brevard county farm bureau events

October 7, 2014
Brevard County Farm Bureau Annual Members Dinner

Knights of Columbus Hall, Rockledge, FL.

   

 Board Member Frank Sullivan presenting the 2014 Posthumus Award to Jene Starkey, the grandaughter of recipient Hans Jacobsen.

  

  UF IFAS Brevard County Extension Director Linda Seals presenting the 2014 Farm Family Award to the Mike Brown Family.

 

 Board President Tom Schuller pictured with Florida Representative Dist. 50 Tom Goodson

  

Membership in attendance

Board members Reed and Jimmy Kempfer preparing the “Swamp Cabbage” for the BBQ dinner.

Brevard County Farm Bureau is cosponsoring the 4th Annual Run Thru Ranch 5 k

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Awards, Medals and Door Prizes

Grand Prize: Win a Cruise to the Bahamas for 2!

Also, schools with the greatest participation can win a cash prize for their school!

Support our local economy, support local Brevard County Agriculture and have fun running thru the ranch.

Simply print out the registration form and mail in with payment (click here)

www.RunThruTheRanch.com

Contact us with any questions: Ph: 321-636-4370 or by email at misty.adams@ffbic.com

 

 

Help support local 4H!!!

Register online to attend or even sponsor the Country Hoedown and Golf Tournament at www.Brevard4H.com
Or on Facebook at: facebook.com/brevard4h

Brevard County Farm Bureau proudly supports the 4H program here locally in our county. 

 

Free Family Christmas Extravaganza
The House Church of Palm Bay will hold its 2013 Family Christmas Extravaganza from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Max K. Rodes Park in West Melbourne.
This free family event will feature live music, balloons, a rock wall, games and prizes, face painting, bounce houses, concessions, raffles and giveaways, and special guest Chagy the Clown.
Max K. Rhodes Park is located at 3410 Flanagan Ave. in West Melbourne.
This event is co-sponsored by Brevard County Farm Bureau and Brevard County Farm Bureau Insurance.

 

Brevard County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting was held on
Tuesday, October 15, 2013.  It was held at the Knights of Columbus hall in Rockledge, FL.  Members were treated to a dinner of Prime Rib & Swamp Cabbage cooked by our very own Board of Directors.  During the meeting, President Tom Schuller discussed Member Benefits, presented the Agricultural Awards, and Nominating Committee Report for the Board of Directors.  Additionally, we held our very 1st Judged Dessert contest.  The night was an overall success and wonderful opportunity for our members to be involved with our Brevard County public officials and community leaders in Agriculture.


Brevard County Farm Bureau Members in attendance.


Board of Directors Jimmy Kempfer, David Yates and Marc Bass
prepping the dinner for the guests.


Laurie Schuller presenting the 2013 Distinguished Service Award to
Representative Tom Goodson, Dist. 50

 

Tom Schuller presenting the 2013 Posthumous Award to
The Fischer Family

Board President Tom Schuller presenting the 2013 Farm Family Award
to the C H Sledd Family

      

Florida Farm Bureau Legislative Issues, Adam Basford presenting Leaders in Agriculture Award to Representative Ritch Workman and Representative Steve Crisafulli

 

Commissioner Putnam Announces Winners of Agriculture-Environmental Leadership Award

July 5, 2013

Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today announced the three winners of the state’s Agriculture-Environmental Leadership Award, which recognizes agricultural enterprises that are at the forefront of developing and adopting environmentally innovative farming practices.

“These recipients represent the best of the best in developing and implementing progressive techniques to safeguard the environment and conserve natural resources,” Commissioner Putnam said. “All three share a commitment to protect and preserve Florida’s resources while continuing to provide top-notch agricultural products for our state, our country and across the globe.”

