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New Jersey Farm Bureau News

Every four years, the American Farm Bureau Federation asks the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees to address the issues that concern farmers and ranchers the most. AFBF asked Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump the same questions.

Both candidates explained their positions on biotechnology, trade, immigration reform, regulatory reform, food safety and more.

Click here to read their responses in the FB News.

***For Immediate Release***

NJ Farm Bureau Opposes $15 Minimum Wage Proposal – Cites Unique and Severe Impacts to Agricultural Industry

 

(Trenton) – New Jersey Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agricultural organization, opposes the $15 minimum wage proposal (S-15) heard in by the Senate Labor Committee today.

 

Farm Bureau President Ryck Suydam presented testimony as well as individual farm profiles showing the potentially devastating effects such a major increase would have on some New Jersey farms. “The immediate impacts of such a change for some farms would range from $100,000 up to $300,000,” said Suydam. “Because farmers are price-takers, not price-makers, they would be handcuffed by this – unable to pass along the state mandated cost increase.”

 

The impact of a large wage increase will have a greater impact on agriculture because farming is such a labor intensive business. In the farm profiles shared with the committee, the payroll share of farm expenses was 38%. A recent survey of the nursery sector of New Jersey agriculture shows that figure to be 40% of total farm expenses.

 

Other states, and previous New Jersey legislatures, have recognized agriculture’s uniqueness and treated the industry differently when it comes to minimum wage. “Seventeen other states have a separate agriculture minimum wage,” Suydam said, adding that most recently, New York state created a two-tier approach to their wage increase in recognition of the disproportionate impact to rural industries. The New Jersey Legislature itself provided a grant program in the 1990’s to help farmers cope with a minimum wage increase.

 

Suydam added, “New Jersey has a history of recognizing that farming is particularly vulnerable to certain policy initiatives and has developed special programs and rules to maintain and grow this $1.3 billion wholesale industry. This is yet another one of those situations.”

 

 

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Contacts: Ben Casella or Ed Wengryn – 609-393-7163