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New Jersey Farm Bureau News

That fatal attack by a black bear in Passaic County should come as a surprise to no one.

Thanks to pressure from the anti-hunting crowd, New Jersey’s bear population has grown far beyond the capacity of our limited forests to support it. Look at a map of the northwest corner of the state and you will see that there are very few areas that aren’t within a few miles of roads and/or development. And most of that is older development, by the way.

The idea that humans are moving into bear country is nonsense. Fifty years ago, when most of those roads and houses already existed, there were almost no bears in the state. The bears moved into human country, not the other way around. And thanks to pressure from the animal activists, the state hasn’t been able to schedule enough bear hunts to keep their numbers down.

Click here to read the rest of this column.

Those who only pass through New Jersey may wonder why we residents would ever call it The Garden State. Our daughter learned this while introducing herself at a gathering of fellow freshmen at college; when she said she was from New Jersey, a snide questioner replied, “New Jersey, eh? What exit?”

Little do they know of the magnificent farmlands and woodlands and wetlands that lie beyond the toll booths. Little do they know of the parks both rural and urban, of the pinelands, of lakes large and small, of the bucolic shaded towpaths that line our sixty-six miles of Delaware and Raritan Canal, or the sometimes serene, sometimes tumultuous Delaware River the graces our entire western boundary. (And you are already thinking of your own cherished spots, wondering why I haven’t named them.)

We have a lot to be proud of. Pride not just in the amazing state we call home, but also pride in our own steadfast funding over the years for protecting and conserving what makes New Jersey so special. Those just passing through can’t possibly comprehend how serious we are about preserving what is lovely, and restoring what has been defiled.

Click here to read the rest from the Huffington Post.

WEST MILFORD – Current evidence suggests a black bear killed a hiker in Apshawa Preserve on Sunday. If that is the case, the incident would mark the only fatal bear attack ever recorded in New Jersey.

Police said there was evidence that Edison resident Darsh Patel, 22, had been attacked by a bear when his body was found a few hours after he had been separated from his hiking companions following a bear encounter.

Click here to read the full story.

New Jersey voters should support a constitutional amendment that would allocate millions of dollars in corporate taxes for preserving open space, a bipartisan coalition pushing the plan said today.

The coalition kicked off its “Yes on 2” campaign at the Greater Newark Conservancy’s Prudential Outdoor Learning Center, arguing that the amendment would create a stable source of funding for the open space program.

Click here to read the complete story from nj.com

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher recently marked the start of the state’s fall agritourism season while visiting a sunflower maze in Sussex County.

The weeks after Labor Day are a “wonderful time to visit Garden State farms,” he said during the event.

But not so much in South Jersey.

Officials with the New Jersey Farm Bureau say that while agritourism — a mix of everything from pick-your-own farms to cider-pressing events to old-fashioned hayrides — is booming in the northern and central parts of the state, it is lagging in South Jersey.

Click here to read the complete story from the Press of Atlantic City.

It’s been a bountiful harvest this summer, with farmers markets and supermarkets showing their colors in the emerald green of broccoli and kale, the scarlet of Jersey tomatoes and the deep purple of young eggplant.

Now a series of bills that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno put her signature to on Aug. 25 helps ensure that New Jersey’s schoolchildren reap the benefits of the season’s harvest.

Click here for the rest of this Trenton Times Editorial.

SUSSEX BOROUGH — As the 21-year-old son of a dairy farmer, Charles Kuperus took not one but two leaps of faith in 1979.

That was the year he married his high school sweetheart, Marge, and started his horticultural business.

“I started it from scratch, literally,” he said. “There was nothing there, and there was a little bit of ‘I don’t know if this is going to work.'”

Walking through row upon row of red dahlias at his farm — Kuperus Farmside Gardens and Florist — recently, Kuperus couldn’t help but take stock of how his faith has paid off over the last 35 years.

Click here to read the rest of the story from the New Jersey Herald.

By Ryck Suydam
The Star-Ledger’s editorial (“The Highlands Act at risk,” Aug. 10) and op-ed from the Highlands Coalition (“A decade later, Highlands Act still a good deal,” Aug. 10) ring hollow to us as farmers and local economic stakeholders in the region. Rather than paint those concerned about the Highlands program as good guys vs. bad guys, we see criticism of the regulatory program in the region in a different light.

Click here to read the entire Guest Editorial.

New Jersey Farm Bureau will host an informational meeting regarding Farmland Assessment, and the upcoming changes to this law. (Changes will take effect in 2015.)

The meeting will be held Monday, September 29, 7:00 – 8:30PM at the Hunterdon County Route 12 Complex, Building #1, Assembly Space, 314 Route 12, Flemington, NJ 08822. Click here for a map.

Anyone who currently receives farmland assessment should consider attending. SMALL FARM OWNERS PLEASE NOTE: Parcels of 7 acres or less will have additional requirements to meet the new farmland assessment criteria.

The meeting is FREE to all paid NJFB members. There will be a $20 fee for non-members.

Please register by September 24 – Space is limited! Call the Farm Bureau office at 609-393-7163.

NOTE: This is the first in a series of informational meetings NJFB will host on this subject. Other dates and locations will be announced soon.