  • Barbra Goering of The Farmton Tree Farm, a 59,000-acre forest timber operation straddling Volusia and Brevard Counties. In partnership with local counties, Miami Corporation, which manages the land, created the Farmton Local Plan, an innovative 50-year vision for the future to place nearly 80 percent of the land into conservation, including a critical regional wildlife corridor and environmentally significant habitat. The Farmton Tree Farm serves as a model for large-scale and long-range planning efforts, by creating sustainable places for jobs, recreation and living in the future.
  • Dudley Calfee of Ferris Farms Inc, in Floral City. Ferris Farms has harvested the first commercial flats of strawberries in the state for the past six years and produces more than 200,000 flats of strawberries and more than 250,000 pounds of blueberries each year. All the while, the farm has reduced the use of pesticides, plastic mulch and plastic drip tube and has perfected techniques to reuse 35 percent of these materials each year and reduced fungicide application by 50 percent. They are a leading example of increasing crop yields and decreasing production cost through innovation.
  • Shane Platt of Kissimmee Park Properties, LLC, in St. Cloud. Kissimmee Park Properties’ goal has been to protect the ranch as both an economic source and as a sustainable wildlife habitat and ecological component to the region. The ranch has been under the same family ownership for 135 years and operates a 250 head cow-calf operation. The ranch has always operated in an environmentally and economically sound method to ensure the natural environment can be passed on to the family’s sixth generation of ranchers. Kissimmee Park Properties recognizes both the economic and ecological value of a well run cattle operation – and represents Florida cattlemen well.

Nominees from different parts of Florida’s agricultural industry were reviewed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and industry and environmental groups. Environmental practices considered in the nominations include: Wildlife Protection and Habitat Conservation, Pesticide/Nutrient Management, Water Quality, Soil and Water Conservation and Waste Management/Recycling.

The Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award has been presented annually since 1994. The program spotlights the environmentally innovative farming practices of the state’s growers and ranchers. The winners will be recognized at the Florida Farm Bureau’s Convention at the Commissioner Ag Environmental Leadership Breakfast on October 25 at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.

Our Brevard County Farm Bureau Board of Director, Mike Brown is the current Director at Farmton Tree Farm.  In 2009, Director of Tree Farm Operations Earl Underhill retired after thirty years of service. In fact, he was only the third operations manager since Miami Corporation’s ownership began in the 1920's.  Farmton’s new Director Mike Brown has continued the legacy, providing day to day management of the timber and the property with a small crew of equipment operators. The crew is involved full time with timber operations including site preparation and planting, road and fire line maintenance, and firefighting and prevention. Timber removal is done by independent loggers who contract with our company to purchase and remove the trees and truck them to sawmills.

 

Brevard County Farm Bureau is proudly supporting this years All Florida Junior Rodeo Association.

All Florida Junior Rodeo Association was created by a group of rodeo families committed to promoting the sport of rodeo to our youth. AFJRA is a non-profit organization 501c(3) promoting the sport of rodeo for children in the state of Florida between the ages of five and fourteen. One of the goals of AFJRA is to provide quality events which allow our youth to advance their skills in the spirit of fair competition and an appreciation of good sportsmanship. AFJRA is dedicated to helping our youth set goals and work to achieve them through a sport that they truly love.

They offer eleven events for boys and girls. They are: Bareback Riding, Calf Roping, Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping, Steer Undecorating, Goat Tying, Team Roping, Pole Bending, Bull Riding, Steer Riding, and Cutting. We give away buckles and prizes at each of our monthly events to the top six winners in each event. We also award an All-Around Cowboy and All-Around Cowgirl at each rodeo.

The rodeo season begins in August and ends in May. They end the rodeo season with a State Finals and banquet. Points are kept throughout the year to determine the year-end champions. Each year at their banquet they give away 16 trophy saddles, over 125 trophy belt buckles, and many other prizes to the children. Each and every contestant member will leave the awards banquet with something in hand.

For additional information you can follow the Rodeo at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Florida-Junior-Rodeo-Association/117577921600939#!/allflorida.juniorrodeo

Or on their website at: http://www.afjra.com/

Brevard County Farm Bureau’s main purpose is to develop public awareness of the importance of agriculture to the local community and economy.


Property Rights and The Koontz Case


More than 15 years ago, Coy Koontz, Sr., and his family sought a permit to allow potential development on 3.4 acres (out of 14.9 acres) they owned in Orange County, Florida.  Mr. Koontz wanted to make the property marketable in order to sell it as a means to provide for his retirement.

