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WHEREAS, the EcoComplex stands alone as the first and only environmental research and demonstration station in the United States;

WHEREAS, environmental imperatives and sustainability have joined the ranks of quality, responsiveness and flexibility as the base upon which the competitive positions of businesses, states and regions are judged. Therefore to remain competitive and viable businesses must increasingly adopt state-of-the-art environmental practices. As a result many industries are now looking to the advances made in the agricultural sector through programs such as Integrated Pest Management, and exploring how operating practices can be modified to meet environmental impact and quality enhancement goals;

WHEREAS, competitive advantages now accrue to the firms and communities that take an aggressive, pro-active environmental stewardship position. The result is a significant new demand for environmental technologies that can be capitalized upon as part of an economic development strategy for the state of New Jersey;

WHEREAS, to meet the environmental challenges facing New Jersey, the New Jersey EcoComplex has identified critical research and outreach programs. Secure in the leadership of the newly appointed Executive Director, programs focused on renewable energy and biofuel development, landfill and solid waste management, watershed management, controlled environment agriculture, air quality enhancement and monitoring, educating the public through K-16 education activities, and training environmental stewards today puts New Jersey at the cutting edge of environmental stewardship;

, the State Legislature has provided funding in support of construction of an EcoComplex building and operational support on a year-by-year basis;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates of the 91st State Agricultural Convention assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on February 8, 2006, urge the State Legislature to provide level funding in the amount of $525,000 in order for the Rutgers EcoComplex to achieve its full potential.