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For Immediate Release: July 30, 1998 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic

Thomas A. Brodhecker of Newton, Sussex County, was sworn in Tuesday as a member of the State Board of Agriculture representing the grain and forage industry.

Brodhecker's 700+ acre farm includes over 320 acres of corn, 300 acres of hay and 80 acres of oats and wheat. Custom feeds are ground and mixed on the farm and 90% of all the feeds grown are marketed directly to the consumer. The farm is also home to numerous livestock -- beef cows and calves, sheep, lambs and pigs. All meats from the Brodhecker operation are sold directly to the consumer. A graduate of Indiana University with a bachelor of science degree in business marketing and journalism, Brodhecker has also participated in numerous leadership training and educational programs through Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Brodhecker is extremely active in New Jersey agricultural activities serving as a director of the Sussex County Board of Agriculture. He is a member of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Board of Managers, the New Jersey Farm Bureau, the New Jersey Sheep and Wool Association, the New Jersey Agricultural Society, the Livestock Cooperative Auction Market Association of North Jersey, the Grain and Forage Producers' Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Beef Industry Council and the Sussex County Sheep Breeders Association. He is a past member of the Sussex County Agriculture Development Board and past president of the Sussex County Board of Agriculture. He has been a 4-H leader for 18 years, having served on State and Regional 4-H Leaders Forum Planning Committees and received the New Jersey 4-H Alumni Award. Brodhecker has been a member of the Newton Rotary where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 1991 and in 1995 he received the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce Volunteerism Award. Brodhecker has devoted much time and effort to the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, serving that organization in numerous capacities including director and member of the executive board for 23 years; first vice president; chairman of the buildings and grounds committee; member of the livestock building funding committee; and manager of the agricultural division. Douglas Zee, a fruit grower from Glassboro, Gloucester County, was also sworn in as a member of the State Board of Agriculture representing the fruit industry. The State Board of Agriculture elected William N. Brooks, Jr. of Elmer, Salem County, to serve as president and Peter V. Demarest of Hillsdale, Bergen County, as vice president. Other members of the Board are Bix DiMeo of Colts Neck, Roger Ruske of Millville, Abbott Lee of Chatsworth and Steven Jany of Hightstown.

The eight-member State Board of Agriculture is the highest official policy-making body in the state. Only those who are involved in producing farm crops or livestock products are eligible and membership must represent each of the four leading agricultural commodities.