The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) presented Okaloosa Board
of County Commissioners Chairman Carolyn Ketchel with the Presidential Advocacy Award at its recent Annual Conference, for her work during the 2021 Legislative Session.
“We are thankful to Governor DeSantis for the approval of State funding in all four of our top priorities, totaling over $2.5 million in the 2021 State budget,” said Ketchel. “As an advocate for agriculture and consumer services in Okaloosa County, I am grateful for the $854,100 in state funding for a brand new 2,800-square-foot agriculture extension office.”
The current South Okaloosa County Agriculture Building suffered Hurricane Sally storm damage and needs significant repair. Because of Ketchel’s advocacy, a new building will be constructed at 1954 Lewis Turner Boulevard, adjacent to the Fairgrounds, at the site of the Farmers Market.
The construction of the 2800 square foot South Okaloosa County Agriculture Center will ensure that master gardeners have a place to hold community workshops, the youth will have a place to gather for 4-H activities, commercial horticulturists will obtain industry certificates and licensing, and residents will have access to family and consumer services including food safety, personal finance and youth development.
“Every day, our Commissioners work hard to tackle complex challenges and respond to the unique needs of their local area,” said FAC President and Palm Beach County Commissioner, Melissa McKinlay. “Their consistent drive and dedication for their constituents is the reason we’re able to sustain our communities, and those that take the extra mile to advance the counties’ legislative agenda play a leading role in improving quality of life for all Floridians.”
The FAC Presidential Advocacy Award recognizes county commissioners who have shown exceptional leadership in advocating with FAC during the 2021 session to advance counties’ legislative agenda and preserve home rule.