Meeting to be held Jan. 26 in Cream Ridge

IMAGE: Bell Peppers (source Wikipedia)
New Jersey is a National Top-Ten Producer of Fruits and Vegetables (see chart below)

CREAM RIDGE, NJ –Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder Lillian G. Burry invite anyone interested in the business of agriculture to attend the Grown in Monmouth kick-off meeting on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Rutgers Research Center at 283 County Route 539.

“Grown in Monmouth is the newest initiative under our Grow Monmouth program,” said Arnone. “This project will focus on promoting the wonderful agricultural products produced right here in Monmouth County. This is another way the County aims to help local and small businesses.”

Attendees will hear a presentation by Freeholders Arnone and Burry and the Grown in Monmouth project team. The project team consists of staff from the County’s Division of Economic Development, Division of Planning, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County and the firm of Spinelli and Pinto Consulting, LLC.

“The Grown in Monmouth initiative centers on the rich agriculture of Monmouth County and how essential it is to our way of life,” said Burry. “We have some of the best produce in the world right here in Monmouth County and endorsing these products on a larger scale is long overdue.”

The first objective of the project will be to create an inventory of all available agricultural products produced in the rural sections of the county. Then, an analysis will be conducted of the food supply and distribution chain to identify their needs and challenges. Once completed, strategies will be developed to help overcome those challenges.

“An important part of this project will be to conduct research to gain a comprehensive understanding of not only the needs of the County’s agricultural industry, but also the needs of local and regional buyers in order to develop a strategy to foster successful business relationships,” said Arnone.

Long-term goals include identifying new business opportunities as part of a marketing plan that will strive to develop an awareness and preference of buying local by both consumers and institutional users.

In the fall of 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture awarded the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders a Rural Business Enterprise Grant to assess the rural agricultural industry in Monmouth County, evaluate current trends and future opportunities to expand the industry, and to develop a marketing strategy to promote and market local agricultural products.

The Freeholders and Grown in Monmouth project team will also participate in the Feb. 26 annual Vegetable Growers Association Conference held by Rutgers University at the County’s Agricultural building located at 4000 Kozloski Rd. in Freehold.

Following each of the meetings, the project team will be reaching out to various stakeholders as they advance this exciting project.

For more information please visit: www.GrowninMonmouth.com or contact the Division of Economic Development at 732-431-7470.

 

From http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/facts/

New Jersey is a National Top-Ten Producer of Fruits and Vegetables
2014 Statistics
Rank
Production
Prod. Value
Acres
Cranberries 3rd 62.6 mill. lbs. $21.9 million 3,000
Bell Peppers 3rd 95.2 mill. lbs. $29.5 million 2,800
Spinach 4th 22.1 mill. lbs. $8.3 million 1,300
Peaches 4th 41.2 mill. lbs. $27.3 million 4,600
Blueberries 5th 66.7 mill. lbs. $79.5 million 8,800
Cucumbers 5th 57.6 mill. lbs. $14.9 million 3,100
Sweet Corn 6th 54 mill. lbs. $16.8 million 6,000
Squash 7th 35.4 mill. lbs. $11.6 million 2,700
Tomatoes 8th 62.4 mill. lbs. $38.1 million 2,900
Snap Beans 8th 8.6 mill. lbs. $3.3 million 2,500
Cabbage
10th
53.3 mill. lbs.
$9.5 million
1,500