|Annual Report 1999|
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.
Getting consumers in the Garden State and elsewhere along the Eastern Seaboard from Virginia to Canada to buy the many products produced on New Jersey farms is the goal of the nationally-known Jersey Fresh advertising and promotional program. With FY99's $1.16 million budget, the Jersey Fresh message was carried on radio, on cable and network television and in consumer, business and trade publications that reached more than 46 million listeners, viewers and readers.
From April through October, three 30-second seasonal Jersey Fresh television commercials and 10 commodity-specific infomercials for dairy products, nursery/greenhouse products, spring greens, blueberries, sweet corn, peppers, herbs, peaches, tomatoes and squash. The ads featured Governor Christie Whitman and Secretary Art Brown proclaiming "Jersey Fresh and You, Perfect Together."
At more than 500 of their favorite markets throughout the tri-state area, consumers could identify Jersey Fresh farm products through price cards, banners, bin wrap, stickers and posters. In addition to these traditional, colorful point-of-purchase items, produce buyers for major retail chains also received a variety of advertising materials to support Jersey Fresh promotions in their stores throughout the growing season, including, for the second year, the popular graphics packages on CD for use in print ads. The innovative CDs gave retailers a choice of several configurations of the Jersey Fresh logo, as well as product pictures, retail information, and recipe suggestions.
In addition, the Jersey Fresh program sponsored weekend traffic reports for the shore areas of New Jersey. On-air announcers reminded listeners of Jersey Fresh products in season and encouraged them to stop at farm markets on the way home from the shore to stock up on fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
Seventy New Jersey agricultural organizations shared $150,000 in Jersey Fresh matching grants that enabled the organizations to tailor the existing Jersey Fresh program to meet their specific marketing needs. Combined with a dollar for dollar match, this program pumped well over $300,000 additional dollars into the Jersey Fresh effort.
Special events played an important role in presenting Jersey Fresh to
consumers in different and interesting ways, ranging from the 15th annual
Vineland Jersey Fresh Festival in Cumberland County to regional festivals,
county fairs, wine tastings and food shows around the state.
The department also worked closely with community organizations in the state's urban areas to further the development of 40 farmers' markets. Held several times a week, the markets attracted farmers who welcomed the additional marketing opportunities and enthusiastic customers who appreciated the friendly, informal outlets for locally-grown produce in their towns.
Many of the vendors at the urban farmers' markets joined their counterparts around the state in the fourth year of the WIC/Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). A joint venture between NJDA, the state Department of Health and Senior Services and USDA, the FMNP distributed $300,000 worth of FMNP checks to over 10,000 Head Start Children, pregnant or nursing women residing in the Governor's nine targeted cities. These checks were redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables at more than 100 authorized roadside markets and 30 farmers' markets throughout the state. This important program offers another venue for the sale of farm products while giving thousands of nutritionally at-risk children and women a convenient, affordable way to add fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets.
The Departments of Agriculture and Health and Senior Services also continued their partnership with the state 5-A-Day Coalition. Made up from representatives of both departments as well as individuals from the health field and retail industry, this coalition participates in a variety of events to underscore for New Jersey residents the important nutritional benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables.
The department's successful international trade development program
continued to support the export and promotion of New Jersey's agricultural
products and processed foods in many nations around the world. Through
a multi-tiered export education and resource support network, NJDA helps
companies with every facet of their export experience, from their first
export contact to foreign sales maintenance.
With over $25 million worth of fruits and vegetables shipped from Garden State farms to Canada every year, our northern neighbor ranks as the single largest export market for New Jersey farm products. In an effort to maintain and expand that significant market, this year NJDA sponsored a Jersey Fresh exhibit at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association show in Quebec City. Visits to Canada's wholesale and retail produce industry promoted New Jersey's many fruits and vegetables during the growing season.
NJDA helped 16 New Jersey companies exhibit at the 1999 U.S. Food Export Showcase in Chicago, Illinois, in the spring. The show is the country's largest supermarket trade exposition as well as America's largest international trade show for food and agricultural products. More than 30,000 domestic supermarket buyers and 6,000 foreign buyers visited companies in the New Jersey pavilion during the three-day event.
In addition, NJDA coordinated the participation of 10 food processors and distributors in the ANUGA trade show in Cologne, Germany, this year. ANUGA is the world's largest international food show where 6,000 exhibitors attracted more than 200,000 international buyers.
As a member state of the Eastern United States Agricultural and Food Export Council, NJDA distributed $584,900 in federal Market Access Program (MAP) export development grants to 16 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 over the last two years have reported an average increase of over $800,000 per company in international sales.
The Market News Service, a federal-state cooperative venture, provides a readily accessible source of unbiased and reliable agricultural market information for the state's growers and buyers. Because access to more and better marketing information helps New Jersey growers to be more competitive, the Market News Service collects price and supply information from the Vineland Produce Auction by laptop computer. This data is then transmitted to the Bridgeton Market News Office. From there, the information goes out to New Jersey growers, farm marketers and county agents via fax, e-mail and telephone. These reports, along with 700 other USDA market news reports, are also available at www.ams.usda.gov/marketnews.htm. Reports cover local, regional, national and even international markets for fruits, vegetables, grain, livestock, poultry, eggs, dairy, tobacco, cotton and specialty crops.
Fairs and Shows
The 21 agricultural fairs, certified as such by the NJDA, hosted over 1.5 million visitors in FY99. Residents of the Garden State and tourists from around the country always enjoy the variety of competitions, food, amusements and countless agricultural displays offered. Agriculture, agribusiness and agriculture education play an important part in each fair. NJDA continues to offer organizers technical assistance as well as special exhibits and promotional materials.
