NOFA-NJ event to feature business topics for farmers
NEW BRUNSWICK — Farming is a business and five workshops at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey Winter Conference on the weekend of Jan. 26-27 at the Rutgers Douglass Student Center is bringing back its business track to help farmers navigate concerns.
Maxine Neuhauser, an employment and health attorney with Epstein, Becker and Green will discuss “What Farmers Need to Know About Recent Employment Law Changes.”
New Jersey has made a number of changes in its employment law. Some of these have a direct impact on farm employers.
Neuhauser will discuss ways farm employers can manage their risk
Other topics she will cover in her session include the state’s mandatory paid sick leave law, the expansion of the equal pay act and the New Jersey task force on independent contractor misclassification.
Dennis Kilfeather of Lear and Pannepacker is an expert in the supervision and preparation of tax returns and other financial statements as well as in IT management and cost accounting.
He will present an overview of tax and accounting issues, basic accounting principles, Schedule F and New Jersey Farmland Assessment and will discuss bookkeeping for small farm enterprise.
Elaine Lemmon of Kitchen Table Consultants will give a session on three financial statements: profit and loss, balance sheet and rolling cash flow. She will explore financial management systems and discuss the use of Quickbooks.
The growing demand for food produced in a sustainable and humane manner has created new opportunities for farmers to serve their local markets, but they may need help to turn a profit.
Jon McConaughy of Brick Farm Group will discuss new on-farm processing techniques to help farmers make a profit on local dairy, grain and meat production.
Another business workshop will be Excel for Farmers presented by Alec Gioseffi of Cherry Valley Co-op and Kat Mitchell of Resilient Farms.
Related to the business track is the policy track.
On the policy track will be Jeffery Everett from the SADC who will speak about the New Jersey Right to Farm law and the SADC Right to Farm program which works with and educates farmers, residents and municipalities about the Right to Farm Act, the act’s formal conflict resolution process and presents strategies for resolving agriculture-related disputes. The goal of the program is to support a positive business environment for agriculture.
Meredith Melendez of NJAES will present “Farming in New Jersey: Regulation, Policy and Planning. She will discuss the framework of agriculture in the state and things to consider when planning, running and expanding a farm. She will discuss federal, state and local requirements.
Dan Kittridge’s intensive for 2019 will be about the Bionutrient Meter prototype. It is a hand-held device that anyone can use to flash a light at food and discern levels of nutrient density. A farmer can use it in the field to determine relative crop quality. Kittridge will explore the idea that the nutritive values in crops could be a focus for the larger food movement.
Erich Bremer from the New Jersey Depoartment of Agriculture will present an overview of organic certification.
“Hemp After the Farm Bill” will be presented by Erica McBride of the National Hemp Association. She will discuss the Hemp Farming Act language in the 2018 Farm Bill and the positive impact it could have on the farming, manufacturing, construction and research sectors of the economy.
McBride will provide updates on the legislation and explore the potential of hemp as a crop.
In “Mainstreaming the Message and the Movement,” Ken Roseboro will talk about his experiences in combatting the advance of GMOs. He will also give an update on the latest development in GMO technology.
Other sessions will deal with farm labor issues. Tessa Desmond of Princeton University and Firefly Homestead Farm will present scholarship on the “social production of ignorance.”
She will comment on “bad actors” in the food system who spread confusion about proper eating and the food culture in the United States.
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