This meant obtaining a permit from the St. Johns River Water Management District.  A staff member of the St. Johns District agreed to recommend approval if Mr. Koontz would deed the remaining portion of his property (11.5 acres) to a conservation area.  He agreed to do so.

However, the District imposed additional costly and unrelated demands as the price of a permit. In particular, the agency demanded that the Koontzes fund improvements on 50 acres of the district’s own land — up to seven miles away from the Koontz property! The cost: As much as $150,000, according to estimates that Mr. Koontz obtained.

When Mr. Koontz refused to accede to the District’s demand, it denied him the permits necessary to make his property eligible for development.

Mr. Koontz sued the District to have the permit condition removed. Sadly, he passed away in 2000 before the suit moved forward through the courts.  However, his son, Coy Koontz, Jr., continued on with the litigation.

Although lower state courts in Florida ruled for the Koontzes, the Florida Supreme Court reversed, holding that the District did not violate the U.S. Constitution by imposing an excessive and unrelated financial demand as the price of a land use permit.

Coy Koontz, Jr., then, successfully petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

This litigation involved the principles that the U.S. Supreme Court set forth in a landmark 1987 victory, Nollan v. California Coastal Commission. The Nollan Court held that land use regulators can’t use the permitting process as an excuse for extortion.

Attorneys for Pacific Legal Foundation asked the High Court to affirm that the Fifth Amendment prohibits all attempts to use the permitting process for shakedowns, not just extortionate demands for real property.

On Monday, The Supreme Court sided with Koontz, ruling that the District's demands weren't proportional to the environmental damage his development would cause. 

Writing for the majority Justice Samuel Alito stated, "Extortionate demands of this sort frustrate the Fifth Amendment right to just compensation."  Joining in the majority opinion were Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and, Kennedy.

CPR congratulates the Koontz family and attorneys for the Pacific legal Foundation on this important Supreme Court decision.

The Koontz case highlights the need for increased vigilance and advocacy in the area of property rights.  It also illustrates the critical role that CPR plays in standing with property owners and advocating for good public policy.

Will you help CPR continue to engage in these issues today by becoming a contributing member of the property rights movement?  Your donation of $25, $100, $500 or more can help keep us fighting for our fundamental and “inalienable” rights. 

CPR needs your financial support to continue our advocacy for property rights.  Please visit our website: www.proprights.com.  Click on the DONATE tab to access out PayPal account.  Alternatively, you can mail a check made out to CPR to: 2878 S. Osceola Avenue, Orlando, FL  32806.  All donations are tax deductible

 

2013 Run thru the Ranch

May 4, 2013 our Run thru The Ranch 5k event was held at Platt Ranch in Melbourne, FL.  This event promotes Agriculture Awareness in our local community and is put on by the Brevard County Cattlemen’s Association, Brevard County UF IFAS Extension Office and Brevard County Farm Bureau.

Enjoy reading the wonderful article written by Joey Mazzaferro, Communications Manager at FloridAgriculture Magazine.

FLORIDAGRICULTURE — FLAG June 2013

A Community Race
Joey Mazzaferro

On an overcast and breezy Saturday morning, runners of all ages were given a rare opportunity: a chance to run a race through one of Brevard County’s beautiful ranches. The Third Annual “Run Thru the Ranch” 5K was held on May 4 at Platt Ranch, located about five miles west of Melbourne.

This event was hosted by Running Zone Race Management, the UF/ IFAS Brevard County Extension office, the Brevard County Farm Bureau, the Brevard County Cattlemen’s Association and the Brevard County Tourism Development Commission with the purpose of supporting local sustainable agriculture and developing public awareness about its importance in the community.

Brevard County Farm Bureau President Tom Schuller said the agricultural groups in Brevard County met a couple of years ago and decided they were not working together for a common goal as well as they should have been. They decided to hold a joint annual event together and this endeavor became the “Run Thru the Ranch.”

“This event serves as our agriculture awareness tour, where people from the general public can come out and actually see what we do,” said Schuller. “All too oft en they hear negative things about what goes on in the agriculture community and this is going to be a positive for us.”

The “Run Thru the Ranch” has grown in popularity each successive year. “Today we have 141 racers and we’re very excited because that is more than we had last year,” said Linda Seals, UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension director. “Each year the number grows. That’s 141 people who have learned about agriculture in Brevard County.”

