This week there has been a lot of chatter in my great state about the proposed budget cuts by Governor Corzine. Many programs are at risk, including the complete elimination of the NJ Department of Agriculture. What does this have to do with a blog about fiber arts you may ask? Well, there are still many farms in the state that rely on the assistance and information the DOA provides. One of the products these small family farms provide is fiber. Fiber that I, and many others, spin to make yarn and felt to make amazing art pieces. They also provide great fresh meat and produce to many state residents.
The DOA is responsible for the very popular “Jersey Fresh” program and the very important NJ Farmland Preservation Program. As someone who visits Sussex County often, I cannot tell you how saddened I am when I see the many “for sale” signs on the farmlands I pass. Farming is a way of life for generations in our state and is a great part of our state’s heritage.
NorthJersey.com had a pretty extensive article about the entire plan, that you can read by clicking here.
I am urging all readers who are concerned about the proposed cuts to contact your state representatives and the Governor and ask they not eliminate the DOA. After all, we are “The Garden State,” not “The Blacktop State,” although it may be sometimes hard to tell if you live in North Jersey and our Governor may have forgotton.
I consider myself lucky to live in such a diverse state. New Jersey has everything from big cities to great fishing areas to rural farms. I hope the DOA will continue to be able to serve our farmers and preserve the important resource!