight SFWMD governing board members appointed by Gov. DeSantis live in coastal areas.
• Chairman Chauncey Goss, Founder and Managing Partner, Goss Practical Solutions, lives in Sanibel.
• Vice Chairman Scott Wagner, president and owner of Wagner Legal, lives in Miami Beach.
• Carlos E. Martinez, president of CEM Investments LLC, lives in Pinecrest.
• Cheryl Meade, CEO of Trumpet Calls LLC – Real Estate Holding Company and Development, lives in Islamorada.
• Charlotte Roman, a retired U.S. Army officer, lives in Marco Island.
• Jay Steinle, Managing Director of Lighthouse Investment Partners, lives in West Palm Beach.
• Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, an agent with the Life Style Realty Group, lives in Sewall’s Point.
• Ron Bergeron, engineering construction contractor and Founder of The Bergeron Family of Companies, lives in Fort Lauderdale.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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