Commissioner Putnam, Board of Trustees Approve New Conservation Easement

Dec 02, 13 Commissioner Putnam, Board of Trustees Approve New Conservation Easement

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More than 5,000 Acres Protected Through Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, While Continuing to Support Economy.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and members of the Board of Trustees approved a cooperative agreement with the K-Rocker Ranch as part of the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. More than 1,364 acres of the 1,622-acre K-Rocker Ranch will be protected under the conservation easement, while allowing for agricultural operations to continue.
“This is a great example of how we can conserve Florida’s precious landscape, without jeopardizing any of the economic value that the land provides to the local community,” said Commissioner Putnam. “This agreement will protect all the environmental benefits of the land, but the family-owned agricultural operation will continue to generate revenue, continue to create jobs and continue to support the local economy.”
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service’s Rural and Family Lands Protection Program was created in 2001 with the goal of acquiring perpetual agricultural conservation easements that ensure lands will be preserved in agricultural use while providing for the protection of natural resources.
With the addition of the K-Rocker Ranch, there are more than 5,029 acres of land in Florida protected as part of the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program.
The K-Rocker Ranch is a third-generation, family-owned ranch with agricultural activities that include a sod farm and commercial calf-cow operation. The ranch is located at the eastern end of the Lake Wales Ridge Scrub ecosystem and is immediately west of Lake Rosalie and the Kissimmee River State Park.
In 2013, the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program was appropriated an additional $11 to continue to establish cooperative agreements with Florida’s private landowners.
Florida agriculture has an overall economic impact estimated at $100 billion annually, making it the state’s second largest industry. The agriculture industry supports nearly one million jobs in Florida.

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