I love the state of Florida. Clearly, I’m not alone. Florida consumer sentiment is up 8 points from last year according to analytics collected by the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic Business and Research. By the way, national sentiment is down more than 4 points.
With 1,200 people moving to Florida each day, Florida’s population has surpassed 22 million. Last year, it was the fastest-growing state for the first time since 1957. By 2030, 25 million people will call Florida home.
Politics has played a role in the migration to the Sunshine State. Gov. Ron DeSantis has managed to make an already enticing prospect, even more attractive to a lot of people.
What’s amazing is with all this growth and development, our state leaders are desperately working to make sure Florida remains the paradise it is today and has been in the past.
The governor and Cabinet are preserving more land than ever before. Last month, together they approved spending $100 million on the preservation of 40,000 acres of an expanding wildlife corridor including more than 18,000 acres of acting agricultural land.
The agreements are part of the Florida Forever program and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program.
What this means is ranching and farming will continue these lands while residential and commercial development is prohibited. I come from a family of farmers, so I know farming has a substantial economic impact on our state. Preserving these areas will ensure they remain a critical part of our infrastructure.
I’m also grateful foreign entities won’t be allowed to come in and sweep up the farmland that provides food to so many Americans every day.
I was born and raised in Okeechobee, a third-generation Floridian living in Martin County for the past 20 years. As a real estate broker, it might seem counterintuitive that I’m also a preservationist.
While I believe development is important for the future growth of our state, what’s even more important is the proper balance of development and preservation. We want to keep what makes Florida unique, so that we can recognize the Sunshine State many moons from now.
I love this state and I am grateful to our leaders for protecting it now for future generations to come.
Brandon Tucker is executive director of the Florida Landowners Association.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: DeSantis, Cabinet successful in balancing state’s growth, as well as land preservation