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Secretary's Report to the State Board of Agriculture
Gypsy Moth – The Department announced its proposed Gypsy Moth Aerial Spray Program during a scoping session in Trenton on January 5. Following the fall egg mass surveys, it was found that three towns in Camden County qualified for spraying this spring: 69 acres in the Borough of Chesilhurst, 63 acres in Winslow Township and 211 acres in Waterford Township. Chesilhurst has opted out of the program. The Department is applying for federal cost share money to assist the towns. For more information, visit
Humane Standards Rule – The Department published in the NJ Register the proposed readoption and amendments to the Humane Treatment of Domestic Livestock rule. The public comment period runs through March 4. The rule can be accessed at www.state.nj.us/agriculture/rule/Humane_standards.pdf.
Census of Horticulture – The Department released the results of the 2009 Census of Horticulture, showing that NJ ranks 8th in the nation in gross sales of horticulture crops, with $347.6 million in sales. New Jersey ranked ahead of both New York and Pennsylvania. While sales increased from the previous Census of Horticulture, sales spiked a few years ago and have been decreasing ever since. Still, horticulture is the leading agricultural sector in the state, making up 38 percent of all sales. For more information, visit: www.state.nj.us/agriculture/news/press/2011/approved/press110106.html
Online Store Milk Licensing – Stores that sell milk and milk products for off-premise consumption may now apply for, renew and check the status of their store milk licenses online through the Department of Agriculture’s New Jersey Forms and Registration Management System (NJFARMS). The Department of Agriculture requires sellers of milk and milk products for off-premise consumption to obtain a New Jersey State Milk License, in addition to any local licensing/permits that are required. NJFARMS, which can be accessed at www.njfarms.nj.gov, was launched in June 2010 with the organic registration process for those selling or distributing certified organic products in the state.
2011 State Agricultural Convention – Governor Christie’s Chief of Staff Richard Bagger will be the speaker at the delegates dinner on Tuesday, February 8. Four Listening Sessions are planned – Food Safety and Traceability, Farm Labor, Common Sense and Farm Regulation, and Farmland Preservation and Right to Farm. For more information and registration information, visit www.state.nj.us/agriculture/conventions/2011/index.html.
FFA State Officers Trip – State FFA President Eric Nelson, Secretary Alec McAlarnen and Parliamentarian Julianne Robinson traveled to Argentina January 4 - 14 for the International Leadership Seminar for State Officers, bringing back with them a deeper understanding of the responsibility that young people in agriculture have to feed the world’s ever-growing population.
The officers joined 63 other FFA state officers from 18 other states and Puerto Rico on the trip, sponsored by Bunge North America, a global agri-business and food company. The seminar included farm, port and agribusiness tours, meetings with farm families, and sightseeing. The state officers encouraged other FFA members to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the FFA organization and to step out of their comfort zones and explore the world.
USDA School Nutrition Changes – Changes included in the child nutrition reauthorization (the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act) are beginning to be implemented by the United States Department of Agriculture – the Department will participate in a USDA training for state agencies on those changes on March 5. In addition, USDA announced proposed changes to the school meal requirements. The proposed regulations, up for public comment until April 13, 2011, call for more fruits and vegetables, requires specific types of vegetables and limits starchy vegetables, increases use of whole grains, limits milk to low fat or non fat varieties, bans trans fats, limits calories, and reduces sodium.
Emerald Ash Borer Survey – The Department will participate in a large-scale survey along with 14 other states to determine the extent of the national Emerald Ash Borer infestation. EAB is a highly destructive invasive insect pest that has caused the destruction of millions of ash trees in the central United States. In recent years, EAB has been detected closer and closer to New Jersey with positive finds in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and most recently, in Ulster County, New York. This year, surveys will be conducted in Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex and Warren Counties, beginning in late April to early May.
Feral Swine Survey – Following a one-year feral swine survey in the White Oak Branch Wildlife Management Area and adjacent private property in Gloucester County, feral swine was observed and six were sampled for Classical Swine Fever, Swine Brucellosis and Pseudorabies. All tested negative for all diseases. Feral swine is an issue due to the possibility of spreading disease to domesticated and livestock animals, as well as property damage caused by the swine.
State Planning Commission – Governor Christie in January appointed the following members to the State Planning Commissioner: Lt. Governor Guadagno, DEP Commissioner Martin, DOT Commissioner Simpson, Community Affairs Commissioner Grifa and, as Executive Branch Representative, Marc Larkins from Irvington. The Commssion is expected to meeting February. The commission will work with the Office of Planning Advocacy to move the State Plan forward and direct their attention to economic development efforts throughout the state.
Upcoming Department Events:
January 30, 2011 – The annual New Jersey Bred Equine Breeder Awards Luncheon will be held at Charley’s Other Brother in Eastampton. The Horseperson of the Year will be announced during the proceedings.
February 8 and 9, 2011 -- The annual State Agricultural Convention will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill.
March 25, 2011 – The New Jersey Animal Emergency Working Group will hold its annual symposium in New Brunswick.
March 26, 2011 – The New Jersey Junior Breeder Symposium will be held on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Hands on sessions for all species are schedule.