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Archive for April, 2010

Excellent commentary on NJ agriculture by Charles Kuperus.

Kuperus stresses the importance that NJ Agriculture plays in the state but jumps on the red tape reduction bandwagon. However, environmental protection and agricultural policy should go hand in hand in a densely populated state like New Jersey in the middle of the East Coast Megalopolis. Let’s hope Governor Christie’s team takes that into consideration.

Rather than focusing purely on rolling back regulations, reviving NJ agriculture is a perfect opportunity to build collaboration processes between the DEP and State Department of Agriculture. Permit by Rule is a start —- but it should ensure a long-term shift to more sustainable forms of agriculture in the nation’s most densely populated state.

NJ must be proactive and nudge farmers towards sustainable agriculture.

Agricultural practices should be tiered by several categories — conventional, IPM, sustainable, organic, etc. Permits could be weighted by type, with conventional permits costing the most, or being heavily restricted in number.

Growth in the sustainable and organics market and New Jersey’s central location between Boston and Washington D.C. puts us in a great position to become a prime supplier of sustainable agricultural products to east coast markets.

Reviving NJ agriculture and food processing industries requires us to look forward towards a sustainable future, rather than looking backward towards a world in which environmental costs are routinely and aggressively externalized.

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Late to the party on this, but last week Business Week picked up the story on the Made with Jersey Fresh Bill.

The bill cleared the assembly by a vote of 74-0 and it’s now onto the State Senate.

A fantastic bill that highlights New Jersey Agriculture and can hopefully give impetus to the growth of localized food manufacturing and food craft businesses throughout the state.

Agriculture and small scale food processing businesses are a great way to diversify New Jersey’s economy and contribute to revenue growth.

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