Florida Department of Agriculture


A day after the applicant process was narrowed down, Governor Rick Scott has now chosen a new person to lead the Florida Department of Transportation.

Earlier this month, Ananth Prasad said he’d be leaving the job of FDOT Secretary. Ronald Howse, who leads the nine-member panel tasked with suggesting a successor to the Governor, says Prasad leaves big shoes to fill.

Florida Department of Agriculture

For several weeks, a group of Florida foster youth has been working at one of the state’s largest state agencies as part of a new legislative pilot program. The goal is to help these young adults aging out of the foster system get on the path to future employment.

Back in 2005, Brian Williams went into the foster care system when he was a teenager. He later left when he was 18. The 22-year-old says overall, it wasn’t bad, but it was a big learning experience.

A new legislative pilot program is underway to build on past efforts to help kids aging out of foster care get a job in the future.

Florida Guardian Ad Litem Executive Director Alan Abramowitz says among the obstacles facing foster care youth is finding a job.

“When you look at the statistics of youth who have aged out of foster care, you see homelessness, lack of jobs, and the legislature clearly realizes that many of these kids have not been put into a position to excel,” said Abramowitz.

MGN Online

Starting Monday, Okaloosa County residents and those from other nearby counties can submit concealed weapons permit applications at the Okaloosa County’s Tax Collector office.

In addition to the eight regional offices of the Florida Department of Agriculture, Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson says he’s excited to provide another source for applying for a permit.


Florida residents may now have an easier time applying for a concealed weapons permit by going to certain tax collectors’ offices. Indian River County became the first to offer the services Monday, and four more are slated to soon come online.

As part of a new law this year, local tax collectors’ offices chosen by the Florida Department of Agriculture will now have the chance to help process concealed weapon permit applications.

Florida Department of Agriculture

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has announced the launch of a new online mapping tool to help officials and non-profit groups better assess food needs statewide.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, one in six Floridians is considered food insecure. That includes one out of four kids. Calling it a “solvable issue,” Putnam says it’s not because Florida’s food supply is lacking.

Maleficent Mollusks Not Just A Problem For Californians

Jul 15, 2014
Julie's hounds Via Flickr

Giant African Land Snails have become one of the U.S.’s most persistent invasive species.  They aren’t only causing California harm, but Florida as well. 

The maleficent mollusks, known as GALS for short, made headlines this past Monday when it was released that 67 of them were collected at Los Angeles International Airport over a one-month period. 

There does seem to be a more local problem however.  These destructive snails are very present in Florida’s own Miami-Dade County. 


Florida Department of Agriculture officials are warning Panhandle farmers and gardeners of a highly contagious citrus tree disease that’s been found farther north in the state than has ever seen.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

The Ocheesee Creamery makes and bottles all-natural milk at a dairy farm about an hour west of Tallahassee. Skim milk was a big seller for the small operation, but skim milk production abruptly stopped, when state dairy regulators recently said Ocheesee can’t sell it without adding a synthetic vitamin.

Ocheesee Creamery co-owner Mary Lou Wesselhoeft walks past baby cows in the same backyard she’s known her entire life.

Plans To Preserve Old Florida Livestock Mooooving Forward

Mar 29, 2013
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Well before the western cowboy, the founding of the United States, or even the Mayflower landing at Plymouth Rock, cracker cattle and cracker horses lived in Florida. Now the breed that almost went extinct in the 1960s is back on the rise.

Buying A Washer? State Says Keep Energy Star In Mind

Feb 26, 2013
Steven Rodriguez / WFSU-FM

Saving energy can be as easy as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or as hardcore as fitting your entire roof with solar panels.  Two Florida agencies are working together to make those choices just a little bit easier on both the planet and the wallet.

Fla. Planting Season Means Sharing The Road With Tractors

Feb 20, 2013
Florida Farm Bureau

Floridians utilize more than nine billion acres across the state for farming, creating an eight billion dollar industry.  With the planting season getting under way, drivers should expect to share the road with more farming equipment.

Florida Department of Agriculture

The Florida Department of Agriculture is touting a special program offered only to wounded veterans. The department is opening up the state forests to injured vets during certain times over the next couple of months as part of “Operation Outdoor Freedom” for special hunts and other outdoor recreational activities.

The idea behind Operation Outdoor Freedom has existed since 2010, when the Florida Forest Service started inviting wounded veterans onto state lands for hunts. Florida Department of Agriculture Spokeswoman Amanda Bevis says later, that idea became an actual program.

As The Oysters Go, So Goes The Bay

Sep 14, 2012
Thomas-Andrew Gustafson

On the front door of Barnacle Bill’s restaurant in Tallahassee is a notice. It reads, “Due to extreme shortages of oysters on the winter oyster beds and catch regulations, the price of oysters has skyrocketed.” Inside, Jim-Bob Heller and Jay Parr are sitting at the bar where customers can buy oysters by the bucket.

“I mean seriously, we just enjoyed some fantastic Apalachicola oysters. They were great. And to think that, you know, we wouldn’t have that anymore, it’s, that would be really unfortunate.”Says Jay Parr. He called the situation a perfect storm.

New rules on what can and can’t be served on cafeteria trays are going in effect for the start of a new school year.  The menu calls for more fruits and vegetables, and the state is working to encourage kids to those fruits and veggies instead of throwing them away.

Healthier meals don’t have to spell the end of traditional lunch stables like pizza and French fries. That’s according to Robin Safley, health of the Florida Department of Agriculture’s school nutrition department. She says the new rules just mean schools will have to get creative in the kitchen.

Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the state continues to struggle with getting word out that about its summer food programs.  More than 1.6 million low-income public school children rely on free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. But many families don’t know that the program also runs throughout the summer.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced the start of a summer nutrition program Tuesday. It's called Summer BreakSpot, and it allows low income students to receive free nutritious meals during the Summer at thousands of locations throughout Florida.

In the past, public school lunchrooms haven’t always been known for serving tasty food that’s also healthy food.  But Tom Flanigan reports there’s a major move in Florida to serve students good-tasting meals that are also good for them.

Springwood Elementary School looks a little bit like a set from the Food Network.  Various yummy menu ingredients are stacked on a table.  Some students are talking about their most and least favorite foods.

The Florida Department of Agriculture together with First Lady Ann Scott are promoting healthy food choices.  The first lady stopped by a Tallahassee elementary school Tuesday to showcase Florida-grown produce for the Ag Department’s “X-treme cuisine” program. Lynn Hatter reports the program shows kids how to make healthy snacks.

First Lady Ann Scott is lending a hand as a group of third graders in Springwood Elementary School’s brightly colored library are busy learning how to make veggie wraps…