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Ryan J. Ploch - Click to enlarge
Ryan J. Ploch
Ryan J. Ploch is on the cutting edge of agriculture.

At 28 years old, he is leading his family farm into the future by identifying consumer trends and capitalizing on them. Ryan established a year-round demand for culinary herbs and created a company logo and website to increase the farm's presence in the industry.

A third generation farmer, Ryan has also taken on several capital projects to improve the farm's buildings, labor camp and overall infrastructure.

He began working on the family's Atlantic County farm, started by his grandfather, when he was only 5. More than two decades later he's an integral part of the operation, which produces more than 17 varieties of vegetables and herbs on 165 acres.

Ryan is a member of numerous agricultural organizations, including the Atlantic County Board of Agriculture. He is a trustee of the Aaron Ploch Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Aaron Ploch Adopt-A-Road Program, both of which honor his late brother who passed away suddenly at the age of 10 after being stricken by a rare virus.

Ryan graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture in 1996. He earned numerous scholarships for his achievements in academics agriculture and swimming, but he counts the "Jersey Fresh" scholarship as one of the most important he's ever received.