In the wake of a number of high profile cases, that have had a direct impact on the agriculture industry, the Sheriff's Office recognized the need to allow deputies immediate access to landowner information to enforce a "zero tolerance" stance for crimes committed against agriculture. The "Agriculture Watch" Program has been embraced by Florida Sheriff's Association as a model program on a statewide basis.

The program was developed as a means to identify ownership of agriculture properties in DeSoto County. The program consists of a "No Trespassing" sign listing the property/business AG ID number. The code number displayed provides deputies on patrol instant access to owner information.

  • Brand fruit tubs and tires with I.D. numbers.
  • Place identifying numbers on equipment and machinery and keep a record.
  • When leaving fruit trailers in the grove, back them in with their tailgates together to prevent theft and fruit dumping.
  • Install a hidden in-line fuel cut off or kill switch on tractors and grove equipment.
  • Keep fences in good repair and place "NO TRESPASSING" "AG ID" signs in visible locations.
  • Brand cattle and keep records of your livestock.
  • Secure any items, tools and equipment that is easy to carry.
  • Keep barns and storage areas locked and well lit at night.
  • Install gates where they cannot be taken off the hinges.
  • Limit access to your properties and check them frequently.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office immediately.