The Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District met in a regular public session on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at 3:00 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
Chris McMaster, Treasurer
Billy Kempfer, Secretary
Staff members present:
Beth Shephard, UF IFAS Director
Holly Abeels, UF IFAS Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent
Derrick Wyle, USDA NRCS, District Conservationist
Andy Irizarry, USDA NRCS, Soil Conservationist
Adrienne Adams, UF IFAS Brevard County Administrative Secretary
- Written Minutes for May 2023
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Jim F.
Review and Approval of the Current Treasurer’s Report
The ending balance as of Tuesday, June 13, 2023 is $50,051.87. There has been no activity this past month. No audit will be needed. There are no expenses in excess of $100K, and there is nothing that mentions a carrying balance. The report just needs to be filed. Also, Chris finished the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) survey.
Motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report – Billy K.; Seconded – Brian F. Motion carried.
Review and Approval of Minutes for the prior Board of Supervisors meeting.
No changes to the minutes for this month. Since there are no changes, so no motion to approve is needed.
District Conversationist Update
Received the final amount for pre-approvals. There are 16 equips for Brevard and Seminole Counties totaling $894K, and 2 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for $134K bringing the total to $1,029,855 for the fiscal year.
a. Program Assistant (PA) /UF IFAS Update – Seven applications were received so far and they were sent around the room for the Board to look at and get opinions on. This position can possibly move into an agent position if it comes available. The 4-H PA position is still open – have received 5 applications for that position. The 4-H Agent position is also still open, with 4 applications received. Interviews will be held in July.
Money given to UF IFAS by the board is being used by Holly Abeels and Andrea Lazzara for the Youth Master Naturalist Camp coming up in July.
b. Canaveral Marsh Lease – Mrs. Fleckinger sent an email out to everyone. Everything else will be pushed back to the next meeting due to the length of this meeting. Payment to the Board was increased to $4K, and the Board needs to provide 4 clean-up days and 4 education days. No other updates.
a. Invitation of Camilo Gaitan, Mobile Irrigation Lab (MIL) – Camilo would like to talk to the Board about reaching an arrangement to fund the MIL and have this office be the lead agency. They would hire an administrator and people go out and run the MILs. The Board would get a percentage and be another source of revenue.
Motion to have Camilo do a presentation about the MIL – Billy K.; Seconded – Chris M. Motion Carried.
b. Webpage Overhaul – Jim’s understanding is that Charlene with the Association of Florida Conservation District (AFCD) is working on getting the page updated. Chris will touch base and get everything clarified.
Additions to Agenda/Open Discussion
St. Johns River Water Management District emailed Chris asking for applications for cost-share programs. This can be discussed during the long-range planning discussion next.
Long-Range Planning Discussion
Goals and Objectives
Goal 1: Education
Objective 1: Promote ag education in Brevard County schools
- Fund STEM projects within schools
- FFA, Ag in the Classroom, and 4-H programming
- Envirothon and land judging
- Scholarships for students to attend activities and programs
- Work with school board members, district directors, and teachers
- Provide materials for use in educational programs
Objective 2: Promote ag education to the public
- Provide materials for use in educational programs
- Refer to the statute for requirements of this board
- Develop partnerships with UF/IFAS, NRCS, USDA, FDACS, Farm Bureau, Cattlemen’s, etc. to offer programs
- Fund educational organizations such as UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension
Goal 2: Revenue Enhancement
Objective 1: Secure State Program, Federal Program, or NGO funding
- Annually secure state (e.g., SJRWMD, FDEP) funding
- Assist in federal programs for local funding
- Pursue other funding sources for projects
- Funding could include things such as purchasing equipment for leasing/rental
Objective 2: Develop partnerships for revenue
- Secure grants, cost-sharing, and other funding
- Work with FDACS and NRCS
- Example: Mobile irrigation lab (oversee project as a manager)
Goal 3: Agricultural Activities
Objective 1: Support Brevard ag clientele
- Develop partnerships with UF/IFAS, NRCS, USDA, FDACS, Farm Bureau, Cattlemen’s, Brevard County Natural Resources, etc. to offer and fund programs or equipment
- Assist Brevard Soil & Water Board liaisons for organizations, partnerships, and elected officials
- Pursuing grants or cost-share program
- Support R&D and government-related research programs
- Assist with local agencies on hurricane or disaster recovery efforts
Objective 2: Promote Ag BMPs
- Work with FDACS and UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension to assist and educate producers
- Work with producers to demonstrate ag BMPs
Goal 4: Organizational Activities
Objective 1: Ensure funds are targeted to local resource concern priorities
- Annual local working group activity with NRCS
- Reach out to constituents about concerns
Objective 2: Develop annual report of board successes and projects
- Keep track of projects, programs, and funding throughout the year
Objective 3: Develop annual plan of work
- Review goals and objectives annually
Objective 4: Develop list and/or map of Brevard County agriculture
- Work on creating list and data resource
- Develop partnerships to compile data
- Develop email list of contacts
Motion to adjourn – Chris M.; Motion seconded – Brian F. Motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:12 pm.
Minutes submitted by Adrienne Adams.