Bill Text: NJ S3255 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes "Adopt-A-Farm" school partnership program in public secondary schools.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-12-10 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee [S3255 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-S3255-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3255

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 10, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  THOMAS H. KEAN, JR.

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes "Adopt-A-Farm" school partnership program in public secondary schools; establishes liability protections therefor.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing an "Adopt-A-Farm" school partnership program and supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, shall establish and coordinate a farm-based education program, to be called the "Adopt-a-Farm" school partnership program, which may be instituted at public secondary schools.

     A school and farm partnership may include, but need not be limited to, students supplying materials, preparing soil for planting, planting crops, harvesting, gleaning, setting up an irrigation system, ploughing a field, cutting grass, tilling beds, watering plants, weeding, milking cows, feeding animals, cleaning pens, general maintenance, and participating in the daily chores of running the farm.

     The level of involvement between a school and a farm shall be determined by the partnership.

 

     2.    a.  A farmer that organizes or hosts students on agricultural land for educational purposes pursuant to this act, including preparing soil for planting, planting crops, harvesting, gleaning, setting up an irrigation system, ploughing a field, cutting grass, tilling beds, watering plants, weeding, milking cows, feeding animals, cleaning pens, general maintenance, and participating in the daily chores of running the farm, shall not be liable for damages in any civil action for any injury due to the presence or activity of the students on the land, unless the injury is a direct result of the gross negligence, recklessness, or knowing misconduct on the farm.

     b.  The "Adopt-a-Farm" school partnership program shall be protected from liability under the "Food Bank Good Samaritan Act," P.L.1982, c.178 (C.24:4A-1 et seq.), for food donations, gleaning, and other activities related to the school and farm partnership.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would establish a farm-based education program, called the "Adopt-a-Farm" school partnership program in public schools. The level of involvement between the school and the farm will be determined by each partnership. Students may be involved in supplying materials, preparing soil for planting, planting crops, harvesting, gleaning, setting up an irrigation system, ploughing a field, cutting grass, tilling beds, watering plants, weeding, milking cows, feeding animals, cleaning pens, general maintenance, and participating in the daily chores of running the farm.

     This program should serve to increase awareness of the important role that local, fresh produce plays in promoting good health and of its availability in the State, as well as develop an educated agricultural workforce and accelerate garden and farm-based education for public school students in the State.

     This bill would provide civil immunity from liability for injuries sustained on farms where school and farm partnership activities on agricultural land are conducted. This immunity would not apply to the gross negligence, recklessness, or knowing misconduct on the farm. In addition, under current federal and State law, farmers are immune from civil liability for injuries that take place on their farms during gleanings and farmers, nonprofit organizations, and volunteers are immune for damages caused by the food they glean or donate in good faith.

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