NJ Announces Outstanding Young Farmer, Seeks Nominees for 2015

11/9/2013 7:00 AM

TRENTON, N.J. — Mitchell Jones, a Warren County hay and grain producer, has been named New Jersey’s 2014 Outstanding Young Farmer by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture.

Jones, 36, will be presented with his award at the February 2014 New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.

“Mitchell Jones’ conservation practices have earned him federal and state recognition, and enabled him to serve as a trainer to teach others about soil and water conservation on farms,” said Douglas H. Fisher, New Jersey secretary of agriculture. “He is a wonderful example of our innovative and hard-working state farmers. It is with great pride we honor Mitchell with the Outstanding Young Farmer Award.”

Jones is a first-generation farmer, whose father worked for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. After graduating from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy, he rented small parcels of farmland. He expanded his rental properties and now owns a small farm. His future plans are to purchase additional ground so he is not entirely reliant on rented property.

“As I began to farm my own parcels, my father’s work with NRCS influenced how I treated the land, and I tried to increase conservation measures,” Jones said. “This is how I got started and where my passion for agriculture was cultivated.”

Jones has served as president, vice president and treasurer of the Warren County Board of Agriculture, secretary and treasurer of Rutgers University Board of Managers, and director of the Warren County Fair.

He has served as a delegate to the State Agricultural Convention, is active in the Warren and Warren Pomona Granges, and served on the Warren County Economic Development Advisory Council.

Jones, an FFA member in high school, has been a soil judging coach for the Belvidere High School FFA for 13 years.

New Jersey annually recognizes the achievements of a young farmer. The Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2015 award. The submission deadline for nominations is Jan. 15, 2014.

Nominees must be farm operators, deriving a minimum of two-thirds of their income from farming and must be between the ages of 21 and 40.

For more information, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/about/sba/cover.html or contact Karen Kritz at 609-984-2506 or Karen.Kritzag.state.nj.us.

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