Recognizing farming’s significant impact, the Assembly Agriculture Committee on February 14, 2019 advanced a resolution designating March 20 as New Jersey Agriculture Day. The bill, AJR40, is sponsored by two long-time members of the committee, Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Parker Space.
More than 9,000 farms harvest food from 715,000 fertile acres, and agriculture is the state’s third largest industry.
“It’s appropriate that we set aside one day each year to recognize our state’s vast agriculture industry and its contributions to New Jersey’s and our nation’s economies,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Nothing identifies our state more than its farms, orchards and vineyards. That’s why we’re called the Garden State.”
Dancer noted that New Jersey is a top 10 producer of 11 different crops, and one of only three states that provides school breakfast and lunch programs. The farm to school program is a model followed by other states.
“There’s nothing as healthy and satisfying as locally sourced, freshly harvested produce. New Jersey grows the very best so our residents and people around the country and the world have access to nutritious food,” said Space (R-Sussex). “Family farmers harvest an abundance of crops, including our famous Jersey tomatoes and corn, blueberries, cranberries, peppers and soybeans. It wouldn’t be summer without them.”
A previous version of the bill passed the Assembly in December 2017 by a 63-0 vote.