Republican Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell
File photo

Republican Agriculture Commissioner nominee Matt Caldwell has received the backing of several groups representing the agriculture industry in Florida. State Representative Caldwell has been endorsed by Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association PAC (FFVA), Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Forestry Association, and Florida Farm Bureau FarmPAC. Collectively these three associations represent a bulk of Florida’s agriculture community.

“Agriculture is a pillar of Florida’s economy and the next Commissioner must be prepared to tackle and lead on complex issues on day one,” Rep. Caldwell said. “I have a proven track record of working on the whole range of complex issues that define the Commissioner’s job – from agriculture, water, and natural resources policy to fighting for all 21 million Floridians. I’m honored that these associations have verified my proven track record by giving me their support.”

In a letter sent on behalf of the FFVA PAC, Director Butch Calhoun stated that the Association was lending its endorsement to Caldwell “based on your knowledge of our industry and the legislative process.” FFVA growers produce a substantial portion of the vegetables, citrus, sugarcane, and tropical fruit in the United States.

In a letter sent on behalf of the Florida Forestry Association, President Edward Cole and Executive Vice President Alan Shelby wrote that Caldwell had “earned the Association’s official endorsement for Agriculture Commissioner.” They added, “We are proud to stand with you as part of team Caldwell.” The Florida Forestry Association is made up of forestry and advocacy professionals who are committed to promoting the responsible and sustainable use of our state’s forest resources.

In a letter on behalf of Florida Citrus Mutual, CEO & Executive Vice President Michael Sparks wrote that the organization “believes he is the best qualified candidate to lead this important agency.”

Even though the Agriculture Commissioner sits as a member of the Florida Cabinet and oversees wide-ranging policies – from environmental to law enforcement – the job is primarily being the chief advocate for Florida’s second largest industry.

Caldwell has served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives and is a native Floridian from Fort Myers. He faces Democrat lobbyist Nikki Fried in the November general election.