A resolution approved by the Assembly today designates March 20 as Agriculture Day in New Jersey. The measure (AJR40) is sponsored by Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Parker Space, two veteran members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
Farming has a significant impact on the state. More than 9,000 farms harvest food from 715,000 fertile acres, and agriculture is the state’s third largest industry.
“Nothing identifies our state more than its farms, orchards and vineyards. That’s why we’re known as the Garden State,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “It’s appropriate we set aside one day each year to recognize our state’s vast agriculture industry and its contributions to New Jersey’s and our nation’s economies.”
Dancer noted New Jersey is a top 10 producer of 11 different crops, and one of only three states that provides school breakfast and lunch programs. The farm to school program is a model followed by other states.
“There’s nothing as healthy and satisfying as locally sourced, freshly harvested produce,” said Space (R-Sussex). “New Jersey grows the very best so our residents and people around the country and the world have access to nutritious food. Family farmers harvest an abundance of crops, including our famous Jersey tomatoes and corn, blueberries, cranberries, peppers and soybeans. It wouldn’t be summer without them.”
A previous version of the bill passed the Assembly in December 2017 by a 63-0 vote.