Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Internships at NJ State Agriculture Development Committee

This note is in regard to student internship opportunities within our state's farmland preservation program.  The terms and details of the position(s) are still being defined, and I think that realistically this will be a Fall 2014 opportunity.  (Unfortunately, I received the announcement during yesterday's convocation.)

As brief background: New Jersey's farmland preservation program was created in 1983.  Since the first farm was preserved in 1985, the state (in partnership with county & local governments, and non-profits) has preserved more than 207,000 acres of farmland.  This equates to roughly 29% of our remaining farmland base, the highest percentage in the nation.   The SADC continues to acquire easements on farmland; however, the last several years has marked growing emphasis on post-preservation monitoring and stewardship.  There are also a growing number of issues relating to deed of easement interpretation - e.g., what activities occurring on preserved farms are "agricultural" versus "nonagricultural" (the latter would be deemed impermissible).  These determinations are often not clear cut and will only increase in frequency as the farming industry continues to adapt and evolve.  These challenges are not limited to NJ, as evidenced at a recent national conference of farmland preservation administrators I attended.

I'd be happy to speak with you or any interested student about these positions.  I represent Dean Goodman on the SADC and have a good understanding of what these positions will seek to accomplish.  


Please feel free to distribute the following information to students:

The State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) is the New Jersey agency responsible for administration of the state's farmland preservation program.  It's administrative offices are located in the NJ Department of Agriculture (Trenton).

The SADC is seeking interns to perform research in two broadly defined areas:

  1. Farmland Preservation Restriction Research Project (SADC Acquisition)
    1. Contact every state with a farmland preservation program
    2. Collect information and documents regarding restrictions placed on preserved farmland
                                                               i.      Deed of Easement templates
                                                             ii.      Standard restrictions
                                                            iii.      Regulations & Policies
    1. Analyze each and produce a synopsis document showing restriction variations. 
    2. Identify states that allow non-agricultural development on preserved farms

  1. Farmland Affordability Research Project (SADC Agricultural Development/Acquisition)
    1. Contact every state or entity with a mechanism for addressing farmland affordability. 
    2. Collect information and documents regarding each mechanism used and documentation of the program history and success. 
    3. Analyze each and produce a synopsis document


Brian J. Schilling, Ph.D.
Assistant Extension Specialist, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences & New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Cook Office Building, Room 108
55 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, NJ   08901
Tel: (848) 932-9127
FAX: (732) 932-8887 schilling@aesop.rutgers.edu ****************************************************************

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