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Renewable Energy

WHEREAS, rising energy costs place greater financial burdens on all New Jersey agricultural sectors, making traditional fossil fuels less attractive for on-farm use; and

WHEREAS, bio-gas facilities have the potential to remove large amounts of food waste and other refuse from the state’s overall waste inventory when that food waste is mixed with manure in the production of bio-gas, lessening the state’s reliance on landfills and thereby enhancing the environment and reducing municipal waste disposal costs; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey agricultural operators have embraced becoming part of the biofuels and alternative-energy production market, including but not limited to the growing of grasses and other cellulosic materials to be turned into pellets for use in woodstoves or other heat and power devices; and the growing of corn, soybeans and other crops to be used as feedstocks for biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel; and

WHEREAS, the efforts of agricultural operators to both use and produce alternative energy are consistent with the goals of the updated State Energy Master Plan and with elements of the “Energy as Industry” positions of the Administration; and

WHEREAS, we strongly support all farmers having the ability to utilize solar, wind and other renewable energy to meet the energy needs of their agricultural operations as cost-effectively as possible, whether their farms are preserved or not; and

WHEREAS, local production of biofuels has the potential to improve air quality by lessening the amount of fossil fuels being used, as well as providing New Jersey farmers with an enhanced market for their crops and, in some cases, their waste streams; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey’s fiscal position requires innovative ways of creating an inviting business climate for potential biofuels producers and bioenergy generators that do not rely primarily on financial incentives; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey is one of only two states that has not adopted a definition of “pure biodiesel” that includes a reference to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard D6751, a definition determined by the National Biodiesel Board to be critical to further success in expanding the use of viable biodiesel blends in the United States, and which, if adopted, could make New Jersey eligible for additional federal funding for biodiesel development; and

WHEREAS, a bill (A-3161) that would require certain percentages of biodiesel to be blended into home heating oil, and which would adopt in New Jersey the ASTM definition of “pure biodiesel,” has been introduced in the New Jersey State Legislature.

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, support the continued development of renewable energy sources in New Jersey and support the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive “green energy” strategy as both producers and consumers. This strategy can be found on the Department’s web site at, and will best position New Jersey’s agricultural community to benefit from the pursuit, advocacy and use of renewable energy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support the efforts of the Department with USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Rutgers University, New Jersey Farm Bureau and/or any other agencies, to increase the participation of farmers in the growing of cellulosic crops that can be used in a variety of alternative-energy processes.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support efforts to establish an electricity-generating anaerobic digester to be fueled in part by manure from New Jersey dairy or other livestock operations and waste from food processors, as it addresses the dual needs of creating alternative energy while removing manure and other organic waste from the waste inventory.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we strongly urge the Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation that would put into effect a two percent/five percent biodiesel mandate, which would require that all space-heating diesel fuel sold in the state would include two percent biodiesel beginning in 2015, and increasing that amount to five percent by 2020, resulting in 16.8 million gallons of biodiesel being blended with heating oil by 2020.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the New Jersey Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation that contains a definition of “pure biodiesel,” which reads: “Biodiesel is a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, designated B100, and meeting the requirements of ASTM D6751,” which specifies various test methods to be used in the determination of certain properties for biodiesel blends, including flash point and kinematic viscosity.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we direct the Department to continue its efforts to support the establishment of biofuel production facilities of all types in New Jersey, as such development can lead to an enhanced close-in market for many of the crops grown in New Jersey when they are used as biofuel feedstocks.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we support the AMP developed by the State Agriculture Development Committee (SDAC) for incorporating solar power into preserved farm operations, and urge the SADC to work expeditiously to finish work on the AMP regarding wind power on preserved farms.