CARES Program Eligibility
CARES is a voluntary program that recognizes Florida farmers and ranchers who have implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect Florida’s natural resources.
To be eligible for CARES recognition a producer will have accomplished the following process:
Step 1: A producer signs a Letter of Intent with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Policy (OAWP) to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs). Click here to identify FDACS staff in your area who can enroll your operation in BMPs: https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Agricultural-Water-Policy/Organization-Staff
Step 2: A producer plans and then implements FDACS BMPs on their farm/ranch for an identified duration. To review the BMP Manual in which you will select and plan your individual BMP program from, click below: https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Business-Services/Water/Agricultural-Best-Management-Practices
Step 3: An FDACS OAWP staff member will verify the producer is properly following the planned BMPs.
Step 4: A producer commits to implementing BMPs as part of a regular/ integral part of their operation and environmental stewardship plan.
If you are a FDACS staff member and would like to recommend a farmer/rancher to be recognized for the CARES program, visit the Contact page here on the CARES website and/ or contact CARES Coordinator, Cacee Hilliard.
In addition, Florida Farm Bureau Federation membership is not required but is highly encouraged as the organization advocates for all of Florida’s farming and ranching families at the local, state and national level. Your membership also provides access to a variety of member benefits and discounts statewide! Click here to join your County Farm Bureau today!