This race was the third one in the “Run Thru the Ranch” series. The first race was held at Deseret Ranch and the second one was held last year at Kempfer Ranch. For this year’s run at Platt Ranch, two new race options were added: the Watermelon Challenge and the Team Challenge. With the Watermelon Challenge, racers could opt to team with a partner and run the 5K while holding a Florida-grown watermelon. And the Team Challenge gave runners the opportunity to put together a team of four and try to record the fastest cumulative time.

The “Run Thru the Ranch” affords runners a unique challenge as a race course. Don Piercy of Running Zone Management stated that his company is involved with the race management of over 50 races a year and the “Run Thru the Ranch” is one of his favorites. “Each of the courses over the three year tenure has been unique with various terrains and eco-systems,” said Piercy. “The courses are beautiful and so different from a road race and I think this is why the race continues to grow each year.

“Most of the participants have never been on an actual working ranch,” Piercy added, “so they are amazed by the equipment, livestock and all of the other aspects of a working farm.”

This race is designed to not only help agriculture in Brevard County, but tourism as well. The Brevard County Tourism Development Commission is tasked with sponsoring local events that help bring out-of-town visitors to the area. “Run Thru the Ranch helps expose people to the Space Coast in a very unique way,” said Tom Bartosek, Brevard County Tourism Development Commission. “I think a run through a working Florida ranch like the Platts’ shows people the importance of agriculture to our economy and reminds them of our state’s heritage in working the land.”

The “Run Thru the Ranch” appears to be developing into a successful venture that will endure for years to come. The race organizers are working on securing a location for next year’s “Run Thru the Ranch.” For more information, go to www.runthrutheranch.com.

Photo 1: And they’re off ! The Third Annual “Run Thru the Ranch” began with runners of all ages competing to be victorious.


Photo 2: Zach Friedel, 19, has finished the race to claim third place overall as Sean Black, 45, gets ready to cross the finish line behind him and win the Male Masters Championship.



Photo 3: Misty Adams, Brevard County Farm Bureau employee and race director, congratulates Mike Jerue on being the first person to finish the 2013 “Run Thru the Ranch” at Platt Farm in Melbourne.


Photo 4: The winners of the Inaugural Watermelon Challenge were Chris St. Jean, left , and Pete Vaughn, with a combined time of 47:44.

 

 

Getting this magazine mailed to you is included with your Farm Bureau Annual Membership. 

Contact us to learn how to become a Brevard County Farm Bureau Member today.

 

2012 Brevard County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
Board Members, Reed and Jimmy Kempfer cooking the meal for the annual meeting. Members attending the annual meeting and dinner.

 

 

 

 
Board Member, Laurie Schuller and County Secretary, Misty Adams pictured with Florida Farm Bureau Federation President, John Hoblick

 

 

Laurie Schuller is not only a Brevard County Farm Bureau board of director, but additionally she serves on the Florida Farm Bureau Woman’s Leadership Committee and is the District 7 Representative. The Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Program was organized for the purpose of implementing Farm Bureau policy goals and objectives. The program uses the unique talents of women to enable Farm Bureau to be more effective in its organizational, legislative, educational and promotional efforts. Any woman from a Farm Bureau family is eligible to participate in local, state and national activities.

 






Agriculture News

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules to Uphold Landowner Rights
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 4, 2012 — A unanimous decision (8-0, with one recusal) today by the U.S. Supreme Court, was greeted with praise by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center. Today’s decision in Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States will help protect private landowners from enduring “temporary takings” that cause property damage without compensation by the government.

“This decision is a victory for small-business owners—farmers and ranchers especially—whose property is essential to their livelihood and the success of their business,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center. “Temporary government invasions can be costly if left uncompensated. Today’s Supreme Court ruling will help ensure that lower courts give greater consideration to the protection of private property owners.”

Historically, property owners face significant legal hurdles when seeking compensation for property damage caused by short-term government policies and projects. There are often devastating impacts that property or small-business owners endure due to a temporary physical invasion by the government that may result in destruction of/to a home, place of business or other valuable resources.

