It’s no secret that I don’t look like, sound like, or walk in the same boots as Florida’s previous Commissioners of Agriculture. As the first woman elected to this position, and as a Democrat of Jewish faith, I grew up in urban South Florida. I don’t come from a farming family — but over the past year that I’ve traveled across Florida, listening to and learning from our farmers and ranchers, I feel like I’ve become part of one.

I’ve gained an appreciation of what agriculture means to our state. It’s honest work. It’s tiring work. And most of the time, it’s thankless work. Behind only tourism, it’s the backbone of Florida’s economy.

I’ve also learned that over 54 percent of Florida’s immigrants work in farming, fishing or forestry. They make up more than 45 percent of the workforce in those industries. And targeting immigrants would create lasting damage to businesses and industries throughout our state’s economy.

As Commissioner, it’s my job to stand up for Florida’s agriculture community. As an elected official, it’s my responsibility to act on behalf of everyone who chooses to seek opportunity in Florida, and call it home. And as a human being, it’s my

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