Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Agricultural Economic Development

The Agricultural Economic Development Program of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services works to strengthen Florida's agriculture to meet the needs of the world's growing population. The department seeks to accomplish this goal through a variety of inspection, disease management, and marketing activities.

The program comprises six divisions.

  • Animal Industry is responsible for enforcing animal health regulations in Florida and protecting the state from animal pests and diseases.
  • Aquaculture coordinates and assists in the development of aquaculture and regulates aquafarms to protect and conserve Florida's natural resources.
  • Food, Nutrition and Wellness administers child nutrition programs for the state of Florida.
  • Fruit and Vegetables inspects and certifies all fresh shipments of vegetables, fruit, and nuts covered by the state and federal marketing orders and/or rules. In support of that goal, licenses for all citrus dealers, registrants, and agents of licensed fruit dealers, packinghouses, and processing plants are collected and maintained annually. In addition, the division inspects all fresh tomato packinghouses and farms to ensure compliance with food safety regulations and inspects fresh produce not covered by regulation on a request basis in support of outside entities, export laws, and commercial requirements.
  • Marketing and Development promotes Florida products and facilitates agricultural commerce through a variety of programs and initiatives, including the operation of 12 State Farmers Markets that provide Florida producers with marketing facilities; the administration of the Fresh From Florida program that helps Florida producers market their products; gathering agricultural data and compiling current statistics that assist producers in making production and marketing decisions; and permitting and promoting county fairs and livestock shows, among other activities.
  • Plant Industry works to detect, intercept, and control plant and honey bee pests that threaten Florida's native and commercially grown plants and agricultural resources.