skip to main content skip to main navigation
WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, created in 1916 and reorganized in 2002, is responsible for regulating and promoting agriculture in the State of New Jersey, as well as dissemination of information and services through programs that support agriculture; and
WHEREAS, the Department’s five Divisions – Agricultural and Natural Resources, Animal Health, Food and Nutrition, Marketing and Development, and Plant Industry – handle a wide range of issues facing New Jersey’s $82 billion food and agriculture industry, including but not limited to:  the disposal of livestock waste, controlling Avian Influenza, providing proper nutrition to school children, administering the Jersey Fresh grading and marketing program, and protecting New Jersey’s urban forests from the Asian longhorned beetle; and

WHEREAS, the Department also encompasses the State Agriculture Development Committee, which oversees farmland preservation in New Jersey and which, to date, has preserved more than 150,500 acres of farmland; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Agriculture has a close working relationship with its colleagues in the State, including Rutgers, the NJAES/Rutgers Cooperative Research Extension, and leading agriculture organizations and commodity groups, as well as its Federal partners, such as USDA, the New Jersey offices of NRCS, Farm Service Agency,  Rural Development, and other regional USDA offices; and

WHEREAS, in the past year alone, the Department has, individually or in partnership with other agencies:
  • Expanded the “Jersey Fresh” and “Jersey Grown” quality grading and promotional programs, including launching a “Jersey Grown” campaign for Christmas trees grown in the state;
  • Increased surveillance for, and preparations to deal with, Avian Influenza (AI), including participation in multiple drills designed to test the readiness of various agencies and industries to respond to an outbreak of highly pathogenic AI;
  • Aggressively responded to consumer concerns about food-borne illness in spinach from other states by launching a media campaign to distinguish New Jersey spinach as being safe to eat;
  • Proactively followed up on the food safety issue by forming a Produce Safety Task Force to examine the best ways to ensure that New Jersey producers meet new, higher food-safety standards that may come from government action or from within the produce industry;
  • Boosted preparedness for the care of livestock and pets in natural disasters by establishing six animal-care sites throughout the state and equipping them with trailers and supplies;
  • Effectively quarantined an equine herpes outbreak at Monmouth Park;
  • Implemented Governor Corzine’s $3 million Hunger Initiative to bring more food to New Jersey’s hungry, with an emphasis on buying locally produced food first;
  • Teamed with the New York Jets to promote increased healthy eating among school students;
  • Issued orders to improve the economic viability of the State’s 115 dairy producers by providing for additional payments to producers for their raw milk;
  • Aggressively responded to a two-year trend of increased gypsy moth caterpillar activity in several counties throughout the state;
  • Teamed with the New Jersey Restaurant Association to increase the use of locally produced items in their members’ dishes and to promote their efforts to include Jersey Fresh produce, Jersey Seafood and other agricultural products whenever possible;
  • Worked with leaders in the equine industry to devise better marketing of New Jersey horseracing and to develop programs to keep New Jersey horseracing competitive with surrounding states;
  • Moved toward completion of the tree-removal phase of a cooperative effort to eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle in Middlesex and Union Counties;
  • Worked with Rutgers University to establish a highly successful program to attract new beekeepers to the industry;
  • Trained school districts throughout the state to prepare for the September 2007 deadline to adopt the most comprehensive Child Nutrition Rule in the nation, giving New Jersey students healthier choices in the foods served in their a la carte lines, vending machines, school stores and in-school fundraisers;
  • Received the Award of Excellence from the Documents Association of New Jersey for the Department’s website,, which was recognized as being especially useful and informative;
  • Worked with the Farm Aid organization on their annual fund-raising concert, which in 2006 was held in Camden, New Jersey, to draw attention to the unique assets and needs of New Jersey agriculture; and

WHEREAS, the above list is far from exhaustive and does not include the hundreds of routine tasks accomplished each week in inspecting, regulating, promoting and otherwise aiding agriculture in the State of New Jersey; and 

WHEREAS, the Department also works at both the State and Federal levels to ensure that the interests of New Jersey’s agricultural community are effectively communicated to legislators and that the laws they pass are not detrimental to agricultural producers in this State; and

WHEREAS, the Department is committed to keeping New Jersey’s agricultural community ahead of the curve in changes to the dynamics of the industry in New Jersey, tracking those changes and advising agricultural producers on how to adapt their operations to capitalize on them; and

WHEREAS, the Department annually proposes more than 100 Economic Development Strategies to aid the 10 major sectors of New Jersey agriculture in making the most of production and market trends; and

WHEREAS, the Department takes an active role in representing the interests of New Jersey’s agricultural community as part of the Northeastern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA); and

WHEREAS, the Department accomplishes this myriad of regulatory and promotional goals with a minimal workforce and lean, efficiency-driven budget, giving New Jersey’s agricultural community and general public the biggest “bang for their buck.”

NOW THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates to the 92nd State Agricultural Convention, assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on February 14, 2007, do hereby commend the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for its outstanding work in helping to keep agriculture green and growing in the “Garden State.”

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support the efforts of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to continue setting a high standard of service to the agricultural community and the residents of the State of New Jersey.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,that we support the Department’s efforts to influence the crafting of the 2007 Farm Bill as Congress adopts a five-year blueprint for agriculture in the United States.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to provide the New Jersey Department of Agriculture with the tools and resources necessary to continue effectively and efficiently serving the interests of agriculture and the residents of the State of New Jersey.