Legislating the Lust for “Local”

New rules are being proposed regarding farm products sold in NJ designated as “local.”
Learn how the proposed rules will affect you and send your comments regarding N.J.A.C. 2:71-10
before July 3, 2015 ~

  • via email: proposedrulesMarkets@ag.state.nj.us,
  • by mail: Al Murray, Director 
Division of Marketing and Development,
    New Jersey Dept of Agriculture, PO Box 330,
 Trenton, NJ 08625

Sherry Marolda, of Marolda Farms in Atlantic County, speaks for many family farmers when she says that rising customer interest in purchasing locally grown crops “is the best thing to happen to us in a long time.” As William Safire put it, “localness challenges cleanliness as being next to godliness… The lust for the local is even competing with organic — food grown or raised without a chemical assist but often transported around the world… ”
[Read more…]

Effective Political Communications

Farmers_go_to_TrentonIt is important that farmers be involved in policy decisions at the local, state, and federal level because quite often those charged with making policy do not farm and may not realize the impact their actions have on the viability of farms in our state.

Farm families feel frustration toward government institutions that seem unresponsive on a range of issues, from crushing regulatory burden relief, to agritourism legislation affecting the hosting of lifecycle events, to inadequate access to educational outreach programming.

The way to cope is to get engaged and get heard. Effective communication with elected officials allows you to be heard on issues affecting your ability to farm. [Read more…]

Farm Calls: Vineyards, Helicopters, Frost Protection …and Right-to-Farm

This week brings a call from a wine grape grower asking if the use of helicopters is among the accepted standard operating procedures in fruit growing regions during Inversion Layer Freezes. [Read more…]

Agritourism in New Jersey


Ag census data shows our state ranks first nationally in the percentage of farm revenue earned from agritourism.

When you think about the agricultural challenges in NJ, such as market competition, rising land and input costs, encroachment from sprawl, and a complex regulatory environment, this statistic becomes less surprising. In order to stay in business, farmers operating small and mid sized farms have had to look for ways to add value to their products. Farm life, as fewer people are engaged in it, turns out to be a product. It is something people are drawn to, even as urban & suburban lifestyles pull them further and further away from a tangible relationship with land and food. [Read more…]