Horse Breeding and Development
The Horse Breeding and Development Program and the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board (EAB) supports the state's ever-popular pleasure horse industry through a variety of programs. The EAB, a unit of NJDA, is composed of 64 members representing 29 different breed group organizations plus additional agricultural interests. Among the activities sponsored during the year are breeder incentive awards, youth programs, educational clinics, Girl and Boy Scout badge programs, and a variety of other events designed to enhance the growth of the entire equine industry.
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 1999, $118,500 was distributed to owners and breeders of pleasure horses in the Garden State through the program.
The EAB is cooperating with numerous other state, national and international organizations in the preparations for the World Singles Driving Championships in Gladstone in October of 2000. During this five-day international event, the Board will present the largest educational endeavor it has ever undertaken in "Scouting Around the World." At least 25 countries are expected to participate in the event. The youth program developed by NJDA and the EAB will include information about horses, agriculture and scouting programs in each country.
Horse Park of New Jersey
The 147-acre Horse Park of New Jersey at Stone Tavern in Monmouth County is the result of years of cooperative effort involving the horse industry, state government and private not-for-profit organizations. The Horse Park of New Jersey, Inc., is a not-for-profit entity which operates the Horse Park under contract with NJDA.
In FY99, the Park marked its eleventh year of operation with 78 days of equine activities beginning in mid-March and continuing through November. In its short history, the Park has hosted 1.4 million visitors and competitors and developed into one of the area's most important economic assets.
Future plans include the continued development of the outside hunt course, the event course, and the carriage dressage fields. The construction of a covered work area, as outlined in the master plan, is also part of the plans for 1999-2000.
New Jersey Sire Stakes
MUSCLES YANKEE won the million-dollar Hambletonian Stake at The Meadowlands, becoming the third New Jersey bred in a row to capture the most prestigious trotting event in the world. He went on to win nine of 12 starts, earned over $1.2 million for the year and was named USTA "Three-Year-Old Trotter of the Year." He is now standing at stud at Perretti Farms in Cream Ridge.
Another top three-year-old on the pacing side was ARTISCAPE who won 13 of 18 starts and $973,960 for the year and was named "Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year," edging out SHADY CHARACTER, another Jersey bred who won two legs of the pacing Triple Crown. ARTISCAPE is also standing at stud at Perretti Farms in Cream Ridge.
Other New Jersey bred stars were RUM BOOGIE, "Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year"; MATTERONI, "Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year"; and GALLERIA, "Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year." RUM BOOGIE is a daughter of VALLEY VICTORY who also sired MUSCLES YANKEE. MATTERONI was sired by MATTS SCOOTER who stands at Perretti Farms and GALLERIA was sired by ARTSPLACE.
The number of mares bred to New Jersey stallions rebounded in 1998 after showing steady declines in recent years which mirrored national trends. The number of mares bred to New Jersey stallions went from 1,854 in 1997 to 2,144 in 1998. Mares bred through intrastate semen transportation also showed an increase, going from 566 in 1997 to 658 in 1998.
New Jersey sired yearlings were still highly sought after at the fall yearling sales with 893 individuals selling for a total of $21,550,700, and averaging $24,133. As in past years, the trotter VALLEY VICTORY led the way with 30 yearlings averaging $108,467 each. ARTSPLACE was the top pacing sire with 85 yearlings averaging $52,018 each.
A total of 31 yearlings sold for $150,000 or more at public auction and 17 of those were New Jersey sired including the VALLEY VICTORY colt BERNDT HANOVER who brought $400,000. The top pacing yearling of 1998 was also a New Jersey bred, the ARTSPLACE colt THISOLDARTOFMINE who sold for $300,000. Twenty other New Jersey sired yearlings sold for $100,000 or more.
NJDA administers the federally-sponsored donated commodity distribution program, through which a variety of donated foods reach over 700 eligible school districts, summer feeding programs, institutions, and needy populations each month. NJDA took full advantage of all available foods by accepting New Jersey's fair-share entitlement, plus substantial volumes of bonus foods offered, once again exceeding its acceptance goals for all program categories serviced.
NJDA accepted over 27 million pounds of USDA foods with a commercial value of almost $16 million for use in a variety of feeding programs other than The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). These commodities were particularly important to the school lunch program, which provided monthly allocations of frozen, canned and dry foods to more than 2,200 schools throughout New Jersey feeding over 500,000 students daily.
The department also worked with more than 28 commercial food processors to process over four million pounds of the total foods offered and accepted 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 raw commodities and help local school districts reduce preparation time and purchase costs.
The commercial conversion of these donated federal foods was also enhanced through the department's Processor Selection System, which allowed recipient school districts to select commodities to be processed into oven-ready products before the start of the new school year, thus enabling both processors and schools to better utilize donated commodities and at the same time encouraging competitive pricing and improving delivery time while better insuring product consistency.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program
During FY99, TEFAP benefited from federal program budget increases, receiving more than 8.5 million pounds of foods, an increase of nearly 12 percent over last year. These foods reached food banks, hot meal sites, and pantry feeding sites, which served more than 225,000 of the state's neediest citizens. Typical of the 40 different federally-donated foods were canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, rice, instant dry milk, pasta, cereal, fruit juice and frozen beef.
In addition, for the fourth consecutive year, NJDA participated in a $400,000 fresh fruit and vegetable purchase through the federal Department of Defense. The produce, much of which was locally grown by New Jersey farmers, was used in New Jersey's School Lunch Program.
The first state agriculture department in the nation to house child nutrition programs, NJDA administered more than $189 million in federal and state funds to the various Bureau of Child Nutrition (BCN) programs. Over 155 million meals and supplements were served by participating sponsors statewide in FY99.
BCN operates six child nutrition programs in 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. These six programs are the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Feeding Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the After School Snack Program.
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