Today the farmers of New Jersey made their voices heard in Trenton when they protested the proposed elimination of the state’s Department of Agriculture.
Estimates of the crowd varied from 500 to 2,000, not counting the more than 100 tractors and several farm animals. Many of the animals were pigs, signifying the pork that can easily be found in the state’s budget.
I do not keep farm animals, but I have great respect for those who do and the Department of Agriculture provides important support and services for them. If you crochet, knit, spin or weave, the fiber used for your yarn comes from animals that those farmers care for. It is important that we who enjoy fiber arts support those farmers.
According to Rich Nieuwenhuis, president of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, the last time the New Jersey government shut down, approximately 35 percent of the DOA employees were considered essential personnel and still needed to report to work. This was by far the highest percentage of all state agencies. This says how important the department is to the approximately 9,000 farmers of the state.
I hope you will consider contacting your local representatives and remind them that we live in The Garden State and the DOA needs to stay a part of the farming heritage of New Jersey.
To read more about today’s rally, click here.