Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors
Business Meeting Minutes
The Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District met in a regular public session on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at 4:00 p.m., at UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, at 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa, FL.
Board members present:
Bud Crisafulli, Chair
Brian Fleming, Vice Chair
Jim Fletcher, Supervisor
Billy Kempfer, Secretary
Chris McMaster, Treasurer
Staff members present:
Beth Shephard, UF IFAS Director
Derrick Wyle, USDA NRCS, District Conservationist
Adrienne Adams, UF IFAS Brevard County Administrative Secretary
Camilo Gaitan, Mobile Irrigation Labs (MIL)
Fran Fleckinger, Canaveral Marsh
Reba Hicks, Regional Director, Office of the Commissioner with Commissioner Wilton Simpson
· Written Minutes for July 2023
The meeting was called to order at 4:01 p.m. by Brian F.
Review and Approval of the Current Treasurer’s Report
There are no changes from last month, and the current balance is $50,051.87. There were no deposits or withdrawals. The board has to fill out a form acknowledging that there were no expenses or income over $50,000, and there will be no audit needed. Motion to approve – Bud C.; Seconded – Jim F. Motion Carried.
Review and Approval of Minutes for the prior Board of Supervisors meeting.
No changes to the minutes for this month. Motion to approve minutes – Chris M.; Seconded – Jim F. Motion Carried.
District Conversationist Update
Derrick brought a list of planned practices and the amounts and years left under NRCS active contract (see attached). So far, $334,560 has been paid out of the initial obligation of $1,601,850. This list is an overview of what is being asked of NRCS and what NRCS is offering to producers in the county. Timelines on practices depend on the type of practice. No way to tell if they are new farmers unless they check the box on the application.
Spoke at the First Annual Ag Symposium on July 27th at the Apopka Research Center. This was an outreach event that had a lot of new farmers. Derrick will also be speaking at a workshop in Seminole County in September that is aimed specifically to reach out to new farmers.
a. Program Assistant (PA) /UF IFAS Update – Anna Moore will start August 21st.
Beth paused to introduce Reba Hicks, Regional Director to the office of Commissioner Wilton Simpson. She is a liaison to hear from the farmers.
b. Canaveral Marsh Agreement – Joe Walter has copies of the new lease. It will go into effect on 10/1/2023, at the start of the new fiscal year. Fran F. is concerned about kids coming to do programs/cleanup due to inappropriate activity in the area. The area is already being patrolled by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and Fish and Wildlife. The entrance area needs improvement and more parking. She discussed possibly removing trees for parking.
c. Long Range Planning – discussion tabled until next meeting.
Mobile Irrigation Labs (MIL) presented by Camilo Gaitan of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
There are nine mobile labs around the state; not looking to add any more. MILs provide analyzation of irrigation systems and educate farmers on how to improve the efficiency of their water use. They offer recommendations on how to improve systems, conservation, and irrigation management. Reports are available in different categories: county report, interest report, irrigation report, et al. All findings are available to the public dating back to 2009 in a central database. The Board expressed some concerns, and Camilo was going to bring those back to FDACS.
a. Association of Florida Conservation Districts (AFCD) Fall Meeting – AFCD will be paying for hotel and mileage (up to 200 miles) to attend.
Additions to Agenda/Open Discussion
a. The FDACS Local Working Group Workshop is on October 11.
b. Website – still needs to be updated and made ADA compliant. Need to talk to Charlene from AFCD, and once Anna is on board, things will get resolved.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:46 pm by Brian F.
Minutes submitted by Adrienne Adams.