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Agriculture Press Release

May 4, 1999

Public Can Help Shape Long-range Plan to Guide Florida Department of Agriculture And Consumer Services

TALLAHASSEE If youve ever wished that you could tell a government agency what it ought to be doing, heres your chance.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford is seeking the publics ideas as he updates a plan to guide the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services into the year 2005.

Florida law requires all state agencies to develop an agency strategic plan and update it annually. The plan describes the agencys public mission and outlines strategies to achieve its goals.

"Our Department touches the lives of every Floridian every day," Crawford said. "We can do a better job of serving the public if people will tell us what they think of the job were doing and what else needs to be done."

Crawford said interested citizens can attend a public meeting in Tallahassee or can send their suggestions in writing.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has a wide range of responsibilities, including:

# Ensuring a safe food supply by inspecting food processing plants and supermarkets, and by regulating the use of farm chemicals.

# Receiving and trying to resolve consumer complaints on all subjects. The agency also protects the public by regulating certain businesses, such as travel agencies, health and dance studios, auto repair shops and telemarketers.

# Protecting Floridas natural environment by managing a million acres of forest land and by ensuring that farm chemicals are used properly and farm practices are environmentally responsible.

# Promoting, protecting and assisting Floridas farmers to ensure the production of a wholesome, abundant food supply and to maintain the economic viability of Floridas $6 billion agriculture industry.

# Inspecting various mechanical devices such as gas pumps, supermarket scanners, weights, measuring devices, taxi meters and scales to ensure that consumers receive fair measure for their money.

A preliminary draft of the Departments strategic plan will be available to the public after June 1, 1999. To obtain a copy, write:

Commissioner Bob Crawford
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
407 South Calhoun Street, Room 110
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800

Anyone who wishes to provide comments in person may attend a public hearing from 2 to 4 p.m. on June 15 in the Conner Building Auditorium, 3125 Conner Boulevard, Tallahassee.

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For more information:

Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022


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