New Jersey Farm Bureau News

Ag Matters Online

Mitchell Jones grew up knowing he wanted to be a farmer.

“I started in high school as an after-school activity,” Jones said. “I helped work on my neighbor’s farm.”
With his father working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and a grandfather in farming, it was inevitable that Jones would end up in the fields.

Click here to read more from the Express Times.

Up before the sun, out in the fields all day and sometimes well into the night, tractor headlights illuminating rows of grain. West Windsor farmer Steve Jany has been doing that for 50 years.

But as if farming 1,800 acres at Rustin Farms wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Jany also devotes a significant amount of time and energy to the agriculture community, serving on a variety of boards and committees at the local and state levels.

Click here to read the rest of the story from the Trenton Times.

Lorraine Merrill, New Hampshire commissioner of agriculture, food and markets, expresses her view on GMO labeling in this OpEd piece in the Concord Monitor.

We hear a lot of comments and concerns from people on both sides of the debate about GMO labeling and House Bill 660, a bill that would require labeling of genetically engineered foods and agricultural commodities. And we get a lot of questions about the state Department of Agriculture’s position on the bill.

Advocates assert the public right to know what is in their food. It’s hard to argue with that sentiment. But what useful or verifiable information would the proposed labeling requirement provide? “Produced with Genetic Engineering” or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” labels would merely convey the information that the food contains or may contain some ingredient from a crop that was derived through biotechnology. By whatever preferred name – biotechnology, genetic engineering, genetically modified – this describes a broad category of plant-breeding techniques. Each engineered plant variety is different – the label only identifies the use of GE, not the genetic traits or characteristics of the crop.

Click here to read the rest.

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.