Earlier this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed new legislation aimed at preserving and protecting New Jersey farms. Throughout the week, the governor toured New Jersey farms, promoting locally grown agricultural produce. In a ceremony in Mercer County, Christie signed the bipartisan legislation with fanfare from both Republicans and Democrats.
The legislation sets aside roughly $90 million in state based grants. This money would be distributed to sixteen counties and municipalities and eight various nonprofit agricultural organizations. The grants would help fund a variety of initiatives. Almost $20 million would go directly to the state’s Agriculture Department to help preserve farmland.
In addition to providing funds to help combat suburban development, the bill would encourage the sale of state agricultural produce. The bill would require concession stands in state government facilities to use New Jersey produce and the prominently display the “Jersey Fresh” logo.
In a press released, Christie stated, “Farmland preservation is an investment in our future. It’s important for our farmers to ensure they have the land they need to operate successful businesses; it’s vital for our communities that are working hard to retain productive agricultural lands, and it’s critical for future generations to ensure they will be able to benefit from all that agriculture has to offer.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer