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New Jersey Farm Bureau News

While workers trimmed peach trees at his Mullica Hill farm this month, Tom Holtzhauser was reluctantly mulling trims of another kind – to his workforce.

His labor costs will soar after the November passage of the constitutional amendment raising the state’s minimum wage $1 to $8.25 an hour and implementing annual cost-of-living adjustments that could increase it even more.

Click here to read the full story from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A workshop regarding the NJ Sales Tax law and how it effects those who board horses will be held Sunday January 19 1:00 – 3:30 at Rick’s Saddle Shop in Cream Ridge. The meeting will feature remarks from Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, who is the sponsor of legislation to alleviate some of the concerns with the NJ Sales Tax. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

For more information about the meeting, click here: January 14 Meeting Notice

For more information about the pending legislation to help the horse boarding industry, click here: Bill A4479

The future of New Jersey’s open-space program is at a standstill as unlikely opponents square off on how best to fund the state’s long-standing — but broke — effort to increase parkland, preserve farmland and demolish flood-prone homes and businesses. Two competing funding bills have pitted state Senate Democrats against Assembly Democrats in a deadlock that may not be resolved by the time the current legislative session ends a week from Monday.

See more in the Bergen Record.

Leslie and John Wyckoff, right, of Wyckoff's Christmas Tree Farm in Warren County are greeted by first lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Malia and Sasha, today outside the White House in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo | SUSAN WALSH)

Leslie and John Wyckoff, right, of Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm in Warren County are greeted by first lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Malia and Sasha, today outside the White House in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo | SUSAN WALSH)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the White House. And the Obamas can thank Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm outside Belvidere for that.

First lady Michelle Obama today accepted four trees from the White Township farm to be featured in the executive mansion, as well as an 18.5-foot Douglas fir from Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, Pa., which will serve as the official White House tree for the Blue Room.

Congratulations to the Wyckoff family! Click here to read more from the Express-Times.

Among nearly 20,000 written comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on draft rules regarding produce and preventive controls are letters from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), which is trying to nudge FDA into doing a second draft of the rules, made sure the media would notice several of the recently filed letters with return postmarks from the Hill.

Click here to read more from the Food Safety News.