In this case, the Army Corps of Engineers deviated from longstanding policies that had governed the volume and length of water-releases from Clearwater Dam in southeast Missouri. These changes resulted in eight years of flooding, which ultimately destroyed numerous trees on downstream private property. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held that downstream property owners could not receive compensation for these flood damages, because the flooding was only temporary.

NFIB was joined by a coalition of business groups in filing an amicus brief in this case.

 

 

Published on The National Law Review (http://www.natlawreview.com)
Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: Employers Bracing for
November Ballot Initiative in Orange County
Citizens for Greater Orange County (CGOC), a Florida political committee, last week presented the requisite number of signatures needed to garner a spot on the November 6, 2012 ballot in Orange County for a proposed earned paid sick leave ordinance. Bill Cowles, Orange County Supervisor of Elections, verified the final petitions needed for the measure on Friday, August 17, 2012, after determining that the CGOC collected over 50,000 signatures from Orange County registered voters. If approved by voters, the paid sick leave ordinance would require all employers in Orange County with 15 or more employees to provide each employee with one hour of paid job-protected sick leave for every 37 hours worked, up to a maximum of 56 hours of
paid sick leave annually. Smaller employers in Orange County are not required to provide paid sick leave but may not retaliate against any employee who uses up to 56 hours of sick time per year. As a result, the ordinance essentially requires Orange County employers with fewer than 15 employees to provide up to 56 hours of unpaid sick leave annually to each employee. Under the proposed ordinance, which applies to full and part-time employees, employees could use their paid sick leave for their own illness, diagnosis or preventative medical care, for the care of an ill family member, or to care for their child in the event that child’s school or day care facility is closed due to a public health emergency. The definition of a family member under the ordinance is quite broad, and includes an employee’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, sibling or other individual related by blood or affinity.
In formal opposition to the sick leave ordinance and in an attempt to block the ballot initiative, a coalition of local chamber of commerce organizations and business associations filed a Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief in Orange County Circuit Court against the Citizens for Greater Orange County and Bill Cowles, in his official capacity as the Orange County Supervisor of Elections. The crux of the chambers’ and business associations’ argument is that the language of the ballot initiative is misleading to voters and is cost-prohibitive to employers, including the non-profit organizations, charities and religious institutions that also would be covered by the ordinance. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Orange County Mayor Teresa
Jacobs and each of the Orange County Commissioners oppose the sick leave ordinance, suggesting that Board of County Commissioners is unlikely to adopt the ordinance which it could do instead of sending the issue to the voters.
Barring a successful legal challenge, Orange County voters will cast their vote for or against the sick leave ordinance in November. In addition to the legal challenge, Orange County voters can expect to see well-organized campaigns on both sides of the issue.
If the sick leave ordinance passes, employers in Orange County will need to analyze their current sick leave and other paid time off policies and implement new or revised policies no later than January 1, 2013, to comply with the ordinance. © Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, PA, 2012. All rights reserved.

 

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Final Rule That Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Drivers of Buses and Large Trucks
Today’s Action is the Latest by the Department to End Distracted Driving
WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a final rule specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the latest action by the U.S. Department of Transportation to end distracted driving.

"When drivers of large trucks, buses and hazardous materials take their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, the outcome can be deadly," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "I hope that this rule will save lives by helping commercial drivers stay laser-focused on safety at all times while behind the wheel."

The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.
"This final rule represents a giant leap for safety," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "It's just too dangerous for drivers to use a hand-held cell phone while operating a commercial vehicle. Drivers must keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and head in the game when operating on our roads. Lives are at stake."
While driver distraction studies have produced mixed results, FMCSA research shows that using a hand-held cell phone while driving requires a commercial driver to take several risky steps beyond what is required for using a hands-free mobile phone, including searching and reaching for the phone. Commercial drivers reaching for an object, such as a cell phone, are three times more likely to be involved in a crash or other safety-critical event. Dialing a hand-held cell phone makes it six times more likely that commercial drivers will be involved in a crash or other safety-critical event.
In September 2010, FMCSA issued a regulation banning text messaging while operating a commercial truck or bus and PHMSA followed with a companion regulation in February 2011, banning texting by intrastate hazardous materials drivers.
"Needless injuries and deaths happen when people are distracted behind the wheel," said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman. "Our final rule would improve safety and reduce risks of hazmat in transportation."

