The New Jersey Agricultural Society is an active non-profit in New Jersey agriculture with a mission to educate the non-farm public about the importance of agriculture to the state's economy and quality of life. At its most recent board of trustees meeting, new officers and trustees were elected and installed.
Elected to officer positions are President Noble McNaughton, owner of Indian Mills Nursery in Burlington County; Vice President Middlesex County farmer James Etsch of Etsch Farm; Secretary Mary Jo Herbert of Hopewell Heritage Farm in Mercer County; and of Somerset County, Michael Reynolds, treasurer of Farm Credit East executive.
The six new trustees include a farmer, ag business operators, communications professionals and a banker. They are:
- Raj Sinha is a production farmer and entrepreneur in Sussex County. In addition, he is a graduate of Class 8 of the society's N.J. Ag Leadership Development Program and is active in a number of agricultural organizations.
- Tad Thompson is the business development manager for the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market. He has many years of experience with ag communications. He has worked with The Packer and The Produce News. In his role at the Philadelphia Market, he also works extensively with Chilean agriculture and the import-export part of the business.
- Jerry Verrico has been an active member of the society's Farmers Against Hunger Advisory Board for several years. He brings insight and knowledge of both agriculture and the trucking industry. Mr. Verrico is a marketer for KMTBrrr, a refrigeration and trucking company.
- Gordon Hochberg has been the vice president for The Produce News for many years. He has reported on activities and trends in the agricultural industry throughout the Northeast, including New Jersey. Mr Hochberg is also a strong supporter of the Jersey Fresh program and features that in The Produce News when appropriate.
- Jamey Bohonyi is the owner of the New Egypt Agway. He took over a declining operation and is making it an important business in central New Jersey. He also has been involved in fundraising for several ag-related organizations.
- Steve Makarevich is with Farm Credit East, where he oversees the business-development division of the bank. He works with many farms and farmers on developing appropriate business plans. He is a graduate of Class 2 of the society's N.J. Ag Leadership Development Program.
The trustees oversee the working of the organization's three major programs: Farmers Against Hunger, providing fresh fruits and vegetables donated by farms, supermarkets and wholesalers to those in need; Learning Through Gardening, providing elementary schools with materials to develop a school garden and with lesson plans to incorporate the garden in the schools' core curriculum standards and teaching kids the importance of including healthy fruits and vegetables in their diets; and N.J. Ag Leadership Development Program, a two-year personal and professional development program for young agriculturalists.
For more information on the society or its programs, visit www.njagsociety.org.