Agriculture and farming is one of the staples of our area. From our fresh oranges, to our plentiful tomatoes, to our robust cattle Florida provides for much of our country's food supply. As other areas in government have modernized, government farming initiatives have not. In fact many farmers have been burdened by harsh rules, regulations, and outsourcing. Instead of working against farmers, it is time to work with farmers!
Technologies have helped modernize our society and help bring food both quicker and lower cost to our country. However, much of our agricultural needs have been outsourced to other countries (where they compete against foreign subsidies). It's time that changed. We need to favor our own farmers and not foreign countries! That is why technology is one of the keys to my plan to keep agriculture in this country. Through a federal program, I am proposing that farms could apply for grants to help offset the costs of certain modern green farm technology. We would help provide training and support, and the farmers in turn would become more productive and greener. We allow our farmers to thrive and our country to grow.
How else can we help agriculture to reach its potential in this country? Education. My vision includes providing participating high schools with funding for agricultural technology and mentoring programs. High schools would enlist local farmers, agriculture engineers, horticulturists, and other experts to teach classes to students interested in entering agricultural careers. These same students would also receive mentoring and internships at local farms, ranches, orchards, and to learn the process and technology hands on.
Farmers are some of the original stewards of our environment. However, farmers in recent times, have been unfairly targeted by either over burdensome or unrealistic regulations and been often the targeted by news media. It's time we all worked together. Let's make regulations that don't push farmers out of business and instead incentives that allow farmers to thrive and be the environmental stewards they are.