skip to main content skip to main navigation
WHEREAS, in order for agriculture to be successful in New Jersey, it must be economically viable; the diversity of New Jersey’s agricultural products, coupled with the State’s close proximity to major markets, creates a foundation for continued success for New Jersey’s third largest industry; and

WHEREAS, the Department must research and create new strategies to assist farmers in identifying new trends, tap emerging markets, and offer new products to consumers; and the Department’s economic development strategies, which are part of the Department’s Smart Growth Plan, must support existing sectors as well as encourage emerging sectors of the agricultural industry; and

WHEREAS, the NJAES is working to serve as a catalyst for the development of a new, unique university-community-industry partnership referred to as the Economic and Community Development Program (ECDP); and in collaboration with faculty from academic departments and centers throughout Rutgers, NJAES faculty will identify emerging issues, develop solutions to these issues to the point of demonstration and build the community’s capacity to transform demonstration into implementation; and

WHEREAS, among others, the proposed issues to be addressed in the first year of ECDP operation include:

· Empowering municipalities for agricultural retention;
· Analyzing the impact of down-zoning as an agricultural retention tool;
· Planning for preservation and equitable compensation in the Highlands;
· Determining the economic impact of New Jersey’s equine industry;
· Workforce development and training;
· Community nutrition; and
· Value-added agricultural product development; and

WHEREAS, ECDEP will work in partnership with local communities, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, local, state and federal government, and other academic institutions; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Agriculture, working cooperatively with Rutgers University Cook College and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), along with New Jersey farmers and consumers, must look ahead for new and emerging markets as well as alternative uses for products already grown in the State.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the delegates of the 91st State Agricultural Convention assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on February 7, 2006 support the Department of Agriculture working with industry groups and other representatives to develop economic growth strategies for New Jersey’s agricultural industries. The Department shall initiate no less than one hundred strategies for the economic development of the agriculture industry, with particular focus on the Produce, Horticultural, Seafood, Dairy, Field Crops, Livestock and Poultry, Organic, Equine, Wine and Agricultural Tourism sectors.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we recommend that the Department of Agriculture, Rutgers Cook College and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, the United States Department of Agriculture, industry groups and producers work to identify and assist in developing new market and value-added opportunities for New Jersey farmers.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the State Legislature to provide sufficient additional operating funds to NJAES in fiscal year 2006-2007 for the establishment of ECDP.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we encourage the faculty and administration of NJAES to continue to reach out to academic departments and centers throughout Rutgers in order to bring their expertise to bear on issues of importance to New Jersey.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support participation in the Jersey Fresh, Jersey Grown, Jersey Seafood and all other Department grading and promotion programs to ensure high quality standards and build consumer loyalty to New Jersey products.