A salute to New Jersey farmers who deserve our gratitude (Opinion)
New Jersey may not be known as being a big agricultural state, but what we have is high-quality and hard-working farmers.
The number of farms in New Jersey for 2020 is estimated at 9,900, unchanged from 2019, according to Bruce Eklund, state statistician of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New Jersey Field Office. Total land on farms is 750,000 acres, the same number in 2020 as it was the previous year.
The average farm size for 2020 is 76 acres.
As a teenager, I worked on a farm about that size. We did everything from hoeing by hand to dusting with pesticides to picking. The owner was an older man who was old school and worked from sunup to sundown all through the growing season and into the harvest. He either didn't believe in modern farming equipment or couldn't afford it.
Farmers in the Garden State are some of the most down-to-earth, hardworking, wisest, and decent people you'll find anywhere.
With limited space, burdensome regulations, and a younger generation less interested in life, farmers here are probably some of the best you'll find anywhere because they have to be. That's not even mentioning Mother Nature and the weather that can ruin crops in an instant.
This time of year, we get to see some of the amazing bounty that they produce. So next time you're at a farm stand and happen to see a farmer there, say thanks. They'll appreciate it and you just might find yourself in a great conversation.
Like the bumper stickers all over my county say, "NO FARMERS NO FOOD".
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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