Florida farmers formed a coalition this summer to study and combat the impact of climate change on agriculture in the state.
The group also might seek new state subsidies to ensure the future of farming and open land in the nation’s third-most populous state.
Establishment of the Florida Climate-Smart Agriculture Work Group represents a new level of recognition among farmers that climate change is real and is harming the industry, said Jim Strickland, co-chair of the group and a cattle rancher near Sarasota.
“We need options in Florida. If we’re going to survive, we need to stay profitable,” Strickland said.
The fledgling group received a $20,000 grant from the Turner Foundation, which was founded by TV magnate Ted Turner, to create a plan for the state’s farmers to deal with climate change. Its first step is to make a statewide assessment of opportunities and vulnerabilities farmers are facing.