WHEREAS, agriculture in New Jersey, “The Garden State,” has played, and continues to play, a robust role in the economic well-being of the state and its citizens; and
WHEREAS, the “farm gate value” of agricultural products produced in New Jersey as determined by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which stood at $1.1 billion in 2011, tells only a partial story of the full economic impact of agriculture in New Jersey, with additional benefits stemming from farmers’ purchases of equipment, feed, fertilizer, fuel and other energy; the additional spending power added to the state by the wages of those employed on farms; and the economic benefits of providing a close-in supply of agricultural products to food processors, retailers and restaurants located in New Jersey; and
WHEREAS, excellent, informative reports on individual agricultural sectors, such as the Rutgers Equine Science Center’s study on the economic impact of the horse industry, and other census-type information, can be mined to create an overall report on agriculture’s overall economic impact; and
WHEREAS, defining and substantiating all the various economic benefits brought to New Jersey through an active and growing agricultural sector of the state’s economy – including direct employment created, tax revenues contributed, property values enhanced and value-added product development spurred – would be of great benefit in addition to discussions of scenic beauty and agriculture’s vital role in the food supply when agricultural operators advocate for their needs at the local, state and federal levels of government.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates to the 98th State Agricultural Convention, assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on February 6-7, 2013, do hereby direct the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, working in conjunction with partners of its choosing, to create a documentation of all these various economic benefits brought to the state by agriculture.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Department deliver a draft of this document to the State Board of Agriculture no later than 180 days after the passage of this resolution.