CLEWISTON, FL. -- Nikki Fried, candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture made a campaign stop in Clewiston on Tuesday, October 16. The visit began with a morning tour of area farms after which she joined a gathering of Hendry County and Glades County residents at Sonny’s BBQ. Hosting the luncheon was former Hendry County Commissioner Janet Taylor who welcomed Ms. Fried and introduced area leaders wanting to ask questions and offer their perspectives on key issues.
Clewiston Mayor Mail Chamber said rural Floridians are proud of their communities and cannot unilaterally bear the burden of solving Florida’s shared water challenges. Glades County Commissioner Weston Pryor echoed the Mayor’s statements. Ms. Fried responded saying she shared the concerns of farming towns and that rural counties must continue to offer agricultural employment while at the same time contributing to the solutions to Florida’s water quality challenges.
Dr. John Capece, Vice Chair of Glades County Democrats, stressed to the candidate the need to
dramatically expand state investments in advanced technologies and education throughout agricultural industries as a way of addressing both environmental and production challenges.
Fried emphasized her commitment to research, technology and education. She underscored the need
to expand farm revenues through other innovations, such as the successful Farm-To-School programs
saying, “I will lobby the Florida Legislature to bring more funding to this critical program. It must be our priority to make sure that every meal served in our schools is fresh, nutritious and healthy. This will guarantee that our students get the nutrients they need to excel in the classroom. It’s also a fantastic way for kids to learn about the incredible agriculture community in Florida and to help boost the industry by buying directly from local producers.”
Gun safety was a concern expressed by several attending the lunch, to which Fried responded, “Administering concealed weapons permits is one of the most critically important duties of the
Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Commissioner has a public safety obligation to ensure that a thorough background check is completed on every person who applies for a permit.”