April 1, 2021 

 Inside this issue
  HB 1601: Farming Operations  

On Tuesday, HB 1601 by Rep. Jayer Williamson passed the Environment, Agriculture and Flooding Committee with 14 yeas and 4 nays. It will be heard next in the Judiciary Committee. 

This Right to Farm legislation is a priority for FFBF.  It amends and strengthens the Florida Right to Farm Act, which is intended to protect reasonable agricultural activities conducted on farmland from nuisance lawsuits. The Right to Farm bill has three main goals: to minimize the amount of lawsuits that will be brought, to place limits on damages and to modernize the law by expanding protection beyond just nuisance claims.


  • Minimize lawsuits-The bill limits the number of lawsuits able to be filed by stating that only properties within ½ mile of the farm can bring lawsuits. The bill also discourages frivolous lawsuits by forcing those who lose a claim against a farm to be responsible for the prevailing party's attorney's fees.
  • Limit damages-The bill would limit compensatory damages to only the lost value of the property that was harmed.  It would also allow punitive damages only in limited situations.
  • Modernize the law-The bill includes agritourism activities into the Right to Farm law.  It also expands nuisance protections to include other types of lawsuits like personal injury and trespass.

For more information on HB 1601, please click here: https://www.floridafarmbureau.org/house-bill-1601-right-to-farm/



  SB 1876: Relief from Burdens on Real Property Rights  

On Tuesday, March 30, SB 1876 by Sen. Ben Albritton was heard by the Senate Community Affairs Committee and was reported favorably with 6 yeas and 3 nays.

Protecting private property rights is a fundamental priority for Florida Farm Bureau. In 1995, the Florida legislature passed the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Protection Act.  It provides a specific process for landowners to seek relief when their property is unfairly affected by government action. 
For the past few years, there have been efforts to update and strengthen the Bert Harris Act.  This bill will help streamline the process for property owners and will allow a prevailing property owner to recoup attorney fees.

Its companion bill, HB 421 by Rep. Kaylee Tuck was heard by the Local Administration & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and reported favorably with 15 yeas and 2 nays. 



  SB 1018: Sale of Aquaculture Products  

On Wednesday, SB 1018 by Sen. Jim Boyd was heard by the Senate Rules Committee and was reported favorably with a unanimous vote count.  

This legislation would allow the sale of Micropterus salmoides (Large-Mouth Bass) to be sold as a food fish by Florida aquaculture producers. This species of fish is currently grown in Florida by producers who may only sale to private individuals for re-stocking purposes. 

In addition, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) also produces this species for re-stocking public lakes and rivers in the state. This legislative change will allow Florida producers to compete in a national market where demand for this species continues to grow. In addition, this change will allow Florida restaurants to add this product to their menus.



  Articles Relating to the Right to Farm Bill  

Op-ed from Florida Farm Bureau Member - Glenn Beck 

The pressures for Florida farmers to sell their land to developers are immense. I've been approached probably a dozen times to sell our farmland in Windermere, but I remain committed to growing the food on which our communities rely. Strengthening Florida's Right to Farm law will help farms like mine stay in business.

My brother, Mark, and I own and manage 7,500 acres of citrus and a you-pick blueberry farm here in Florida. It's a family business that was started by my great-granddad in the 1890s. The heart of our operation is just a few miles from Disney's Magic Kingdom.

To read the full article, please click here:



Legal Protections for Farmers moving in Florida House

TALLAHASSEE - A Senate-backed proposal to expand the state's "Right to Farm" law continued to move Tuesday through the House over objections that it could block lawsuits about the potential health impacts of burning sugar cane.

The House Environment, Agriculture & Flooding Subcommittee voted 14-4 to support the proposal (HB 1601), which is a priority of Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, and targets what are known as nuisance lawsuits against farmers.

The proposal would prohibit nuisance lawsuits filed by people who do not own property within one-half mile of the alleged violations. It also would limit damages that could be awarded to the market value of any property damaged.

To read the full article, please click here: