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For Immediate Release: May 20, 2004


Lynne Richmond




Building on the success of its Jersey Fresh program, New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus today announced that consumers will soon be able to buy plants, trees, and shrubs branded Jersey Grown.

"Residents know that when they purchase Jersey Fresh produce, they are getting the highest quality produce available," said Secretary Kuperus. "Now, they can feel that same assurance of getting the healthiest, Garden State-grown nursery products when they see the Jersey Grown label."

The New Jersey State Board of Agriculture recently adopted rules for the Jersey GRown program that will begin this fall. Nearly 900 nurserymen and growers of nursery stock in New Jersey could be eligible to use the Jersey Grown logo when marketing their plant material.

Horticulture is the largest sector of agriculture in the state, producing high-quality plants, trees, and shrubs for use in our state and throughout the region. Nursery, sod and greenhouse sales in New Jersey totaled $337.6 million in 2002 -- more than a third of total agricultural sales.

"New Jersey residents love our locally-grown trees, plants, and shrubs, making horticulture one of our fastest growing agricultural sectors," said Secretary Kuperus. "With the Jersey Grown program, growers will be able to put our stamp of approval on their products, telling consumers they are buying only the finest nursery stock."

The Jersey Grown promotion program will be based on the Jersey Fresh program, using a quality grading standard, labeling, and advertisement to make quality New Jersey grown plants more visible to consumers.

"Based uponthe success of the Jersey Fresh program, the Jersey Grown promotion will greatly increase the marketability and awareness of the quality nursery stock grown in New Jersey," said Carl Nordstrom, Executive Director of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association.

To participate in the program, growers in New Jersey need to possess a current nursery certificate from the Division of Plant Industry; all plants must be maintained free of injurious insects and plant diseases; and, any nursery stock grown under the program must be propagated or grown in New Jersey for at least six months prior to sale. Plants must meet or exceed the plant standards developed by the American Nursery and Landscape Association to be marketed under the Jersey Grown designation.