Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Green World Path president Ray Nielsen throws support behind Little Rock Cannery

BROOKSVILLE — Ray Nielsen can see the value of the Little Rock Cannery.

As someone who runs a business focused on green products that assist with organic agricultural activities, he supports the program that lets families put up their own produce or locally purchased products while helping them save money during difficult times.

On Friday, Nielsen, president of Green World Path, announced that he will put $1,000 of his own money into a fund to help keep the cannery operating as county officials seriously look at cutting money earmarked for the facility.

And Nielsen issued a challenge to other local businesses, community leaders and individuals to put their money into the enterprise as well.

Operation of the cannery, one of just three in the state, costs roughly $50,000 per year. Nielsen said that, if the community commits to the project, it can easily raise that amount every year.

Already a committee of some of the cannery's regular users has formed to talk about ways to raise money and seek grants to keep the project alive.

Nielsen has also offered to host and coordinate an annual fundraiser to help keep the cannery afloat.

As the county trims its budget to adjust for more than $10 million in revenue shortfall, the facility has been targeted for cuts.

On Tuesday, commissioners heard anguished pleas from the users of the cannery to save it. They also heard a proposal from Spring Hill veterinarian Keely Smith, who came with a signed lease in hand seeking permission to take over the operation so the county could spend its general fund dollars elsewhere.

Community and commission concerns sent the lease back for some changes, and the commission plans to consider it again July 28.

But many of the cannery customers and Nielsen say they want the county to hold on to the facility.

Nielsen said Friday that he found it odd that the county was so willing to agree to the lease so quickly — a lease modeled after the ones used by businesses leasing industrial land at the airport. He said the cannery is a totally different type of operation, and that the county should also know more about Smith's plans and resources before entering into a long-term lease.

He said he had nothing against Smith, but just believes the county should stay in the cannery business. He said it wouldn't be cost effective for the county to end the program, which helps families who are trying to make ends meet.

"If the cannery closed,'' he said, "the cost to the county would be more because the county is going to have to find another way to help these people.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

to help

Lend your support

Ray Nielsen says that anyone who wants to join him in making donations to keep the Little Rock Cannery open and in county hands may contact him at (352) 799-0200 or save


Green World Path president Ray Nielsen throws support behind Little Rock Cannery 07/17/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 17, 2009 6:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.