|2000 Annual Report|
The Division of Markets plays a critical role in the marketing and promotion of New Jersey farm products and the development and expansion of markets both here and abroad. The division also promotes New Jersey's racing and pleasure horse industry and coordinates the distribution of federally-donated foods to public feeding sites, schools, hospitals and other institutions.
While locally-produced farm products are always popular with Garden State consumers, New Jersey farm products are just as sought after elsewhere along the Eastern Seaboard, in eastern Canada, and increasingly in foreign markets.
The $1.16 million Jersey Fresh promotional and advertising budget for FY00 helped to maintain local consumer awareness and preference for Jersey Fresh farm products and fund projects to increase domestic and international marketing opportunities for the state's agricultural producers.
Three new seasonal 30-second television commercials were produced and aired on major network and cable stations in the Philadelphia-to-New York area. The previous series of commercials had highlighted the producers of the state's Jersey Fresh bounty but this year's version focused on the consumer's viewpoint with the slogan, "Pick the Best - Jersey Fresh," as the message. With Governor Christie Whitman and Agriculture Secretary Art Brown as spokespersons, each commercial tracked the seasonal products from the point of harvest through retail outlets to the consumer's home.
Print advertisements in major tri-state area daily newspapers and magazines, as well as in national trade papers, kept the message in front of consumers and produce industry buyers during the height of the growing season
Colorful Jersey Fresh point of sale materials C price cards, bin wrap, aprons, hats, stickers and posters C distributed to over 775 tri-state retail locations and many farm markets reinforced the televised and printed messages and enabled consumers to identify Jersey Fresh produce while shopping in their favorite markets. Chain store produce managers also received regular updates on crop conditions and availability throughout the growing season.
Once again this year, weekend travelers heard shore traffic reports sponsored by NJDA. Along with important information about travel tie-ups to and from seaside destinations, listeners were reminded that Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables were available at farm markets along most of the popular shore routes.
The popular Jersey Fresh matched funds program provided 82 agricultural organizations with grants totaling $250,000. The groups matched the grants at least dollar-for-dollar to incorporate the Jersey Fresh identity into marketing efforts tailored to meet their specific needs. These funds supported a wide range of promotional efforts including festivals, advertisements, websites, market days, brochures, and children's programs.
NJDA continued to offer promotional support to urban organizations interested in developing farmers' markets in their towns. Forty urban farmers' markets operated in FY00 offering those who live and work in the state's urban areas a chance to buy fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables several times a week.
In cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, NJDA remained a key sponsor of the WIC/Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). Under the program for FY00, approximately $500,000 worth of FMNP checks were issued to over 10,000 Head Start Children, pregnant or nursing women in nine targeted cities and other qualifying locations. These checks were redeemed for fresh fruit and vegetables at more than 110 authorized roadside markets and 35 farmers' markets throughout the state. This important federal/state venture offers thousands of nutritionally at-risk children and women an excellent opportunity to include fresh locally-grown produce in their diets.
To extend the reach of the Jersey Fresh program even further, NJDA opened booths at major national trade shows including the Produce Marketing Association Convention in California, the 2000 U.S. Food Export Showcase in Chicago and the Canadian Grocery Showcase in Toronto. NJDA also coordinated the participation of New Jersey processors and distributors in the SALIMA trade show in Prague, Czech Republic, the largest food show in Central Europe.
As a member of Food Export USA - Northeast, NJDA distributed $856,000 in federal Market Access Program (MAP) export development grants to 23 New Jersey food companies. MAP, a matched funds foreign market development program, enables small companies to expand their sales in different international markets. New Jersey companies who participated in this program have reported an average increase of over $800,000 per company in international sales.
NJDA also gave chain store produce buyers and produce brokers around the nation copies of The Jersey Fresh Buyers Guide, a compendium of all growers who participate in the related Jersey Fresh Quality Grading Program. These efforts offer New Jersey companies excellent opportunities to become involved in or expand export activities.
The Market News Service is a federal/state cooperative venture designed to provide a readily accessible source of reliable market information for the state's growers and shippers. Because access to more accurate and current marketing information helps New Jersey growers to be more competitive, the Market News Service collects price and supply information from the major blueberry, nectarine and peach growers and shippers in the Garden State. This information is faxed, emailed or phoned to growers, farm marketers and county agents and forwarded to all Market News offices around the nation.
The 20 agricultural fairs certified by NJDA hosted nearly two million visitors in FY00. Residents of the Garden State and tourists from around the country always enjoy the variety of competitions, food, amusements and agricultural displays offered. Agriculture, agribusiness and agriculture education play an important part in each fair and the department offers organizers technical assistance as well as special exhibits and promotional materials concerning the agriculture industry and NJDA.
HORSE BREEDING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
NJDA's Horse Breeding and Development Program, counseled by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board, supports the state's popular pleasure horse industry through a variety of programs including breeder incentive awards, youth programs, educational clinics, Girl and Boy Scout badge programs, and a variety of other equine activities. The Horse Breeding and Development Program provides financial support for the pleasure horse industry through the New Jersey Bred All Breed Horse Show and the Non-Racing Breeder Awards program. In FY00 $121,500 was distributed to owners and breeders of pleasure horses in the Garden State.
These services and events are held with the support of the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board, a unit of the NJDA, which is composed of 64 members representing 29 different breed organizations and agricultural interest groups.
New Jersey-sired Standardbreds and New Jersey stallions have long been at the forefront of the industry. When yearly honors were announced by the United States Trotting Association (USTA) in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the 1999 Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year was million-dollar Hambletonian winner Self Possessed. For the 1999 season Self Possessed won nine of 16 starts and earned just over $1 million before beginning a new career as a stallion at Kentuckiana Farm in New Egypt.