Nearly 5474 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2009. Distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of overall traffic fatalities in 2009, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research.

Many of the largest truck and bus companies, such as UPS, Covenant Transport, Wal-Mart, Peter Pan and Greyhound already have company policies in place banning their drivers from using hand-held phones.
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/news/news-releases/2011/Secretary-LaHood-Announces-Step-towards-Safer-Highways.aspx


Current Brevard County Board of Director, Rep. Steve Crisafulli will be sworn in as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives on Monday, March 4th.
 
Rep. Crisafulli serves Brevard County District 51, and was Brevard County Farm Bureau Board President from 2003 to 2005

“I am deeply grateful to my colleagues for trusting me with the important role as their future leader in the Florida House. I understand the weight of the responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders, and I know with the support of the House, we will set forth a bold agenda that honors Floridians over the next four years”.

                                                                                                                - Rep. Steve Crisafulli

Our next Run Thru The Ranch is scheduled for Sat. May, 4, 2013
www.runthrutheranch.com

Brevard County Farm Bureau primarily supports agriculture in the State of Florida and more so in the community of Brevard County.  We are looking to continue to educate the public about the importance of agriculture to the local community and economy.  Our Annual 5k, Run Thru The Ranch allows runners to see wildlife and livestock on actual ranches.  The participants additionally are treated to a breakfast where they can visit with ranch personnel and members of the Ag Community.
http://www.runthrutheranch.com
The Running Zone Race Management, Inc., the University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service, the Brevard County Farm Bureau, the Brevard County Cattlemen’s Association, and the Brevard County Tourism Development Commission
Mission Statement of the 5k Event
To support local sustainable agriculture, which stimulates and enhances economic development and develop public awareness of the importance of agriculture to the local community and economy.

 

2012 Brevard County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
Board Members, Reed and Jimmy Kempfer cooking the meal for the annual meeting. Members attending the annual meeting and dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Board Member, Laurie Schuller and County Secretary, Misty Adams pictured with Florida Farm Bureau Federation President, John Hoblick

 

 

Laurie Schuller is not only a Brevard County Farm Bureau board of director, but additionally she serves on the Florida Farm Bureau Woman’s Leadership Committee and is the District 7 Representative. The Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Program was organized for the purpose of implementing Farm Bureau policy goals and objectives. The program uses the unique talents of women to enable Farm Bureau to be more effective in its organizational, legislative, educational and promotional efforts. Any woman from a Farm Bureau family is eligible to participate in local, state and national activities.

 


Agriculture News

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules to Uphold Landowner Rights
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 4, 2012 — A unanimous decision (8-0, with one recusal) today by the U.S. Supreme Court, was greeted with praise by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center. Today’s decision in Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States will help protect private landowners from enduring “temporary takings” that cause property damage without compensation by the government.

“This decision is a victory for small-business owners—farmers and ranchers especially—whose property is essential to their livelihood and the success of their business,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center. “Temporary government invasions can be costly if left uncompensated. Today’s Supreme Court ruling will help ensure that lower courts give greater consideration to the protection of private property owners.”

Historically, property owners face significant legal hurdles when seeking compensation for property damage caused by short-term government policies and projects. There are often devastating impacts that property or small-business owners endure due to a temporary physical invasion by the government that may result in destruction of/to a home, place of business or other valuable resources.

In this case, the Army Corps of Engineers deviated from longstanding policies that had governed the volume and length of water-releases from Clearwater Dam in southeast Missouri. These changes resulted in eight years of flooding, which ultimately destroyed numerous trees on downstream private property. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held that downstream property owners could not receive compensation for these flood damages, because the flooding was only temporary.

NFIB was joined by a coalition of business groups in filing an amicus brief in this case.

