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New Jersey Agricultural Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Agricultural Programs, Food

Mission: To preserve and enhance farming, agriculture and related businesses in New Jersey through educational, promotional and informational programs. NJAS operates three programs: New Jersey Farmers Against Hunger, Learning Through Gardening and the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program. NJAS is the oldest agricultural organization of its kind in the nation, dating back to 1781. While historic in its roots, NJAS operates programs which are providing modern solutions to agricultural issues.

Results: An average of 1.2 million pounds of fresh produce is collected annually and distributed to 70 community organizations, feeding 7000 people weekly through New Jersey Farmers Against Hunger. FAH engages over 1200 community volunteers each season in our mission by hosting gleanings at local farms. Volunteers help harvest fruits and vegetables which may otherwise go to waste, while learning about food insecurity and agriculture. In just 2 hours of gleaning, "Glean Teams" can harvest up to 10,000 lbs of crops! FAH also provides nutrition education to help recipients learn how to prepare healthy, budget-friendly meals using the fresh fruits and vegetables we provide. Over 30 elementary schools are currently registered to receive garden beds, training, school pep rallies, and teacher training. Approximately 15,000 children are learning how food is grown and how to make healthy food choices while planting, harvesting and learning in their school gardens provided by Learning Through Gardening. Our initial donation of garden beds and supplies often grow into a community-wide effort involving school staff, parents and local businesses who see the value in teaching children at an early age to appreciate fruits and vegetables. Nearly 200 farmers and agribusiness professionals have been trained through the NJ Agricultural Leadership Development Program which has been in operation for nearly 20 years. Class members commit to a two-year program and attend seminars and tours of farms, while networking with industry professionals. These future leaders are helping to insure that agriculture in the Garden State will continue to thrive and grow.

Geographic areas served: statewide throughout New Jersey

Programs: New Jersey Farmers Against Hunger, Learning Through Gardening and the New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

ST. Marys Food Pantry 45 Crosswicks ST. Bordentown NJ 08505 would love to partner with this organization. We are non profit and service over 300 families as a supplemental food source for those living in Bordentown, Chesterfield, Fieldsboro, Columbus and Mansfield. We rely on donations from our community and we are lacking fresh produce to give to our clients. Canned goods are ok but are often high in sodium and lacking proper nutrition. Our goal for 2016 is to bring a large assortment of fresh produce and vegetables to our food pantry to provide better health to our clients. We hope to partner with your organization with small donations each week from a variety of farms. Thank you for your support this growing season.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As the active growing season in New Jersey comes to the end for 2014, I am sending a note of ongratulations to the FAH and the New Jersey Agricultural Society team. Kris and Elyse, your coordination efforts in the gleaning and packing that Troop 54 has participated in this year and last several years are inspirational. We are proud of our scouts, leaders and committee's efforts in providing glean and Thanksgiving Food Pack services. We believe the scouts benefit the most from the service hours they provide. However it is humbling to us all to know the produce that would otherwise rot are put into the support chain for needy organizations and individuals in our state.

Michael G. Quinn, ASM BSA Troop 54 Jamesburg NJ

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One simple phrase sums it up for me: NJAS is Jersey's bounty at it's best! This organization brings great people and fresh food together; through commitment, purpose and action they strive to sustain our agricultural community and our citizens.
Last year, through the courtesy of NJAS, I had the opportunity to see the documentary "A Place at the Table" which addresses food insecurity and hunger in America. While the epidemic seems next to impossible to eradicate, my personal resolve to combat this problem was reignited. NJAS offers me the opportunity to be part of the solution.

Board Member

Rating: 4

The New Jersey Agricultural Leadership Development Program has made a major impact in the development of leaders in the agricultural community in New Jersey and beyond. I have worked with the program since its inception over 20 years ago and have not only recruited but actually worked with many young people in agriculture that have been trained in the program. They have displayed an amazing knowledge of the agriculture industry and most importantly the development and implementation of agricultural policy. Their skills in leadership, public speaking, and industry structure have enabled them to make a difference in the survival and viability of agriculture. I have seen their leaders in the New Jersey Agricultural Agents Association of New Jersey, The New Jersey Agribusinesses Association, the New Jersey Farm Bureau and its federation of County Board of Agriculture; the Vegetable Growers Association of New Jersey, The New Jersey Small Fruits Council; The New Jersey State Horticultural Society, The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, The New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association; New Jersey Christmas Tree Association and the Garden State Wine Growers Association as well as their own businesses, This training has collectively helped the sustainability of agriculture in New Jersey and beyond and for the consumer the preservation of farmland and open space.

1 Cindy159

Donor

Rating: 5

The New Jersey Agricultual Society provides food to those in need, teach people to garden, and train young people to be leaders in the agricultural community. We are so privileged to be apart of them!

Noble M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The New Jersey Agricultual Society is a wonderful organization that gleans fresh Jersey produce from farms and distributes it the the needy. over 1.2 million pounds a year. the Learning Through Gardening programs puts gardens in grade schools throughout NJ so students can learn the value of growing and eating fresh vegatables.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Kris and this entire organization are second to none when it comes to New Jersey and building relationships.This organization's goals are to help our children with 'learning Through Gardening", feeding our communities with locally grown Jersey Fresh produce from the gleanings that our volunteers help with then we deliver the produce to local food banks,soup kitchens and more.Being the oldest Agricultural Society in the country we continue to strive to find new ways of contributing ,educating and working with our local farmers who are some of the best growers in the business!
The Agricultural Society is very dedicated to making sure that every person/family in the Garden state has fresh locally grown produce on their table and to do this we continually are hands on with our farmers to glean the most produce that's possible.
To see first hand how much people care and want to do more and more it's very heart warming knowing we are making a difference not only at soup kitchens, food banks but that of the children's future by educating them on eating healthy ,growing their own vegetables.The staff from the drivers to the gleaning teams to the board members and the farmers themselves put countless hours in to making all the possible and for that I say Thank you!

Sincerely,
Doug G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

With all of the development in our beloved State, New Jersey agriculture needs all of the help it can get. The Ag Society does just that through their Ag Leadership Program by educating young professionals in the ag industry, bringing them together, and providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to help keep New Jersey the garden state and to continue to grow our ag heritage. They also make sure that no extra farm produce goes to waste through the Farmers Against Hunger program, where they provide Jersey produce to families in need. Whether people realize it or not, agriculture is an important part of all our lives, we must support and protect it and the Ag Society does just that.