January 8, 2010
There's nothing like an arctic front to remind us Floridians why we chose to live in the Sunshine State. For Florida's agricultural industry, a deep freeze with temperatures dipping into the teens can threaten crops, such as oranges and strawberries.
On Wednesday, Governor Charlie Crist acted quickly, executing an executive order to ensure that timely precautions could be taken to protect Florida's agricultural crops and citrus. To expedite the transportation of vulnerable crops, Governor Crist relaxed restrictions on weight, height, length and width for commercial vehicles transporting the crops. In addition to other measures, he activated the state's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan in order to mitigate potential damages.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation licenses and regulates farm labor contractors. We ensure that working conditions for agricultural workers are enforced and farm labor contractors meet state standards. Our thoughts are with the agricultural industry this week as they work to protect their crops from the elements. While this front may not devastate Florida's citrus and other crops, it is a reminder that some people's livelihood can be affected by factors as uncontrollable as the weather and we must do whatever we can to act quickly to support the industry.