Chair’s Report
The N.J. Department of Agriculture developed a radio public service announcement and print ad to inform consumers about the availability of Jersey-grown spinach and quality standards under the Jersey Fresh grading program. The outreach immediately followed an FDA announcement that spinach grown outside of a three-county area in California was safe for consumption. Secretary Kuperus credited farmers for speaking up early to highlight how the FDA advisory affected family farms, as well as assistance from New Jersey’s congressional delegation and legislators, in limiting the impact on New Jersey spinach operations. New Jersey is the fourth largest producer of spinach in the nation, with 1,900 acres in production.

Executive Director’s Report
A total of 147 applications to preserve 8,400 acres were submitted under the 2008 county easement purchase round. The SADC cost to preserve all of the farms would total at least $60 million.

Approximately 100 municipal representatives and others interested in learning more about transfer of development rights (TDR) attended a day-long summit on September 22nd at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Mansfield Township. "TDR: An Up-Close Tour for Agricultural Communities," was sponsored by the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) and provided a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from local officials, planners, a developer and other key individuals involved in carrying out TDR across the state. The summit, which included a bus tour of Chesterfield Township's sending and receiving areas, was geared toward showing agricultural communities how TDR can preserve farmland while providing for growth in other areas that can best accommodate it. 

The SADC will revisit the issue of farmland affordability this fall. County agriculture development boards and boards of agriculture have increasingly voiced concern about this issue. SADC member Gary Mount and Executive Director Susan Craft are planning to visit with the county boards to lay out trends the SADC is seeing and solicit ideas for how to deal with them.

Adoption of Amended Rule: RDSO Waiver
The SADC voted to adopt amendments to its rules to establish who can live in a house associated with a Residual Dwelling Site Opportunity (RDSO) upon the farmer’s death, disability or retirement, and to clarify the term “regularly engaged in common farmsite activities.” The rule is available on the SADC’s website at http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/sadc/rule276rdso.pdf.

Proposed Amended Rules and New Rules: Farmland Preservation Processes
The SADC approved the proposal of new and amended rules to streamline and improve farmland preservation processes to make the program more predictable, efficient and effective while continuing to ensure a high degree of accountability to the public. The proposed rules include establishment of a new County Planning Incentive Grant program that will require counties to develop comprehensive farmland preservation plans, provide them with block grant-type funding that will enable them to preserve any eligible farms in their plans, reward counties that expend funds in a timely manner with the potential for additional funding, and shorten the timeframe from receipt of applications to closings. The proposed rules also include process improvements to the SADC's municipal planning incentive grant program and state acquisition program, as well as the establishment of minimum eligibility criteria for participation in the Farmland Preservation Program. The proposed rules will be submitted to the New Jersey Register and be subject to a 60-day public comment period before returning to the Committee for consideration for adoption. 

FY2008 Application Deadlines
The SADC approved an application deadline of February 7th for the nonprofit program. Because of limited funding, the SADC opted to not hold a new planning incentive grant round in FY2008.

FY2008 Administrative Budget (Farmland Preservation Program and Right to Farm)
The SADC approved a projected FY2008 budget of $2.595 million for administration of the Farmland Preservation Program and $90,000 for the Right to Farm Program. The budgets are subject to approval of the Office of Management and Budget.

Amended Meeting Schedule for FY2007
The SADC amended its meeting schedule for FY2007. There will be no regular meeting in October. The regular October and November meetings will be combined and held on Thursday, November 2nd.

Atlantic County
The SADC granted approval to proceed with appraisals on the Morrongiello farm in Galloway and Hamilton townships under the 2006 direct easement purchase round.

Burlington County
Resale conditions were approved for the Limm and Russell farms in North Hanover, and the Erb farm in Chesterfield, North Hanover and Springfield townships.

Camden County
The SADC granted approval to proceed with appraisals on the Jennings farm, Winslow Township, under the 2006 direct easement purchase round.

Cumberland County
The SADC granted approval to proceed with appraisals on the Mitchell farm in Upper Deerfield Township and Pittsgrove Township, Salem County, under the 2006 direct easement purchase round.

Gloucester County
The SADC modified its preliminary approval for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation/Pettit application in South Harrison Township to require that any agricultural changes to the conservation habitat area must have joint approval of the SADC and the Department of Environmental Protection. The change was made in consideration of the importance of the bog turtle habitat area.

Hunterdon County
Final approval was granted to the Isabella Farm, East Amwell Township, under the planning incentive grant program (2000A).

Resale conditions were approved for the Riback Farm in Lebanon Township and the Romano farm in Clinton Township. Final approval was granted to the Delaware Township/Juniper III farm in Delaware Township under the 2006 direct easement purchase program.

Monmouth County
The SADC is requesting that the two independent appraisers for the Sullivan/Silsbe farm in Manalapan Township reconsider their appraisals to properly address the amount of wetlands on the property.

The SADC approved amendments to Monmouth County’s Howell Township Project Area to add the Bajcar/Bauer Farm to the list of targeted farms, with the condition that the Howell Township and Colts Neck Township parcels be processed as one application.

The SADC granted preliminary approval to the Monmouth Conservation Foundation for the Annarella farm in Middletown Township under the 2007 nonprofit grant program.

Morris County
The SADC directed that owners of the Oakes farm in Rockaway Township continue to work with SADC staff on their 2005A planning incentive grant application. Staff does not support the seven residential opportunities existing or proposed.

Salem County
Resale conditions were approved for the Sassi farm in Carney’s Point.

The SADC granted approval to proceed with appraisals on the Mitchell farm in Upper Deerfield Township and Pittsgrove Township, Salem County, under the 2006 direct easement purchase round.

Final approval was granted to the Heil farm, Alloway Township, under the fee simple program.

Sussex County
The SADC approved voluntary agricultural development areas for the Maria Brex farm and the William and Betty Young farm in Sandyston Township, the Stephen Race farm in Lafayette Township and the Michael Frescella farm in Green Township.

Final approvals were granted to Morris Land Conservancy under the 2007 nonprofit grant program for the Stoll farm in Frankford Township, the Oliva farm in Green Township, the Vendetti and Eick farms in Stillwater Township and the Fritz farm in Andover Township.

Final approvals were granted to the Pattison farm in Andover Township and the Kronyak farm in Lafayette Township under the 2006 direct easement purchase program.

Warren County
Final approval was granted to Morris Land Conservancy under the 2007 nonprofit grant program for the Paans farm in Hardwick Township. Preliminary approval was granted to the Morris Land Conservancy under the same program for the Bennett and Stires farms in Hardwick Township.

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