Faced with no surface water supplies, many California growers have had wells drilled.
Faced with no surface water supplies, many California growers have had wells drilled.

It was a sharp contrast in how two state governments treat their respective agriculture industries.

At the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s annual convention in mid-September, the state’s Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced all FFVA members were now members of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Fresh from Florida program.

That allows them to use the Fresh from Florida logo and merchandising program, which promotes produce grown in the state.

“That’s a big deal,” Putnam said.

Across the country, California Gov. Jerry Brown was working on another big deal: signing three bills that implement statewide groundwater management rules

The bills define sustainable groundwater management and require local agencies to use management plans for California’s major groundwater basins.

The bills were opposed by most of the state’s growers and commodity groups, but a spokesman from Western Growers said members won’t likely see effects of the bills for at least five years.

Nonetheless, the drought continues, and California leadership’s solution is more regulations for agriculture.

While the mid-September examples are just a snapshot in time, California’s agriculture industry certainly has reason to be envious of Florida’s respect for and investment in its food producers.

Hoping for rain is not a strong strategy.

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