For immediate release


Pete Furey




Rich Higginson



New Jersey Residents Show Support For Its Farmers

Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey, November 14. 2021 – New Jersey residents show strong support for the plight of the state’s farmers and the goods they produce. According to the most recent statewide survey of New Jersey adults from the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, along with support from the New Jersey Farm Bureau, nearly 3 in 5 (57%) believe it is very important to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables when they are in season, while an additional 31 percent say it is somewhat important, bringing the total who recognize the importance of buying locally produced goods to 88 percent. There are no differences across gender or Party ID. New Jerseyans 30 and under and those from the Urban Core region view it as less important than their cohorts, however, in both cases more than 75 percent say it is at least somewhat important. “There is a wellspring of goodwill and support among New Jersey residents for farmers and the food items they produce. Our challenge is to convert that support into greater opportunity” said Farm Bureau president Ryck Suydam.

New Jersey residents overwhelmingly support (85%) new programs which give financial assistance to farms that are in danger of shutting down due to recent supply chain issues and the current international environment. Support is significant across all measured demographics, with none falling below 80 percent of support. “This finding is greatly encouraging. We know there are policymakers who are poised to assist the farm industry” said Peter Furey, Farm Bureau executive director.

New Jerseyans would also support state-funded incentives for farmers who adopt carbon-saving measures as a means of helping in the fight against climate change. Those who support the incentives (62%) outnumber those who would oppose (26%) it by more than a 2 to 1 margin. More women (69%) than men (52%) and more in the 30 and under group (79%) are in favor of this funding. More Democrats (85%) than Republicans (29%) support this type of funding. “New Jersey farmers can play a meaningful role in climate mitigation with on-farm carbon capture incentives,” said Ryck Suydam, President of New Jersey Farm Bureau.

New Jersey has seen its share of large warehouses being built across the state, often on existing farmlands. When given the choice, New Jerseyans prefer the state work with local governments to control the development of new warehouses on prime farmland, by a 62% to 26% margin, over allowing New Jersey farmers to sell their land for the construction of warehouses as long as it meets local regulations. There were no differences across either gender or Party ID. “Development pressure on farmland has evolved from primarily one of residential housing to newer issues like warehouses and grid-scale solar panels. It requires a new look at land use rules and farm preservation priorities” said Ryck Suydam, President of New Jersey Farm Bureau.


The survey was conducted between October 24 and November 1, 2022, using a certified list of adult New Jersey residents carried out by Ironwood Insights. Respondents were randomly chosen from the list and contacted via either live-caller telephone interviews or text-to-web surveys sent to cellular phones, resulting in an overall sample of 801 respondents. 174 of the surveys were carried out via live-caller telephone interviews on both cell phones (70%) and landlines (30%), and the remainder (627) were done on a web platform via web links sent via SMS to cell phones. Surveys were conducted only in English.

The data were weighted to be representative of the population of adult NJ residents, as of the 2020 US Census. The weights used, like all weights, balance the demographic characteristics of the sample to match known population parameters. The weighted results used here are balanced to match parameters for sex, age, education and race/ethnicity.

SPSSINC RAKE, an SPSS extension module that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables using the GENLOG procedure, was used to produce final weights. Weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results. The use of these weights in statistical analysis helps to ensure that the demographic characteristics of the sample approximate the demographic characteristics of the target population. The size of these weights is used to construct the measure of design effects, which indicates the extent to which the reported results are being driven by the weights applied to the data, rather than found in the data itself. Simply put, these design effects tell us how many additional respondents would have been needed to get the weighted number of respondents across weighted categories: larger design effects indicate greater levels of under-representation in the data. In this case, the calculated design effects are approximately 1.4.

All surveys are subject to sampling error, which is the expected probable difference between interviewing everyone in a population versus a scientific sampling drawn from that population. Sampling error should be adjusted to recognize the effect of weighting the data to better match the population. In this poll, the simple sampling error for 801 registered voters is +/-3.5 percentage points, at a 95 percent confidence interval. Including the design effects, the margin of error would be +/-4.9 percentage points, though the figure not including them is much more commonly reported.

This error calculation does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question-wording, differences in translated forms, or context effects. While such errors are known to exist, they are often unquantifiable within a particular survey, and all efforts, such as randomization and extensive pre-testing of items, have been used to minimize them.

Weighted Telephone Sample Characteristics

803 New Jersey Registered Voters


55%     N = 436


43%     N = 341

Some Other Way                        

3%     N = 22


30 and Under                           

21%     N = 160


27%     N = 205


33%     N = 255


20%     N = 151


Democrat (with leaners             

50%     N = 354


17%     N = 116

Republican (with leaners)         

33%     N = 235



53%     N = 399


23%     N = 175


14%     N = 104


7%     N = 55


2%     N = 16


HS or Less                               

15%     N = 120

Some College                          

41%     N = 322

College degree or more            

44%     N = 345


Question wording and order:

  1. Would you support or oppose state-funded financial incentives to encourage farmers to adopt carbon-saving practices as a way of fighting climate change??
  2. a) Support
  3. b) Oppose
  4. c) Don’t Know / Refused: Volunteered]

2. Recent supply chain issues and unstable international conditions have led to unexpected increased costs at farms in New Jersey. Would you support or oppose new programs to give financial support to farms that may be in danger of shutting down??

  1. a) Support
  2. b) Oppose
  3. c) Don’t Know / Refused: Volunteered]
  4. Which of the following statements about farmland come closer to your view, even if neither is perfect?

The state should do more to support local governments and discourage large warehouses from being built on New Jersey’s most productive farmlands.


New Jersey farmers should be able to sell their farmland for large warehouses as long as it meets local regulations.

  1. How important is it for you to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables when they are in season?
  2. a) Very important
  3. b) Somewhat important
  4. c) Not very important
  5. d) Not important at all
  6. e) Don’t Know / Refused: Volunteered] 

Tables [percentages may not equal 100 due to rounding]


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