SENATE, No. 1328

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 27, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

Senator  STEVEN V. OROHO

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Extends Right to Farm Act protections to commercial beekeepers, with some restrictions.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning apiary activities and the right to farm, and amending and supplementing P.L.1983, c.31.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 3 of P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-3) is amended to read as follows:

     3.  As used in this act:

     "Board" or "county board" means a county agriculture development board established pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-14).

     "Commercial farm" means (1) a farm management unit of no less than five acres producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $2,500 or more annually, and satisfying the eligibility criteria for differential property taxation pursuant to the "Farmland Assessment Act of 1964," P.L.1964, c.48 (C.54:4-23.1 et seq.), [or] (2) a farm management unit less than five acres, producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $50,000 or more annually and otherwise satisfying the eligibility criteria for differential property taxation pursuant to the "Farmland Assessment Act of 1964," P.L.1964, c.48 (C.54:4-23.1 et seq.), or (3) a farm management unit that is a beekeeping operation producing honey or other agricultural or horticultural apiary-related products, or providing crop pollination services, worth $2,500 or more annually.

     "Committee" means the State Agriculture Development Committee established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-4).

     "Farm management unit" means a parcel or parcels of land, whether contiguous or noncontiguous, together with agricultural or horticultural buildings, structures and facilities, producing agricultural or horticultural products, and operated as a single enterprise.

     "Farm market" means a facility used for the wholesale or retail marketing of the agricultural output of a commercial farm, and products that contribute to farm income, except that if a farm market is used for retail marketing at least 51% of the annual gross sales of the retail farm market shall be generated from sales of agricultural output of the commercial farm, or at least 51% of the sales area shall be devoted to the sale of agricultural output of the commercial farm, and except that if a retail farm market is located on land less than five acres in area, the land on which the farm market is located shall produce annually agricultural or horticultural products worth at least $2,500.

(cf:  P.L.1998, c.48, s.1)

     2.  (New section)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-3), or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, to the contrary, a farm management unit that qualifies as a commercial farm for the purposes of the "Right to Farm Act," P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-1 et seq.), because it is a beekeeping operation producing honey or other agricultural or horticultural apiary-related products, or providing crop pollination services, worth $2,500, shall be entitled to the protections provided to any other commercial farm under that act but not for agricultural or horticultural activities that are not apiary-related activities, unless the farm management unit also qualifies as a commercial farm pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-3) for reasons other than as a beekeeping operation as described in that section.

 

     3.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     As amended and reported, this bill extends “Right to Farm Act” protections to commercial beekeepers, by including in the definition of “commercial farm” under that act, a farm management unit that is a beekeeping operation producing honey or other agricultural or horticultural apiary-related products, or providing crop pollination services, worth $2,500 or more annually.  Qualifying for farmland assessment would not be necessary for such a commercial farm to receive right to farm protections.  The bill also clarifies that a farm management unit that is a beekeeping operation will not be entitled to Right to Farm Act protections for any agricultural or horticultural activities beyond the apiary and related activities unless the farm management unit otherwise qualifies as a commercial farm under that act.

     The committee amended the bill to clarify that a farm management unit that is a beekeeping operation will not be entitled to Right to Farm Act protections for any agricultural or horticultural activities beyond the apiary and related activities unless the farm management unit otherwise qualifies as a commercial farm under that act.  The amendments also update the bill’s title and synopsis.