New Jersey farmers gathered in Trenton by the hundreds today to protest Governor Corzine's plan to eliminate the state's Department of Agriculture.
Corzine says eliminating the department and delegating its duties to the state EPA and health departments will save taxpayers $4 million a year.
Many farmers view the move as a slap in the face. They value the ag department as a support system and as their advocate in government:
(Although I did overhear one person muse today, "But don't farmers hate the Department of Agriculture?" Another person replied, "Yes, but less than the EPA.")
According to the Associated Press, New Jersey would be only the third state to eliminate its agriculture department, joining Alaska and Rhode Island.
I snapped some photos at the rally, held on West State Street in front of the Capitol. I counted 113 tractors.