TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Early yesterday (Sunday) morning the Internet started to light up with mystery seeds being delivered all over the USA including New Jersey. Do not plant these seeds since they could be contaminated or be an “invasive species” that could create havoc in the ecosystem.
For New Jersey residence that have recieved the suspicious seeds contact the NJ Department of Agriculture at 609-292-3976 or contactAg@ag.nj.gov
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is aware that people across the country have received unsolicited packages of seed from China in recent days. APHIS is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and State departments of agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds.
Anyone in New Jersey who receives an unsolicited package of seeds from China should immediately contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-292-3976 or contactAg@ag.nj.gov. Also, you can contact the APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.
If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Antismuggling Hotline number at 800-877-3835 or by sending an Email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan today announced an Administrative Order authorizing horse racetracks to reopen on June 1st with no spectators, and with health and safety protocols in place. The Order will take effect immediately.
“Horse racing is an important part of our state economy and a beloved pastime in New Jersey.” said Governor Murphy. “I am happy to announce that after close consultation with our office, racetracks in our state will be able to reopen in the coming days.”
Racetracks will be able to open on June 1st, for racing without spectators. The AO also requires racetracks to adhere to a number of social distancing requirements that are laid out in the order. Under the order, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, or her designee, will have the authority to inspect racetracks to ensure that all required policies are being followed.
A copy of the Administrative Order can be found here.
TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved a bill (A544), sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, that will establish a loan program and provide tax credits for new vineyards and wineries in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
“New Jersey’s wine industry is very valuable. It not only supports the state’s economy and jobs, but also tourism,” said Dancer. “It’s smart to encourage the growth of new wineries and vineyards and help existing wineries stay competitive.”
Under the bill, the Economic Development Authority in consultation with the Department of Agriculture will develop a 10-year pilot program to issue low-interest loans to farmers for qualified costs for new vineyards. The costs can include preparing the land for planting, purchasing vines or trees, and equipment and supplies for that purpose. This bill also allows eligible taxpayers to apply for a tax credit against either their Corporation Business Tax or Gross Income Tax liability for 25 percent of the qualified capital expenses for establishing a new vineyard or winery, or capital improvements to an existing vineyard or winery in the eligible counties.
According to a study released by the Garden State Wine Growers Association, New Jersey’s wine industry had a $323 million economic impact on the state in 2016, an increase of nearly 40 percent from 2011. During that same five-year period, the number of wineries in the state increased from 38 to 50. In 2016, wine, grapes and related industries accounted for 1,979 jobs with the majority of the jobs being in the actual wineries and vineyards with an associated payroll of $85.57 million.
The EDA will submit annual reports to the governor and the Legislature summarizing the loan and tax credit programs, including the effectiveness of increasing acreage of commercial vineyards and the number of wineries in the eligible counties.
The bill passed the Senate in 2018 and needs a vote by the fully Assembly before going to the governor.
Update: I have revived a communication from Assemblyman Ron Dancer that Bill A-4800 passed the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee and will advance to the next process. See below:
“I am a co-sponsor of A4800 and am pleased to inform you that the bill passed Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee on November 18, 2019. “
Ron Dancer Assemblyman 12th Legislative District
TRENTON, NJ–Assembly Transportation and Committee will hear the Bill A-4800 on Monday November 18, 2019 for creation of a special licence plate for NJ’s State Animal the horse. The bill originally introduced on December 10, 2018 is sponsored by: Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson, Co sponsored by Assemblymen Thompson and Dancer
UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ–The Standardbred Retirement Foundation held their “Holiday Fun at the Horse Farm” event Sunday. There was plenty to see and do for all, including a baby and mother horse where mom was tagged for slaughter and rescued. Horses were being shown in the riding rink outside as well as in the barn. A charity auction, outdoor fire place with marshmallows on a stick with hot cocoa, wine tasting, holiday shopping, free tack items, and the “Horse Plop Bingo” kept everyone busy.