Assembly passes Sauickie bill promoting local farm product subscription programs

Assembly passes Sauickie bill promoting local farm product subscription programs

Assemblyman Alex Sauickie

TRENTON, N.J. – Community Supported Agriculture programs, described as a way for locals to get to know their farmer and their food, will be promoted through a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Alex Sauickie and passed by the Assembly on Monday.

The assemblyman wants to ensure more communities know about the opportunity to receive farm fresh products by subscribing to a share of their local farm’s harvest. 

“Whether it’s called a club or a program, local farms are offering subscriptions to customers as a way to sell their products and connect with their communities. Customers get to enjoy seasonal produce like ears of Jersey sweet corn, garden-grown tomatoes or farm fresh eggs and support their local farmers. These are wonderful programs that are only limited by Mother Nature and a lack of marketing by the state,” Sauickie (R-Ocean) said.

Members of a CSA commit to supporting the farmer before or during the growing season by paying a fee in exchange for weekly boxes of Jersey Fresh produce and other local products put together by the farmer during harvest.

Sauickie’s bill (A2320) requires the state Department of Agriculture to promote community supported agriculture programs by providing labels to farmers for marketing, creating a website, encouraging schools to participate in programs, and designating the last week in February as CSA Week.

“The ability to obtain regular, in-season, Jersey Fresh products is invaluable and can’t be taken for granted. I want the younger generation of residents to realize the benefits of biting into a peach ripened on a local farm or eating a sweet potato grown in New Jersey soil,” Sauickie said. “We can all play a part in supporting the future of farming in New Jersey. These programs are a great way for communities to show they truly value their farmers.”

The state’s New Jersey Farm Products Publicity Fund can be used to offset the costs of the bill and publicizing the importance of community supported agriculture.