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WHEREAS, the New Jersey agricultural community plays a vital role in domestic preparedness, homeland security, and the detection of potential animal and agricultural diseases or pests; and

WHEREAS, it is paramount for such problems to be contained immediately, to avoid the risk of widespread public distrust in our food supply and the great economic loss to producers and the United States; and

WHEREAS, even one incident of foreign animal disease, exotic pest or bioterrorism in certain crops or livestock products can result in great losses of life and economic losses to the industry and to the state; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture has developed a series of best management practices, including: school nutrition, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), agriculture aviation, animal feed industry, aquaculture industry, cattle, dairy, equine, roadside markets and farmstands, fertilizer manufacturers, horticulture industry, grain and forage producers, livestock/poultry auctions, slaughterhouses, small ruminates, swine, veterinary industry, wholesale produce, and zoos and animal exhibits, specific to the various sectors of the farm community, to address domestic preparedness, agrosecurity, and homeland security; and

WHEREAS, many of the steps listed in the best management practices place a greater emphasis on standard operating procedures for the farm, while others are new or innovative strategies designed to maintain farm safety and security; and

WHEREAS, the best management practices will enable farmers to take proactive measures to protect their workers, their operations and the public, and, by doing so, to protect their livelihoods and keep the Garden State safe; and

WHEREAS, many of the guidelines mentioned in the best management practices are already being embraced by the farm community, and these domestic preparedness measures need to be continually incorporated into the farm community, everyday, by everyone, at all levels, to keep farming and farm products safe.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates to the 91st State Agricultural Convention, assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 8, 2006 call upon the agricultural community to continue to embrace these best management practices, and incorporate the procedures into their farming practices to enhance security and biosecurity in their operations. Such measures are necessary in order to keep New Jersey’s agricultural products safe, its industry competitive, and consumer confidence high.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the delegates urge that farming operations and livestock owners and producers across New Jersey continue to implement the endorsed best management practices appropriate to their farm operations.