 

Published on The National Law Review (http://www.natlawreview.com)
Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: Employers Bracing for
November Ballot Initiative in Orange County
Citizens for Greater Orange County (CGOC), a Florida political committee, last week presented the requisite number of signatures needed to garner a spot on the November 6, 2012 ballot in Orange County for a proposed earned paid sick leave ordinance. Bill Cowles, Orange County Supervisor of Elections, verified the final petitions needed for the measure on Friday, August 17, 2012, after determining that the CGOC collected over 50,000 signatures from Orange County registered voters. If approved by voters, the paid sick leave ordinance would require all employers in Orange County with 15 or more employees to provide each employee with one hour of paid job-protected sick leave for every 37 hours worked, up to a maximum of 56 hours of
paid sick leave annually. Smaller employers in Orange County are not required to provide paid sick leave but may not retaliate against any employee who uses up to 56 hours of sick time per year. As a result, the ordinance essentially requires Orange County employers with fewer than 15 employees to provide up to 56 hours of unpaid sick leave annually to each employee. Under the proposed ordinance, which applies to full and part-time employees, employees could use their paid sick leave for their own illness, diagnosis or preventative medical care, for the care of an ill family member, or to care for their child in the event that child’s school or day care facility is closed due to a public health emergency. The definition of a family member under the ordinance is quite broad, and includes an employee’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, sibling or other individual related by blood or affinity.
In formal opposition to the sick leave ordinance and in an attempt to block the ballot initiative, a coalition of local chamber of commerce organizations and business associations filed a Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief in Orange County Circuit Court against the Citizens for Greater Orange County and Bill Cowles, in his official capacity as the Orange County Supervisor of Elections. The crux of the chambers’ and business associations’ argument is that the language of the ballot initiative is misleading to voters and is cost-prohibitive to employers, including the non-profit organizations, charities and religious institutions that also would be covered by the ordinance. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Orange County Mayor Teresa
Jacobs and each of the Orange County Commissioners oppose the sick leave ordinance, suggesting that Board of County Commissioners is unlikely to adopt the ordinance which it could do instead of sending the issue to the voters.
Barring a successful legal challenge, Orange County voters will cast their vote for or against the sick leave ordinance in November. In addition to the legal challenge, Orange County voters can expect to see well-organized campaigns on both sides of the issue.
If the sick leave ordinance passes, employers in Orange County will need to analyze their current sick leave and other paid time off policies and implement new or revised policies no later than January 1, 2013, to comply with the ordinance. © Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, PA, 2012. All rights reserved.

 

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Final Rule That Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Drivers of Buses and Large Trucks
Today’s Action is the Latest by the Department to End Distracted Driving
WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a final rule specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the latest action by the U.S. Department of Transportation to end distracted driving.

"When drivers of large trucks, buses and hazardous materials take their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, the outcome can be deadly," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "I hope that this rule will save lives by helping commercial drivers stay laser-focused on safety at all times while behind the wheel."

The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.
"This final rule represents a giant leap for safety," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "It's just too dangerous for drivers to use a hand-held cell phone while operating a commercial vehicle. Drivers must keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and head in the game when operating on our roads. Lives are at stake."
While driver distraction studies have produced mixed results, FMCSA research shows that using a hand-held cell phone while driving requires a commercial driver to take several risky steps beyond what is required for using a hands-free mobile phone, including searching and reaching for the phone. Commercial drivers reaching for an object, such as a cell phone, are three times more likely to be involved in a crash or other safety-critical event. Dialing a hand-held cell phone makes it six times more likely that commercial drivers will be involved in a crash or other safety-critical event.
In September 2010, FMCSA issued a regulation banning text messaging while operating a commercial truck or bus and PHMSA followed with a companion regulation in February 2011, banning texting by intrastate hazardous materials drivers.
"Needless injuries and deaths happen when people are distracted behind the wheel," said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman. "Our final rule would improve safety and reduce risks of hazmat in transportation."

Nearly 5474 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2009. Distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of overall traffic fatalities in 2009, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research.

Many of the largest truck and bus companies, such as UPS, Covenant Transport, Wal-Mart, Peter Pan and Greyhound already have company policies in place banning their drivers from using hand-held phones.
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/news/news-releases/2011/Secretary-LaHood-Announces-Step-towards-Safer-Highways.aspx

 

  Brevard County Farm Bureau
111 Virginia Ave Cocoa, FL. 32922
Phone: 321-636-4370 / Fax: 321-632-2858