Several other New Jersey-sired performers also earned USTA/USHWA notice. Two-year-old pacing filly Eternal Camnation (Cam Fella) won the Breeders Crown stakes along with 11 other wins to take top earnings honors in her division. Her four-year-old counterpart Galleria (Artsplace) captured the championship in her division with her year-end winnings total sending her lifetime earnings to over $1.2 million.
Oolong (Armbro Goal) was the top three-year-old filly trotter on the continent, with wins in the Hambletonian Oaks, the Breeders Crown, and the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final at The Meadowlands
The New Jersey Sire Stakes Program and related programs were worth $8,739,522 in 1999. Over $5,800,000 in Sire Stakes purses were distributed at the pari-mutuel tracks, plus another $507,654 in fair events. The remainder came from restricted overnight (non-stakes) races and breeders awards.
yearlings continued to bring top dollar at the fall yearling sales where
729 yearlings were sold for a total of $22,440,550, averaging $30,783
per yearling, well over the national average of $17,470. Although they
comprised only 17 percent of the yearlings sold, New Jersey-sired yearlings
accounted for nearly 31 percent of all yearling sales in North America
The Horse Park of New Jersey at Stone Tavern occupies 147 acres in Monmouth County. It is the result of a unique partnership of state government and private not-for-profit organizations working together to develop a world-class facility for the exhibition of pleasure horses. The Horse Park is a not-for-profit entity that operates under contract with the NJDA.
In FY00, the Park marked its twelfth year of operation with 75 days of equine activities from March through November. Since it opened, the Park has hosted 1.8 million visitors and competitors and proven itself as one of the area's most important economic assets.
The highlight of this season was the groundbreaking for the covered exhibit area, a 150' x 300' clear span building that will give the users a sheltered exhibition facility during inclement weather. Future plans include the continued development of the outside hunt course, the event course, and the carriage dressage fields.
NJDA administers a variety of programs that distribute free or low-cost commodities provided by USDA. These donated federal foods reach over 700 eligible school districts, summer feeding programs, institutions, and needy populations each month. As in previous years, NJDA accepted not only New Jersey's fair-share entitlement but also a substantial amount of bonus donated foods, once again exceeding acceptance goals for all program categories.
The first state agriculture department in the nation to house all the federal child nutrition programs, NJDA administered more than $225 million in federal and state funds allocated to the Bureau of Child Nutrition's (BCN) seven programs C the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, After School Snack Program, Child and Adult Care Feeding Program, Family Day Care Feeding Program and the Summer Food Service Program.
In FY00 more than 175 million meals and supplements were served statewide by participating sponsors including public and private schools, residential and non-residential child care institutions, day care centers, adult day care centers, family day care homes, recreation centers and other agencies that qualify for federal and state child nutrition funds.
Governor Whitman's FY00 budget appropriated $1.938 million for an aggressive campaign called "Food for Thought" that underscored the importance of a good breakfast for every student in the Garden State. Under the new campaign, NJDA used brochures, television and radio commercials, advertisements in newspapers and educational magazines, billboards and panels on the sides of 175 NJTRANSIT buses to raise public awareness of the program.
NJDA's five-year goal is to increase breakfast participation to 40 percent of those students who currently participate in the school lunch program on a daily basis.
During FY00, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) welcomed foods valued at $5.4 million, an increase in allocated foods resulting from federal program budget increases. These additional foods were allocated under the category of bonus TEFAP commodities over and above New Jersey's entitlement to foods valued at $2.3 million.
This enabled NJDA to distribute more than 8.3 million pounds of TEFAP foods through seven non-profit emergency feeding organizations (EFOs) to food banks, hot meal sites, and pantry feeding sites, serving over 246,000 of the state's neediest citizens. Typical of the 55 different items provided through the program were canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, rice, instant dry milk, pasta, cereal, fruit juice and frozen meat.
In addition, NJDA accepted over 20.5 million pounds of USDA foods worth more that $15.7 million dollars for use in other programs. These commodities were particularly important to the school lunch program, which provided monthly allocations of frozen, canned, and dry foods to over 2,200 schools throughout New Jersey feeding more than 500,000 students daily.
NJDA worked with selected EFOs and Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) to establish "teaching pantries" which have since developed into an integral component of RCE's community-based nutritional outreach programs, making full use of USDA/TEFAP donated commodities serving eight New Jersey counties.
In addition, NJDA coordinated an innovative joint pilot program between the department, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (FBMOC) and the culinary arts program at the Ocean County Vocational School (OCVS). As part of this initiative, 150 students at OCVS used various TEFAP commodities provided by FBMOC to prepare oven-ready foods for donation to eligible hot meal sites. The project became an important part of the OCVS curriculum for careers in food service and provided nutritious, appetizing, easily-prepared meals for thousands of New Jerseyans.
worked with 29 commercial food processors to process more than four million
pounds of food offered to and accepted by school districts into more easily
used, cost-effective, oven-ready products such as hamburgers, sandwich
steaks, pizza, and a variety of turkey and chicken products. The goal
of this planned and monitored conversion of bulk foods is to increase
the usefulness of federally-donated foods and help local school districts
reduce preparation time and purchase costs.
For the fifth year, NJDA worked with the U.S. Department of Defense's procurement program to buy $400,000 worth of Jersey Fresh fruit and vegetables for use in the state's school lunch program.
All federally-donated commodities are handled through a commercial warehouse and trucking system that includes two separate warehousing operations and use local carriers to pick up and deliver the food. In FY00, NJDA supported this commercial distribution system through a user fee of not more than $2.15 per case of food, a fee that has not increased in seven years. The revenue generated through this per case assessment supports all costs associated with the department's administration of the school lunch food distribution program.