A plan is taking shape to allow Garden State farmers to set up microbreweries, right next to where they’re growing corn, tomatoes and other Jersey Fresh produce, and then sell the beer they make.

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, D-Monmouth, who chairs the Assembly Agriculture Committee, is crafting legislation to allow farms to brew beer on their land, as long as all of the ingredients are grown on the farm or close by.

He said the idea is to help promote all of the activities taking place on our farms and let people “enjoy the beer, take a walk around the farm and look at where the hops are grown.”

He said with farmland rapidly disappearing in New Jersey, it’s important to do everything possible to give farmers a chance to continue to work the land.

“This would allow them a greater opportunity to be successful on their farm, which is the ultimate goal in the state of New Jersey,” he said

Houghtaling noted he got the idea for the legislation after visiting the Fir farm in Colts Neck where the owners are using all natural growing and cultivating techniques, and discussed the idea with him.

He said the measure is currently being crafted and he intends to formally introduce it when the Legislature is back in session in November.

“Anything I do I always want to go through the Farm Bureau and make sure everybody is good with and I’m sure that once we get this moving here that everybody will be on board,” he said.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

Family summer fairs & events in NJ happening through Labor Day

A full list of county fairs, street fairs, and family fun events happening late summer through Labor Day in NJ.
(All events are listed in date order through September 6)

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NJ arrests 31 accused child predators in "Operation 24/7"

A roundup of 31 men have been accused of sexually exploiting children online, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on July 14 while detailing "Operation 24/7."

The suspects “possessed and or distributed videos and images of child sexual abuse, including in many cases videos of young children being raped by adults,” Grewal said.

Chat apps and gaming platforms remain favorite hunting grounds for child predators and even as the pandemic winds down, many children have continued to spend more time online.

State Police received 39% more tips in just the first 6 months of 2021 than they received in the entire year in 2019. The following are suspects charged in "Operation 24/7."

Most Expensive House For Sale in Mercer County

Located in Mercer County, the six bedroom and 10 bath home is listed for $9.75 million. The home has a movie theater, a bar, three bedrooms with balconies, and a three-bedroom carriage house. Outside, it has over 128 acres of property with a pool, a putting green, two ponds, and basketball and tennis courts.