TRENTON — State lawmakers agreed to advance Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Parker Space’s resolution making September Organic Farming Month.

The Assembly Agriculture Committee passed the resolution with a vote of 5-0.

“Demand for organic food has increased dramatically in recent years, but it is still a tiny part of the overall market,” said Dancer. “Promoting the many benefits of organic farming will increase the market share and encourage more farms to go natural.”

Organic farms add nutrients to the soil with natural matter, rather than the synthetic fertilizers typically used on traditional farms. Organic growers also eschew chemical pesticides and genetically modified plant varieties.

“Farming is hard work, and organic farming is even more labor intensive,” said Space, a long-time farmer himself. “An organic operation requires dedication and a significant investment of money and energy. Of the 9,000 farms in New Jersey, only 60 are certified organic farms. More growers are needed to meet the growing demand.”

For a list of certified organic farms in the state, visit: http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/find/certifiedorganicfarms.html