Archive for the ‘Weekly News Roundup’ Category

The NJ Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed a joint resolution designating the first full day of spring each year as New Jersey Agriculture Day.

Bill Numbers: AJR85SJR72

Current List of NJ Assembly, Agriculture, Farmland Preservation, and Food Bills


Farmland Preservation


General News

Exploring the Small Farm Dream: The Northeastern Organic Farmers Association’s NJ Chapter hosts weekly workshops in March on the ownership and operation of organic farms in NJ. Workshops will be held on March 7th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th. at the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center in Princeton.

Northwestern New Jersey farmers prepare for summer markets with spring plantings

Stephen Komar discusses the importance of water quality to NJ Agriculture

Rutgers County Extension Specialist Andrew Wyenandt received a distinguished service award at the annual NJ Agriculture Convention.


The Future of Food and Agriculture. Short YouTube video courtesy of the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization.

2018 Farm Bill 

Politico: ‘Tis the beginning of farm bill season

An oldie but goodie from Representative Earl Blumenauer: Not just a farm bill, but a food bill – Let’s get it right

Civil Eats reports on a Foundation Roundtable on the 2018 Farm Bill.

The American Farm Bureau Federation Hosts a Resources Page on the 2018 Farm Bill

State Ag Leaders Focus on Food Safety in the 2018 Farm Bill

Early passage of Farm Bill in 2017 unlikely





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Current List of Agricultural-Related Bills in the NJ Legislature 

With all eyes on Atlantic City , we can’t lose site of New Jersey’s $82 billion food and agricultural sectors.

Below are links to agricultural-bills currently before the NJ Legislature this session:


Farmers Markets

When do farmers’ markets start in N.J.? 135 options for summer 2016

Farmers Market Returning To Brick

Burlington County seniors eligible for farmers’ market vouchers

Hunterdon Land Trust celebrates Farmers’ Market’s 10th anniversary

Other Happenings 

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Program on Healthy Eating

Staying true to its land grant mission, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County participated in the Cape May County Healthcare Resource Day on April 23rd. Marilou Rochford, the extension’s Family and Community Health Sciences Educator spoke about Eating Better on a Budget. Rutgers cooperative extension is located in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties and provides a number of services designed to improve family and community health, and to support New Jersey’s food and agricultural systems and infrastructure.

H/T Cape May Herald.com



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Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher works to ensure a Garden State for the future

NJ agriculture leader to retire, but stay connected to industry

Rebecca Byrne attends 4-H summit in Maryland

Pier Semanchik of Hackettstown High School Named the 2016 4-H New Jersey Equestrian of the Year


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N.J. agriculture giant killed in tractor accident

Food Incubator in northern NJ could help keep farmers down on farm

Density, diversity are good news for N.J. farmers

Food markets sprouting in North Jersey

How to shop–and not to shop–at a farmers market



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Recently the 106 acre George H. Urban farm in West Deptford Township was preserved via the efforts of Gloucester County Freeholder Robert Damminger. The newly preserved farm sits adjacent to 42 acres of previously preserved open space and has been owned and farmed by the same family since 1938. Over the course of its history the Urban farm has produced watermelon, tomatoes and asparagus and been a key part of the agricultural landscape of the South Jersey river towns. During his time in office, Freeholder Damminger has helped to preserve 17,690 acres of farmland and open space across Gloucester County.

This local announcement came a week after New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher and State Senate President Steve Sweeney announced a major milestone in the New Jersey Farmland Preservation Program, the acquisition of 200,00 acres of preserved farmland across New Jersey.

Local efforts like Freeholder Damminger’s in West Deptford contribute greatly to the state’s efforts to continue to preserve New Jersey farmlands and ensure that farming remains a viable economic activity throughout New Jersey.

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Salem County’s Cassaday Farms recently joined the state’s farmland preservation program, helping the state to surpass a critical milestone of 200,000 acres of permanently preserved farmland.

On October 9th, NJ Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher and State Senate President Steve Sweeney joined George Cassady, the owner of Cassaady Farms, and other local officials to celebrate this milestone. Cassady plans on using some of the proceeds he will receive from the Farmland Preservation Fund to purchase additional farmland which he then plans to preserve under the program as well.

The Gloucester County Times Editorial Board in discussing the state’s farmland preservation efforts came out with strong support for continuing the farmland preservation program and rightly notes that under this plan 14,698 acres of farmland have been preserved in Gloucester County and an additional 13,000 acres of farmland in Cumberland County have been preserved as well. Salem County leads the state with 29,418 acres of farmland preserved.

The state’s overall goal is to preserve 550,000 acres of farmland statewide which is roughly equivalent to the existing farmland acreage in New Jersey. Over a thirty year period, New Jersey lost 384,000 acres of farmland to development and large-lot development is increasingly becoming the norm in New Jersey’s suburban and semi-rural counties. Or perhaps more precisely, counties that used to be semi-rural.

Farmland preservation is an issue of great economic importance to the state. Preserving and growing our statewide farming activities and redeveloping our agricultural processing sector is the right way to come back.

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Growing NJ Farms

John Crabtree at the Center for Rural Affairs apprises us of

new USDA funding available for NJ Organic Farmers.

Another $50m for organic conservation measures has been made available. In 2007 the Center For Rural Affairs helped NJ organic farmers receive $270,000 of the $24m in grants they distributed.

Let’s go for a cool million for NJ organic farmers this year! Organic conservation measures on pocket farms and small-lot farms makes a lot of sense in NJ.

Growing New Jersey Businesses

New Jersey’s $80 billion dollar agricultural and food complex is the key to growing businesses and creating jobs in this state.

Landis Marketplace opens in Vineland as a key part of Vineland’s economic development efforts.

The marketplace features a bakery and Amish market as well as fruits and vegetables. It will also feature shops on the second floor. As always, check to see where the produce is from and buy Jersey Fresh first!

NJ Wine Industry

Right to Farm Controversy in Hopewell over Hopewell Valley Vineyards will be decided next week by the Mercer County Board of Agriculture.

Jersey Shore Wine Festival will be held June 4-5 at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood.

12 of New Jersey’s 40 Wineries will be featured and have tastings.

History and Preservation

The past is critical to New Jersey’s future. The Walker Family Farm in Salem County has been honored by the NJ Agricultural Board Society’s Board of Trustees for it’s 100 year old presence in the state.

The Walker Family received the Century Award which honors farms that have been continuously operated and owned by the same family for at least 100 years.

The history of the family’s farming operations is a good window into the history of farming in NJ itself.

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